AWS Lambda is a compute-centric platform that allows developers to run code in response to events from different services. Lambda supports several languages, but which language is the best for AWS Lambda and more importantly you?
Deciding on which language to use for building lambda can come down to many different things, cold start time, runtime, popularity and availability of resources but also which language you are most familiar with and confident using.
The currently available languages are:
Each language comes with AWS documentation.
If you aren’t already familiar with Lambda. Here’s an explanation from AWS
“AWS Lambda lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers. You pay only for the compute time you consume – there is no charge when your code is not running. With Lambda, you can run code for virtually any type of application or backend service – all with zero administration. Just upload your code, and Lambda takes care of everything required to run and scale your code with high availability. You can set up your code to automatically trigger from other AWS services or call it directly from any web or mobile app.”
Now back to how to decide on which language is the best for you to use.
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each language and the history.
Java has been around for decades and is, to this day, a reliable option when choosing the backbone of your stack. With AWS Lambda is no different as it makes a strong candidate for your functions with it strong well tested libraries.
Java may have a problem with cold-starts, but it definitely has an advantage when it comes to consecutive executions. you can easily predict the memory needs of your functions and to counteract those dreaded colds starts you can just up your memory allocation.
Java remains an efficient AWS lambda language, here is the answer. Java has unique characteristics like multi-thread concurrency, platform independence, security, and object-orientation.
Python applications are everywhere. From GUI-based desktops, web frameworks, operating systems, and enterprise applications. In the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of developers adopting Python.
As a language, Python has an emphasis on readability. This makes it exceptionally easy to read back, especially when performing code reviews or debugging. If something is wrong, we can easily find it, rather than wasting time looking for a needle in a digital haystack.
Python has a wide variety of modules available. The feature helps ease interaction with other languages and platforms.
The biggest benefit is speed and efficiency. Python works well on Serverless platforms because it loads very quickly and eliminates prolonged cold starts on AWS Lambdas, for instance, giving as much time as possible for the function to execute.
Scale, likewise, is always important. When you deploy more complex scripts, the cold start time naturally increases. Because Python Lambda still performs better than others, it keeps this increase to a minimum, ensuring the final service still runs as smoothly and reliably as possible. This can be further reduced by opting for more memory per function.
Go is a open source language
Go is a great fit when it comes to AWS Lambda. Go brings the advantage of type safety, as it is a statically typed language, lightweight, and performant code, and has a robust tooling system built in.
Go has a very fast compilation speed. This means that your Lambda functions will run very quickly, even on large Lambda functions.
Node.js is one of those languages efficiently supported by the Lambda function.
One of the biggest benefits of using Node.js to build serverless applications is its ability to handle a large number of concurrent requests. Thanks to its event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, Node.js is able to handle hundreds or even thousands of concurrent connections with minimal overhead.
Node.js has better spin-up times than C# or Java which make it a better option for client-facing applications that risk suffering from uneven traffic distribution.
Net.Core language popularity in programming stands out and it’s a welcomed addition to people already relying on AWS for running their .net applications.
Just like all the other languages supported on Lambda, Net.core gets module support via NuGet which makes life for developers a lot easier.
Net.Core has a more consistent performance result than Node.js or Python as a result of it’s less dynamic nature. Compared to Go, Net.Core has a faster execution time which is not something to be ignored.
If you’re an AWS customer, then Ruby is familiar to you. Ruby programming language stands out as it reduces complexities for AWS lambda users. The language has unique modules that allow the addition of new elements of class hierarchy at runtime. Strong and supportive community. It thus makes it simple to use.
Ultimately it comes down to which language or variant you are used to programming in to start your Lambda journey. Just as well it is never too late to learn a new programming language.