Serverless on AWS Lambda: A Comprehensive Comparison Of Approaches (Serverless Framework vs SAM vs Terraform vs CloudFormation)

When it comes to working with Serverless and AWS Lambda there are many different tools and approaches to choose from. You may have heard about a few already and might be wondering about the differences. To be quite frank with you—there were some aspects I wasn’t event totally sure of myself.

Working with Serverless requires overcoming a few obstacles: How to run your functions locally? How to create your infrastructure? How to deploy your applications? Today we’ll take a look at five main serverless approaches that attempt to help with these obstacles: manually configuring, using Serverless Framework, Terraform, CloudFormation, and SAM.

By the end of this article you should understand what the main approaches to Serverless are and when to consider using them. 

3 Simple Serverless Beginner Projects Ideas

Are you looking to learn Serverless but need a little help in where to start? One of the best ways to get your head around a new technology is to dive in and build some example projects. But what are some nice and simple serverless beginner projects?

Dayum Llama

In today’s article we’ll go through three different simple examples of serverless functions you can build using AWS Lambda for your first trial with serverless.

By the end of this article you should have an overview of three serverless beginner projects, the steps you’d need to create them, and some ways that you can later extend them to learn more. 

Misconceptions of Serverless: 5 Things You Thought AWS Lambda Did… But It Doesn’t.

Ah Serverless… it’s the golden child of software engineering right now, and the internet is full of Serverless and AWS Lambda success stories. But actually the golden child of software engineer is harbouring a few secrets…

Lambda Koala saying "Wait Whut"

Yep, that’s right, Serverless isn’t as good as the marketing pages lead you to believe. That’s not to say Serverless is bad technology — I absolutely love Serverless. But on a few occasions whilst working with it, I felt kinda duped.

By the end of this article you’ll understand some of the limitations of AWS Lambda and how some features like, DDOS and memory leaks really work. 

How to Use AWS KMS in AWS Lambda

So you’re new to AWS Lambda and secrets management? Maybe you’ve just joined a team that’s using KMS and you want to know more about how KMS and Lambda work, or maybe you’re looking to use KMS as your preferred choice for Lambda secrets management.

Whatever your reasoning for investigating AWS KMS with Lambda, today we’re going to cover the in’s and out’s of how the two technologies work together, and show you how you can use them.

By the end of this article you’ll understand what KMS is, how KMS works with AWS Lambda and the alternatives to using KMS for AWS Lambda functions. 

Should You Commit the Terraform .tfstate File to Git?

I’m guessing you’ve started working with Terraform and you’re staring at that weird looking state file Terraform just outputted wondering if it’s safe to commit the file to Git (or some other source control)?

Terraform State

A key to understanding Terraform is understanding how to manage your state. Today we’re going to discuss the in’s and out’s of the state file, and answer the pressing question: Should you commit the Terraform .tfstate file to Git?

By the end of this article you’ll understand what a TF state file is, why Terraform needs it, how you can manage it, and ultimately whether you should commit it to git (or not!)

The Ultimate Terraform Workflow: Setup Terraform (And Remote State) With Github Actions

Running Terraform in a CI Server can be incredibly useful when you’re trying to automate or experiment with cloud resources. One of the easiest, cheapest and most accessible setups I’ve found is using Github Actions and S3 for state.

But learning a new technology can be frustrating especially when the anxiety of: “Am I doing this right?” strikes. In this article I’ll walk you through how to get a Terraform project running in Github Actions from start to finish — with all the details you need to understand what’s happening and why.

By the end of this article you will have a running Terraform project on Github Actions using remote state. 

Master the AWS Lambda Console: A Comprehensive Walkthrough.

I remember staring at the AWS Lambda console for the first time and feeling overwhelmed. There were so many things happening: qualifiers, actions, triggers, permissions. It’s like the cockpit of a fighter jet in there. And with new features the Lambda interface has only become more complicated.

But when you understand the different parts of the AWS Lambda console and everything you can achieve with Lambda it opens up your perspective and builds your confidence. When you know what all the parts do you can then focus your attention only on the features that matter for you.

By the end of this article you will be more confident using AWS Lambda after we explore and understand the AWS Lambda console. 

AWS Queues And Lambda Processing: A Simple, Quick Walkthrough.

Have you ever wondered what a queue is or how you could implement a queue in AWS? Perhaps you’re considering using a queue for a solution that you’re working on but you’re not fully sure how the pieces fit together?

SQS & Lambda Logos

If that’s you — you’re in the right place! Today we’ll remove the mysticism of queues in AWS. But how will we remove the mysticism? By walking step-by-step for how to configure an SQS queue and use Lambda to process it.

By the end of this article you’ll understand what a queues is, why you might need one and how to setup one up SQS and Lambda.

How To Setup AWS Lambda Scheduled Events with Terraform

Lambda functions on their own are pretty useless. Lambda’s need someone — or something — to initiate them. An important (and fun) trigger for Lambda is the CloudWatch event. With CloudWatch events we can trigger Lambda’s on a recurring schedule that we define.

AWS Lambda

Scheduled Lambda’s are useful for executing tasks like backups, or running security scanning. Today we’re going to go through what you need to do in order to Terraform Lambda Scheduled Event’s. We’ll cover everything you need to know about CloudWatch Events, CloudWatch Event Targets and Lambda permissions.

By the end of this article you’ll know how to execute a Lambda on a scheduled CloudWatch event (and write it all in Terraform). 

Do Cloud Engineers Code?

DevOps. Platform Engineer. Cloud Engineer. So many terms and roles! But they all seem to mean the same thing. So when it comes to this new term Cloud Engineer. What do Cloud Engineers do all day? And do cloud engineers code?

Cloud Vendor Logos

The short answer to whether Cloud Engineers code is: yes. But, Cloud Engineers don’t write any old code, they write very specific types of code.

By the end of this article you’ll know what a Cloud Engineer is and whether they code (spoiler alert: they do).