Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #68: Proactive Initialization?

Serverless Superhero

Our serverless superhero this week is DeveloperSteve, senior dev advocate at Lumigo and AWS Community builder. Steve is a great writer with an uncanny way to explain highly technical concepts in an easy-to-understand way. He’s helped countless people in their serverless and cloud journey and always with upbeat and friendly energy. Thank you Steve, for helping shape the community!


Buckle up. Lee Gilmore is an amazingly thorough writer. He provides rich examples with functional code and simple diagrams to explain complex but critical processes in production software. Last week he released the comprehensive testing of serverless solutions article, and it’s exactly as he said - comprehensive. It’s a full walkthrough of pretty much everything you’d ever need to know about the space.

We’ve seen a couple of good posts on Lambda response streaming, but Arpad Toth released another informative yet concise walkthrough of how to do it two ways. Arpad covers how to stream through API Gateway or through function urls. There’s also a hidden gem in there where he comes up with a clever solution for auth around function urls.

Interesting Reads

Many of you who subscribe to this newsletter are fans of and practice event-driven architecture. For those of you who haven’t dipped your toes in the water yet, I highly recommend Jimmy Dahlqvist’s post from last week on serverless and event-driven design thinking. He explains the core concepts like commands vs events and producers vs consumers. He also has simple, colorful diagrams throughout that keep this read as entertaining as it is informative.

Yan Cui published a great article on the trade-offs of using SQS as a buffer between SNS and Lambda. Naturally, he gives you the pros and cons of each and gives well-thought-out explanations for his reasonings. This is a great piece to read whether you’re just getting into solutions architecture or are a seasoned veteran.

Not enough people realize that API Gateway has the ability to perform schema validation before invoking downstream functions. Guido Nebiolo shared an article with us last week where he walks us through how to do it. He goes through the AWS resources necessary to build it as part of your IaC and shares his code sample with readers. To take it a step further, if you use the OpenAPI integration and SAM, this is all built for you automatically.


The internet has been buzzing with excitement from a post by AJ Stuyvenberg where he talks about proactive initialization, aka Lambda pre-warming you don’t have to pay for. This functionality helps to reduce cold start times by initializing a Lambda function sandbox before an invocation. This is a fascinating read, and really lends itself well to the promise of serverless. By the way, I vote we start calling AJ “Mr. Cold Start”.


Episode #14 of the Ready, Set, Cloud podcast released on Friday with Jason Kao. Jason and I talk about cloud security and what to do when your security team and app team aren’t friends. We also talk about the incredible capabilities of AWS organizations and dive into considerations around blast radius.

Luciano Mammino and Eoin Shanaghy released episode #89 of AWS Bites where they discuss if you should simulate AWS locally. They talk about what your options are, discuss some of the challenges with deploying to the cloud, and cover some of the tools that make it better.

New Releases

AWS Lambda can now detect and stop recursive loops in functions. This will save many of us from mini panic attacks when a code defect would have otherwise cost us tens of thousands of dollars on our monthly bill (this has happened to me on more than one occasion).

Momento released updates for fine-grained access control with temporary tokens. This opens up the door for production-use cases of their Web SDK, allowing users to access their cache or subscribe for WebSocket notifications directly from a browser.

Ampt now supports HTTP response streaming. There are a slew of other updates that came out recently as well that keep making this platform better and better.

Tip of the Week

I brought up a tired debate last week between GraphQL and REST. I was simply asking why people prefer one over the other. I got a ton of answers and learned a lot in the process. Apparently, a lot of people think API Gateway is too hard, which puzzles me quite a bit.

Last Words

How many cloud certifications do you have? How much time have you spent studying for them? Have you seen a direct benefit from getting certified? I’ve been pondering these questions lately and am curious about what you all think on the subject.

If you’d like to make a recommendation for the serverless superhero or for an article you found especially useful, send me a message on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email.

Happy Coding!


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