CloudFormation Custom Resources: Avoiding the Two Hour Exception Timeout

There's a gotcha when writing CloudFormation Custom Resources that's easy to miss and if you miss it your stack can get stuck, ignoring its timeout setting. It'll fail on its own after an hour, but if it tries to roll back you have to wait a second hour. Here's how to avoid that. This post … Continue reading CloudFormation Custom Resources: Avoiding the Two Hour Exception Timeout

Lambda: Simple boto3 CloudWatch Logs

Good morning! If you're writing a regular script (i.e. not a lambda function), check out this article. This pattern outputs traditional delimited strings. If you want to upgrade that into output structured as JSON objects, check out this article. For those custom cases that don't fit into Terraform or CloudFormation, a little bit of Python and some … Continue reading Lambda: Simple boto3 CloudWatch Logs

The Better Alexa Quick Start

You've seen the Life Coach. That was my second Alexa project. The one I used to learn the platform. I began with Amazon's quick start tutorial (update August 2019: broken link to quick start removed, the AWS tutorials have evolved since this article was written), but I didn't like the alexa-skills-kit-color-expert-python example code. It feels like … Continue reading The Better Alexa Quick Start