Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #95: Build faster and better

Serverless Superhero

Our serverless superhero this week is Raphael Manke, IT consultant and AWS Community Builder. Raphael leads the AWS User Group Karlsruhe and is a very active member in the serverless community. I got the pleasure of getting to know Raphael at re:Invent this past year and am so grateful for the opportunity. If you live near Karlsruhe, you need to make an effort to attend his user group. Thank you for everything you do, Raphael!


By now we’ve all heard about the HTTP endpoint support inside of Step Functions. I’m starting to see more blog posts trickle in about how to use them in niche use cases. But what I haven’t seen is how to configure a state machine with this new state in IaC. That is until Benoît Bouré wrote about how to configure them using the CDK. Apparently there isn’t a construct for this task state yet, but Benoît shows us how to work around that in his practical example.

I was super excited at re:Invent when I heard that App Composer was added to the AWS VS Code extension so you could use it locally. I tried to get it working once but to no avail. However, Anna Spysz has made me excited to try again. She wrote a post on how to use App Composer with GenAI to build a chat app. In the post, she shows you exactly how to set up your IDE to get it all working and demonstrates exactly what to do to connect all the pieces together. It’s a very cool article that has inspired me to go try it out.

Interesting Reads

Ben Pyle is at it again, this time with his take on Rust and Lambda. He gets down to brass tacks quickly, giving objective reasons why he likes Rust when writing Lambda functions. He also talks about what he doesn’t like, which is a refreshing perspective because not all that glitters is gold. Despite the shortcomings, it feels like Rust is about to have a massive adoption spike.

I published my first article of the year focusing on interactivity of your apps. We know the world has gone async, but in most cases async is not enough. In the article, I cover the importance of being interactive with your end users to keep their attention. UX is important, let’s treat it with the emphasis it needs in 2024.

George Mao is currently writing a series called the ultimate guide to AWS Lambda development and just released part 2, build and deploy tips. This is a particularly interesting article talking about minimizing, optimizing, and removing unnecessary code from your Lambda functions to create the smallest package size possible. Great tips in here!


It’s never too late to start focusing on event-driven architectures (EDA). Serverless has developed enough to greatly expedite and simplify designs and implementation of EDA both in new and existing apps. If you’re looking for a primer on EDA, check out Robert Bulmer’s post where he beautifully explains EDA and describes why it’s important. Even if you’re an EDA expert, it’s always worth the time to get a refresher to make sure your opinions haven’t diverged too much from what they used to be.

Tip of the Week

We use the term ‘scalable’ a lot when talking about serverless. But we might not all agree on the definition. Marc Brooker shared a blog post last week where he takes a stab at defining it, and I have to say - I completely agree.

New Releases

Nothing noteworthy on AWS serverless last week. But if you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend checking out Luc van Donkersgoed’s site, AWS News.

Last Words

What are you getting into these days? Anything new? We’re entering a time of year when fun new side projects are beginning to pop up on social media. Want me to share yours? Let me know, send me a message!

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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