AWS Lambda is the popular server-less computing service which is widely adopted across various industries. It allows developers to build and deploy applications without managing servers. However, debugging AWS lambda functions is challenging with the unique architecture of serverless functions. Let’s explore the advanced debugging techniques for AWS Lambda to resolve issues effectively

AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a cloud computing service that runs code in a serverless environment. It allows you to write the code and logic of the applications. AWS Lambda eliminates the need to manage the servers. Lambda functions can be triggered by various AWS services, such as S3, DynamoDB, and API Gateway.

Advanced Techniques of Debugging Lambda functions

The various advanced techniques and tools that help you to effectively debug and troubleshoot Lambda functions are:

  • Logging and Monitoring with Amazon CloudWatch
  • AWS X-Ray
  • AWS Cloud9
  • Local testing with AWS SAM CLI
  • Environment Variables and Configuration
  • Error handling and Retries

Logging and Monitoring with Amazon CloudWatch

As logging and monitoring are crucial, CloudWatch logs and metrics will be helpful. AWS CloudWatch Logs is the primary tool for capturing log output from Lambda functions.

  • Use console.log (Node.js), print (Python), or any logging statements in the code.
  • Implement structured logging using JSON for log messages in CloudWatch.
  • Use different log levels (DEBUG, INFO, WARN, ERROR) to categorize the importance of log messages.
  • Log error details contain stack traces that help to pinpoint the source of issues.

CloudWatch Metrics provides insights into the performance of your Lambda functions. The key metrics to monitor include:

  • Invocation Count: Number of times the function is invoked.
  • Error Count: Number of function errors.
  • Duration: Execution time of the function.
  • Throttles: Number of requests throttled due to concurrency limits.


AWS X-Ray is a powerful tool for tracing and debugging distributed applications. It helps you visualize the flow of requests through your application and identify performance bottlenecks and errors. To enable X-Ray for the Lambda function, use X-Ray tracing for the function. Use the X-Ray SDK to add annotations and metadata to your traces.

AWS Cloud9

AWS Cloud9 is an integrated development environment that includes

  • Code editor,
  • Debugger,
  • Terminal.

Write, run, and debug your Lambda functions directly in Cloud9. It provides a pre-configured environment with AWS CLI and SDKs simplifying the setup process for Lambda development and debugging

Local testing with AWS SAM CLI

The AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) CLI allows you to test Lambda functions locally. Use SAM CLI with integrated development environments (IDEs) to set breakpoints and step through your code. The key features included are:

  • Simulate Lambda function invocations locally.
  • Use debuggers in the IDE to set breakpoints and inspect variables.
  • Test the functions with different event payloads to simulate various scenarios.

Environment Variables and Configuration

To manage configuration and sensitive data, use environment variables. Ensure that the logging captures the relevant environment configuration to help with debugging. To securely manage configuration and secrets, use Parameter Store or AWS Secrets Manager. Log the usage of these parameters for debugging purposes.

Error Handling and Retries

Implement robust error handling within the Lambda functions to capture and log exceptions. Configure Dead Letter Queues for asynchronous invocations. It captures failed events for further analysis. Use Lambda’s built-in retry mechanism for asynchronous invocations. Configure appropriate back-off strategies to handle transient errors.


Debugging AWS Lambda functions requires advanced techniques and tools. These techniques diagnose and resolve issues effectively. It ensures the smooth running of server-less applications. To master AWS and AWS advanced techniques, Credo Systemz ensures Expert-led AWS Training in Chennai. These AWS Courses in Chennai are effective learning programs suitable for all professionals. Follow the above strategies to maintain high-performance and reliable Lambda functions.