Our serverless superhero this week is Grant Lammi, Cloud Development Manager at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Grant is a phenomenal speaker and fellow Step Functions champion. Grant’s work in serverless has enabled doctors to help treat countless children quickly and effectively. Thank you SO MUCH for your hard work, Grant!
Looking to try something new in 2024? Martin Müller published an article last week on how you can quickly get started with SST and build a site that uploads images to S3. Martin does a great job explaining the components and offers his code that almost seems too easy. These high-order abstractions are beginning to take on a significant amount of best practices, security, and fault tolerance, allowing us to build faster than ever 🤩.
These days we’re all about saving time. Usually if we can get a summary of a video or long-form article, we’ll opt for that. And that is exactly what Zied Ben Tahar wrote about last week in his article called AI-powered video summarizer with Amazon Bedrock and Anthropic’s Claude. He walks through a solution he made where he gets a transcript from a YouTube video, summarizes it with Bedrock, then converts it to spoken words with Amazon Polly. Super cool build!
It’s always a good idea to add metadata to your events. Robert Slootjes published an article on the metadata he includes in his events to help his production workflows. He includes the metadata names and reasons for each property. I love the concept and feel like everyone should be making this a best practice. For additional details, check out Luc van Donkersgoed’s talk from 2023 he calls The Tao of Event-Driven Architectures.
If you haven’t tried Momento Topics, you totally should. It’s a serverless event bus that acts like a cool combination of a WebSocket server and EventBridge. You can publish an event to a topic and it is sent simultaneously to your backend services and connected browser sessions, making things like async job status updates trivial to implement (they generally have an unsuspecting number of components). Anyway, Momento just launched webhook support for Topics, allowing you to trigger any endpoint when a message is published. This means you can invoke Lambda functions or Step Function workflows as a result of an event. This is super cool and means you can trigger workflows directly from a browser session without building an API!
Those of us who love Lambda probably shudder when we hear the word “container.” The whole point of Lambda is to just write code and let AWS handle containerization, OS management, and all that other goop we associate with dockerfiles, right? According to AJ Stuyvenberg, it might be time to change that thinking. He wrote a thorough breakdown of how running containers on Lambda leads to faster performance than standard zip files in some scenarios. The post has some beautiful graphs and easy to understand metrics that highlight when you should and shouldn’t use a container. It’s a thought-provoking article that makes me feel like it’s time to stop my distaste for containers.
As much as we’d all like to have completely stateless apps, it often isn’t the case. In many instances, we also have stateful resources that are expensive to run and operate. This makes it a difficult decision to spin up a bunch of ephemeral environments for your devs. However, Yan Cui reminded us last week that he might have the answer to that problem, making ephemeral environments a viable solution for many of us.
When you use ephemeral environments (and you should!), one of the challenges is in dealing with serverful resources like RDS and OpenSearch, where you have to pay for uptime.— Yan Cui (@theburningmonk) January 5, 2024
Here's how you can deal with this mismatch.https://t.co/DJyrFpqrXz
I hope your 2024 has started off with a bang! I don’t know about you, but my motivation is high to build some great things and help all of you any way that I can. If you have any ideas for collaboration, let me know! I’d love to build something with you.