AWS Compute Blog

The Twelve Days of Lambda

Tim Wagner Tim Wagner, AWS Lambda General Manager

The Twelve Days Hours* of Lambda

*It’s serverless, so it’s faster ;-)

Stuffed with turkey or too many cookies? Not quite ready to face the relatives again? Here are some ideas to use your end of year or holiday downtime to explore serverless cloud computing with AWS Lambda instead. Each one comes with a blueprint to help you get started quickly. Enjoy!

  1. First step. Use the “hello, world” blueprint to create and test your first AWS Lambda function in the console…no IDE required. Changing the text to “a partridge in a pear tree” is optional but festive.
  2. Hook up a couple of event sources. Use the S3 blueprint to configure an Amazon S3 bucket to send events to a Lambda function. If you’re jolly and like to make lists, test it out with your personal “Naughty” and “Nice” categories. Then hook up SNS to stay informed of weather conditions and reindeer uptime.
  3. Automated log analysis. Was it three French hens or four? Figure it out by automatically analyzing CloudWatch logs with a Lambda function.
  4. Build a canary. Scheduled Lambda functions make it easy to do a task on a recurring schedule, and built-in integration with Amazon CloudWatch gives you an instant site checker just by typing in its URL.
  5. NoSQL database triggers. Data is golden, so hook up a Lambda function to Amazon DynamoDB to audit, transform, copy, or otherwise react to changes as they occur.
  6. Serverless test harness. Not sure whether your code is laying an egg? Find out with an automated test harness.
  7. Streaming data processing. Hook up Amazon Kinesis to a Lambda function and build a streaming data processor that can deliver business insights from data in real time.
  8. Access algorithms. Lambda functions make it easy to integrate with other services, so you can get insights from your shopping data through Splunk, handle party communication needs with Twilio’s advanced messaging capabilities, or figure out whether images are family-friendly with an advanced image processing algorithm from Algorithmia’s code library.
  9. Build an image processing service. Love Degas but wish you had thumbnail images of his dancers? Take a few minutes and build a scalable image processing service to help you out.
  10. Run processes or use native code. Make Lambda leap to do your bidding by firing up background processes, running other languages, or loading 3rd party code (even native code) as part of your Lambda function.
  11. Build a voice-enabled app. Don’t carol so much that your pipes are worn out so you can’t test your first Alexa app and use your Amazon Echo to trigger a Lambda function. Name your test app “presents” so you can run it by saying, “Alexa, open presents!”
  12. Mobile and IoT-enabled apps. Secretly hoping for an Arduino or Raspberry Pi but worried you’re getting socks? Take matters into your own hands and order your toys early, so you can hook them up to a Lambda function while the kids are playing with their own toys. Create a backend for a mobile or IoT app that’s backed by Amazon DynamnoDB with a single click. Drum away on your keyboard and have fun!

However you spend the end of 2015, the AWS Lambda team and I wish you and yours peace and happiness. The future of cloud computing has never been more exciting, and we look forward to another year of innovation and collaborating with all of you in 2016. Until next time, happy Lambda coding!

Follow Tim’s Lambda adventures on Twitter