What if I’ve been thinking about my career all wrong up until this point? How can that even be possible? I consider myself to be making the turn. Heading into the back nine of this adventure. Does that mean that I’ve wasted the first 9 holes of my technology career? These are heavy questions to explore but ones that I needed to address as I grabbed that metaphorical snack and made my way to the 10th tee. I realized this one important thing. My career isn’t defined by how high up the technology ladder I climb, but by the story I tell through the canvas I’m painting. I believe that this notion of climbing the technology ladder isn’t the only way to measure success.
I’ve been hitting the gas pretty hard on Rust lately and doubling down on my desire to see more Rust in Serverless. I feel strongly though that balance is important in anything in life. For every period of intense push, there needs to be time to pause and reflect. So for this article, I want to take a step back and hit some brake on my Rust content by looking at what’s really important when building Serverless applications.
Propagating changes in an event-driven system can be accomplished in many different ways with many different tools. Do I work with transaction logs, put events on an event bus or do something else? Fortunately, when storing data in AWS’ DynamoDB I can take advantage of the DynamoDB streams feature. DynamoDB Streams gives me an iterator that I can read from to publish or process item-level changes outside of the transaction of persisting the data from the originating client. I’ve written about streams before, here, here and here but in this article I want to look at DynamoDB Streams and Rust.
One of the things that can be difficult when starting with a new technology, framework or tool is where to get started. That “get started” can mean a great many things to many people. Over the past 6 months or so, I’ve been learning and deploying Rust into production in AWS. I’ve gone back and forth on my workflow and wanted to put together a Serverless Rust Developer Experience article. As you begin with Rust and Serverless, this should give you some good places to get started.
Open Telemetry and Lambda are topics that I’ve spent a lot of brain cycles on over the past few weeks. Most of my work with these topics has been with Rust but I want to take a look at where my opinions are at the moment and hope to provide some insights that you can use to build your next Lambda with solid telemetry. For disclosure, I have some opinionated biases that will surface and I also still have some gaps in my exploration that I’ll highlight. Let’s get going with Open Telemetry and Lambda.
Welcome to the Cognito Starter Kit with a large helping of Rust seasoned with some CDK. I’m a big believer in Cognito and the power it gives builders to customize the various signup and authentication workflows. With Cognito, you get a managed service that has flexible usage-based pricing, numerous hooks and configurations and the ability to use OAuth and OIDC in your workflows. Let’s dig in on the Cognito starter kit.
I made a statement on LinkedIn that if you have enough traffic hitting your Lambdas you might want to consider a different programming language. And if you’ve been reading my content lately, you won’t be surprised that I suggested Rust as that alternative. Some great conversation and questions ensued with one of them suggesting that it would be less elbow grease to stand up Kubernetes with some pods than to improve performance on Lambda. The number thrown out was 250ms at the p75 mark. Fortunately, I had just the workload to test this out. Yes, I already know the answer and you should too at this point. But let’s dig in to Rust and Lambda Performance.
Following up on my popular Rust and Lambda article, I wanted to explore how to put an event on an AWS EventBridge Bus. If you aren’t familiar with AWS’ EventBridge, think of it as a highly scalable Event Router with built-in scheduling and data transformation. Let’s take a deeper look at putting events on EventBridge with Lambda and Rust.
Rust and Lambda are new friends. Sure, there’s a great deal of momentum lately around Rust but the language has been around for almost 20 years. It struggled to take off early on but has seen its adoption increase since the creation of the Rust Foundation in 2021
AWS among many others has adopted the language for mission-critical workloads that require blazing fast performance, type-safety and solid developer experience. AWS believes so much in the language that it has built components in some of its stalwart services like S3, Cloudfront, EC2 and Lambda including the microVM technology Firecracker.
I’ve been working with Rust for the better part of 6 months which gives me just enough experience to highlight the things I like and have struggled with when building Lambdas. I believe that if you can get over the hurdle of learning Rust, you’ll gain some amazing benefits that outweigh the challenges of “getting started”. Building Lambdas with Rust.
Agile and Serverless go together like peanut butter and jelly. Ham and eggs. Coffee and creamer. Tea and milk. Name your favorite combination that resonates best in your head. But the truth is this, Agile and Serverless are a great pair when it comes to delivering value quickly to your customers and sets a foundation for adapting to change. And isn’t that the point?