Discover how you can start your journey into the world of architecture

Man hiking on mountain
Man hiking on mountain

“So what?”

The first time somebody asked me that question in a sprint review, I had no idea what to say. I was a junior developer at the time and the question destroyed me.

I stammered. I fidgeted. I looked over to my boss for help. I was truly at a loss for words.

I had just finished demoing my first project from start to finish. I was proud to say that I did this.

But when a stakeholder asked me, “So what?” I didn’t know what to say.

I knew how my project worked. That was it. I didn’t…

Image for post
Image for post

If you want to boost your career in tech, the path forward isn’t learning more programming languages. It’s becoming an expert communicator.

This past weekend, I saw a post on Twitter saying if you want to level up your career in tech, you have to improve on your soft skills.

“True,” I thought. But I felt inclined to add to this statement.

I sent a reply back stating “On top of that, if you master the art of the metaphor you will go far.”

Sounds kind of cryptic and vague, but I said it like that intentionally. I wanted people to engage with my statement. I wanted an opportunity to immediately prove my point.

I didn’t have to wait long before somebody…

Image for post
Image for post

Large organizations use many AWS accounts to manage their applications. Learn how to share a lambda authorizer across all accounts so you only have to build auth once.

Everybody has opinions on how AWS accounts should be used.

Some people think you should have a mono-account and store everything in your AWS ecosystem in one place.

Others believe an individual application (composed of multiple microservices) belong in a single AWS account.

And others take it to the extreme and keep a single microservice in an AWS account.

None of these approaches are inadvertently wrong (except you might run into some resource limitations with a mono-account), but they all run into the same problem:

How do you maintain consistent authorization across accounts?

If you use a custom Lambda authorizer…

Adopt the new techniques and best practices to provide an optimal experience to customers

Using a power tool on a metal frame
Using a power tool on a metal frame

APIs are digital currency.

Modern software lives and breathes through the use of APIs. It’s how things work today.

Not all APIs are created equal. Simply having an API is not going to bring you happy customers. Having a high-quality, meaningful API is what sets you up for success. But how do you increase the value of your API? What makes an API high-quality?

Honestly, it depends on the lens you’re looking through. Arguably the most important way you can look at your API is through the eyes of the customer.

Whether they are using a UI that sits on…

Image for post
Image for post

Infrastructure as Code has been a game changer in the cloud world. But did you know you can automate creation of AWS resources?

I first started my serverless journey in early 2019. I was enamored at all the things you could quickly piece together and couldn’t believe what I had been missing out on my entire software career.

Something particularly special to me was CloudFormation, specifically the Serverless Application Model (SAM). SAM lets you define serverless functions, APIs, and event source mappings quickly and easily.

When you deploy a SAM application behind the scenes it is transforming your serverless references to CloudFormation resources and pushes them into AWS.

I loved the idea that I could define the architecture via code and have it…

Image for post
Image for post

AWS is all about API development. But one thing that’s harder than it should be is putting an API behind a custom domain.

I am a big fan of side projects. I try to work on one almost every single day.

There are some side projects that get further than others, of course. Some I lose interest in quickly, some serve their purpose and I’m done with, but others I get really excited about. I want to share them with people.

Sure, I can link to my source code in GitHub, but that isn’t always enough. Sometimes I want to share the finished product.

I can share the link to the implementation in a blog post. But by default APIs in AWS have…

What do you do when you need something that OAS doesn’t handle? Create your own extension, of course!


2021 is going to be the year of the API. We’re going to focus on converging on a standard (providing public APIs) and fast-forwarding our rate of innovation.

With our focus on API design with Open API Spec (OAS), we are going to run into scenarios where some automation is needed but not currently possible. Maybe this automation is custom to you and your company or maybe it’s a service you want to provide to developers everywhere. How do we go about implementing this automation? Through the use of an extension.

An extension is a simple way to add functionality…

2020 was an enlightening year for tech. Now is our chance to capitalize on everything we learned

Someone recording video on their phone
Someone recording video on their phone

When 2020 started, I couldn’t have been more excited.

My team and I had just started greenfield development on a brand new serverless app. We were excited about the opportunity to get familiar with serverless and start improving our JavaScript skills.

We spent a good amount of time in 2019 assessing options and building proof of concepts. When we finally landed on the decision to use AWS serverless, all other options seemed… silly. We contributed to the “container vs. …

Every year, I give my brother his Christmas gifts in an untraditional way. This year’s gift is the best yet

Christmas stocking
Christmas stocking

Every year, I give my brother his Christmas gifts in an untraditional way. It started off as just a way to be funny on Christmas Day but eventually escalated to the point where I make it a whole ordeal.

Last year, I made him call and text his presents to see if they were ready to be opened. The year before that, he had to do some research on AKC dog breeds and use that to figure out what order to open his gifts in.

This year, though… this year is different.

I’m a software developer by trade and work…

Image for post
Image for post

Trying times sometimes make us take things for granted. This Thanksgiving, take a step back and be thankful for all the wonderful tech you use on a daily basis.

We are obviously in unprecedented times. Our routines are thrown off, our friendships are thrown off, our lives are thrown off.

When we’re thrown off, it can be difficult to remember the things that make us happy. The things that delight us. The things that make us….us.

With Thanksgiving and the holidays approaching, now is a great time to slow things down and reflect on what has gotten us through one of the hardest years in modern history.

So I’d like to share some of the things in tech that I appreciate now more than ever. …

Allen Helton

I work in the cloud with a strong focus on serverless and API lifecycle. Pushing the limits on API design, standardization, and automation.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store