Weekly update 18

You can become a serverless blackbelt. Enrol to my 4-week online workshop Production-Ready Serverless and gain hands-on experience building something from scratch using serverless technologies. At the end of the workshop, you should have a broader view of the challenges you will face as your serverless architecture matures and expands. You should also have a firm grasp on when serverless is a good fit for your system as well as common pitfalls you need to avoid. Sign up now and get 15% discount with the code yanprs15!

Hi, welcome to another weekly update.

Welcome Thundra as our sponsor for Feburary!

It is my pleasure to welcome Thundra as sponsor for this month. Here’s a message from Thundra to explain what they’re building and their vision for Serverless observability.

A serverless application eliminates operational burdens and you only pay for what you use as your code is executed. However, when something goes wrong, it can be tough and time consuming to identify and debug where the issues lie.  Even worse, what if you aren’t sure where to start your investigation? How do you see inside an environment you do not set up and have no control over?

Built for effortless implementation and full observability, Thundra provides deep insight into your entire serverless environment no matter if you are just starting to write code or maintaining large scale serverless applications. Thundra collects and correlates all your metrics, logs, and traces, allowing you to quickly identify problematic invocations and also analyzes external services associated with that function. With Thundra’s zero overhead and automated instrumentation capabilities, your developers are free to write code without worrying about bulking up their Lambdas or wasting time on chasing black box problems.

Learn more at www.thundra.io and follow us on Twitter at @thundra.io.

New posts

Lambda optimization tip – enable HTTP keep-alive. This is one of the simplest tweaks you can make, and yields significant return on performance. The default HTTP agent in Node.js disables HTTP keep-alive, so every request to AWS services would need to perform a three-way handshake for TCP. By enabling HTTP keep-alive for the AWS SDK, you can reduce the latency of a DynamoDB operation (or any other AWS service for that matter) from over 30ms to under 10ms.

Debugging serverless applications with Dashbird. I wrote a guest post for Dashbird to demonstrate how you can use it to help debug problems in a serverless application using a simple demo app (see below). I gave a general introduction to Dashbird and highlighted the various features it has. In general I think it’s a good service, has some definite value-add compared to the raw metrics in CloudWatch, and has some neat touches that makes debugging much simpler.


I gave the opening keynote at the recent ServerlessDays Cardiff, where I talked about why Serverless is more FinDev than DevOps. The slides is available on slideshare and the recording will be posted in the near future.

I will be in Hamburg next week and deliver the opening keynote for ServerlessDays Hamburg. My talk will be focused on debunking serverless myths, and we will talk about control vs cost of taking on additional responsibilities, and the risk of vendor lock-in vs potential returns. Hope to see you in Hamburg!

Open source contributions

serverless-step-functions plugin supports CloudWatch Alarms. You can now specify CloudWatch Alarms for your state machines using the serverless-step-functions plugin for the Serverless framework.

The syntax for declaring CloudWatch Alarms is straight forward, and supports the four CloudWatch metrics that Step Functions publishes for your state machines.

The auto-generated alarms are twitchy and would have the following configurations:

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Hi, I’m Yan. I’m an AWS Serverless Hero and I help companies go faster for less by adopting serverless technologies successfully.

Are you struggling with serverless or need guidance on best practices? Do you want someone to review your architecture and help you avoid costly mistakes down the line? Whatever the case, I’m here to help.

Hire me.

Skill up your serverless game with this hands-on workshop.

My 4-week Production-Ready Serverless online workshop is back!

This course takes you through building a production-ready serverless web application from testing, deployment, security, all the way through to observability. The motivation for this course is to give you hands-on experience building something with serverless technologies while giving you a broader view of the challenges you will face as the architecture matures and expands.

We will start at the basics and give you a firm introduction to Lambda and all the relevant concepts and service features (including the latest announcements in 2020). And then gradually ramping up and cover a wide array of topics such as API security, testing strategies, CI/CD, secret management, and operational best practices for monitoring and troubleshooting.

If you enrol now you can also get 15% OFF with the promo code “yanprs15”.

Enrol now and SAVE 15%.

Check out my new podcast Real-World Serverless where I talk with engineers who are building amazing things with serverless technologies and discuss the real-world use cases and challenges they face. If you’re interested in what people are actually doing with serverless and what it’s really like to be working with serverless day-to-day, then this is the podcast for you.

Check out my new course, Learn you some Lambda best practice for great good! In this course, you will learn best practices for working with AWS Lambda in terms of performance, cost, security, scalability, resilience and observability. We will also cover latest features from re:Invent 2019 such as Provisioned Concurrency and Lambda Destinations. Enrol now and start learning!

Check out my video course, Complete Guide to AWS Step Functions. In this course, we’ll cover everything you need to know to use AWS Step Functions service effectively. There is something for everyone from beginners to more advanced users looking for design patterns and best practices. Enrol now and start learning!