Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #89: The re:Invent dust begins to settle

Serverless Superhero

Our serverless superhero this week is Raphael Moura, senior serverless developer at Serverless Guru and AWS Community Builder. Raphael leads the AWS user group Goiânia in Brazil and is constantly helping and educating others to learn AWS serverless. I had the pleasure of meeting Raphael at re:Invent and he is an absolute joy to be around. If you ever get the chance to meet him be sure to say hi, his energy and enthusiasm are contagious! Thanks for everything, Raphael!


There has been a big emphasis on real-time notifications in the past few months. I’ve seen lots of cool innovations in the space that make it easier and easier to build communication mechanisms from server to client. Tobenna Nwokike published a walkthrough of how to build a WebSocket server in AWS API Gateway using the serverless framework. He not only gives you all the steps to do it yourself but explains the benefits of using WebSockets over traditional request/response HTTP calls.

Whenever a cool feature is released in Step Functions, you know Lars Jacobsson is going to do something cool with it. Last week he blew me away with his creativity and pragmatism of his update to the samp-cli where he takes Step Functions’ TestState API one step further. He added some functionality around testing individual states with recent execution details and shows how you can debug a workflow without leaving VS Code.

Interesting Reads

Luc van Donkersgoed, newly minted builder of the year by AWS, published a great article on single- vs multi-tenancy in serverless architectures. He describes the pros and cons they’ve had at PostNL (where he works) with single-tenancy and explains how and why moving to multi-tenancy is going to solve some of their scaling issues. Naturally, he also covers the tradeoffs with a major decision like this - which is critical to know before making the choice yourself.

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Those of you who attend re:Invent likely know AWS Hero Nick Triantafillou and his love for swag. Despite not being able to attend due to COVID, he still published his annual swag review article, sharing some great hauls from several attendees. He even gives a shoutout to SwagHunt, a site I made for attendees to share their swag during the conference.

I love opinionated pieces and Danielle Heberling’s post is right up my alley. Last week she wrote about the serverless mindset and IaC, offering her opinion on next-gen IaC and why it’s important. This is a subject people love to hate for some reason. I’m fully aligned with Danielle in her article and am so glad she wrote this.

Ran Isenberg wrote up his key serverless takeaways from re:Invent last week. Ran is a friend and trusted resource, so I highly value what he latched onto in the tidal wave of new releases. Check out his post for what stood out the most to him.


Since this is a community newsletter, I don’t often like to highlight the content I create as the spotlight - but since I wrote about you guys last week, I decided to make an exception. I wrote an article about some realizations I had after my third in-person re:Invent. I called it this is NOT a re:Invent recap because it’s not about sessions or releases, but rather the huge impact the community (you guys!) have had on my life. I also throw in a little forward-looking thought about what I think 2024 will be focused on.

Tip of the Week

If you missed Werner Vogel’s keynote at re:Invent, don’t worry - Brooke Jamieson highlighted the 7 laws of a frugal architect and gave a brief description of each one. The video she posted is just over a minute long and well worth the watch.

New Releases

Fast follows after re:Invent aren’t usually the week after - but there were a couple of releases that some of us might find interesting.

You can now easily connect Lambda to Amazon RDS via the console. I’m not a huge fan of doing things through the console but now that you can export IaC from there, it helps speed up that discovery time.

You can now log message delivery status for SNS topics. This is one of those “I didn’t realize I needed that” moments for me. Feels like a great update!

Last Words

Content usually slows down around the holidays but the newsletter is still on! If there’s a particularly slow week maybe I’ll just share some pictures of my chickens and turkeys 🦃

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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This issue is brought to you by Serverless Guru, your guide to cloud excellence, helping you with every step of your serverless journey, including team training, pattern development, mass service migrations, architecting, and developing new solutions..

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