Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #74: Generative AI is Everywhere!

Serverless Superhero

Our serverless superhero this week is Matt Bonig, Chief Cloud Architect at Defiance Digital, AWS DevTools Hero, and co-author of The CDK Book. Matt is a big advocate of the CDK (as you might be able to guess) and runs deep in the serverless community. He’s also a mastermind when it comes to API design and functionality. Be sure to catch his talk at the upcoming CDK day! Thank you Matt, for everything you do for the community!


In 2022, AWS launched its open-source policy language Cedar. It has a lot of promise, but practical examples and information around it lacked a bit. But no more! Daniel Aniszkiewicz has released a 10-part series on authorization with Cedar. It’s about as thorough as it gets, I expect it probably could be turned into a book at some point. This is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know!

The serverless Rust love continues to build with Maxime David’s article on building with Rust on AWS App Runner. This is a short and sweet article that cuts through the clutter to give you exactly what you need to get a Rust container up in the cloud. Super easy, super fast.

Arpad Toth is back with another incredibly useful tutorial. He walks readers through controlling access to resources with Cognito groups. So many practical use cases can be satisfied with this tutorial, it’s a foundational piece of production software (role-based access control) that doesn’t always have the most clear guidance on how to implement.

Interesting Reads

Who doesn’t love a little speculation about the future? This week, I published an article posing the question if coding is on its way out. With low/no code builders, generative AI, and native cloud frameworks, the amount of code we write is going to dwindle until… who knows? Of course, there will always be a need for programmers, but I have no idea what our primary day-to-day will look like in 10 years.

We know serverless operations generally need to be less than 15 minutes. But what if you absolutely can’t get around a long-running synchronous call? Yan Cui talks about some of your options in his post from last week on the most serverless way to wait for a slow HTTP response. He lists several cool solutions in his article that I don’t want to spoil. It’s a quick read that makes you go “ohhhhhhhhh, that’s clever!

Ever wanted to know what it takes to build a serverless service? We all roll our eyes when we hear “there are servers in serverless” because obviously. Last week, I wrote another article, but this time peeking behind the curtain of Momento’s serverless event messaging service, Topics. I go into the architecture and explain some of the technical decisions that were made when building out this fantastic service.


I met with Matt Carey on the Ready, Set, Cloud podcast to talk about how generative AI works. We talk about how generative AI is different than “regular” AI, how it takes a prompt and finds relevant data to answer, and dive into the possibilities we’re going to see in the years to come.

Matt Carey is on fire! He was also on Yan Cui’s podcast, Real World Serverless, to give an overview of AI development with LangChain. If you thought the “how it works” episode was cool on my podcast, this is a great “here’s how to build with it” follow-up.

New Releases

Definitely not serverless, but cool nonetheless, AWS announced dedicated local zones last week. These zones provide infrastructure in a location or data center specified by you to adhere to certain compliance regulations. This is a big one for sovereignty laws, which are killers for many SaaS providers.

Momento released HTTP support for publishing to Topics. This means you can now hit an API endpoint (instead of the SDK) to publish a message to all your subscribers. This opens doors to things like EventBridge API destinations so you can drop an event and send an async message to browser sessions!


You may or may not know that AWS Step Functions is my favorite serverless service. It’s a workflow service that enables you to directly integrate with hundreds of AWS services. But sometimes these services are async and you need to pause a workflow and wait for a job to complete. Benjamen Pyle wrote a fantastic article on this called the AWS Step Functions Callback Pattern. He describes the pattern in detail and why you would use it pragmatically. And of course, he even offers the full source code for you to experiment with.

Tip of the Week

Every year, DataDog publishes the State of Serverless report where it gathers information from around the industry and shares interesting insights. Well, the 2023 edition went live last week and it has some fascinating conclusions.

Last Words

Generative AI is all around us and looks like it’s taking a stronger hold on development than we initially envisioned. Are you working with it at all? Are you building products on top of it or asking questions to help you with daily tasks? Let me know!

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!


Join the Serverless Picks of the Week Newsletter

Stay up to date with the best content serverless has to offer, learn about the latest updates to AWS serverless services, and get to know community superheroes, catered by AWS Serverless Hero Allen Helton. New issue every Monday.
Click here to see past issues.

Join the Serverless Picks of the Week Newsletter

Thank you for subscribing!
View past issues.