Best Practices and Tips for Writing CDK code

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Writing Infrastructure as Code (IaC) using the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) offers a powerful way to provision and manage cloud resources. Adopting best practices and following certain guidelines can make your CDK code more robust, maintainable, and efficient. Here are some best practices and tips for writing CDK code:

1. Use High-Level Constructs

CDK provides high-level constructs for common AWS resources, such as aws_s3.Bucket or aws_lambda.Function. Leveraging these constructs simplifies your code, reduces boilerplate, and makes it easier to manage and understand. High-level constructs encapsulate best practices and handle many configuration details for you.

const bucket = new s3.Bucket(this, 'MyBucket');

2. Modularize Your Code

Break your CDK code into smaller, reusable modules or constructs. This modular approach promotes code reuse, simplifies testing, and improves maintainability. It's beneficial to organize your codebase with a clear directory structure and naming conventions.

// lib/my-stack.ts
export class MyStack extends cdk.Stack {
  constructor(scope: cdk.Construct, id: string, props?: cdk.StackProps) {
    super(scope, id, props);

    new MyBucketConstruct(this, 'MyBucketConstruct');

3. Parameterize Your Constructs

Make your constructs configurable by using parameters. This allows you to create flexible and reusable components that can be customized for different environments or use-cases. Parameterizing your constructs also enhances code readability by making the dependencies explicit.

interface MyBucketProps {
  bucketName: string;

class MyBucketConstruct extends cdk.Construct {
  constructor(scope: cdk.Construct, id: string, props: MyBucketProps) {
    super(scope, id);

    new s3.Bucket(this, 'MyBucket', {
      bucketName: props.bucketName,

4. Use AWS SDK for Custom Logic

For complex or custom logic that cannot be expressed using CDK constructs, leverage the AWS SDK within your CDK code. This allows you to integrate with other AWS services, handle dynamic configurations, or implement business logic directly.

const lambdaFunction = new lambda.Function(this, 'MyLambdaFunction', {
  runtime: lambda.Runtime.NODEJS_14_X,
  handler: 'index.handler',
  code: lambda.Code.fromAsset('lambda'),

// Use AWS SDK for custom logic
const lambdaClient = new AWS.Lambda();
  FunctionName: lambdaFunction.functionName,
  MemorySize: 512,

5. Handle Dependencies Properly

Ensure that your resources' dependencies are correctly defined to maintain the correct order of resource creation and deletion. Use addDependsOn or construct hierarchy to establish dependencies between resources.

const bucket = new s3.Bucket(this, 'MyBucket');
const lambdaFunction = new lambda.Function(this, 'MyLambdaFunction', {
  runtime: lambda.Runtime.NODEJS_14_X,
  handler: 'index.handler',
  code: lambda.Code.fromAsset('lambda'),

// Set dependency

6. Implement Error Handling

Implement robust error handling and logging within your CDK code. This helps to identify issues quickly during deployment or runtime and provides valuable insights for troubleshooting.

try {
  // CDK code
} catch (error) {
  console.error(`Error deploying stack: ${error}`);

7. Use Environment-specific Configuration

Manage environment-specific configurations, such as stage or region, using CDK context or environment variables. This enables you to deploy your infrastructure to different environments with minimal changes to the codebase.

const stage = this.node.tryGetContext('stage') || 'dev';
const region = this.node.tryGetContext('region') || 'us-east-1';

new s3.Bucket(this, 'MyBucket', {
  bucketName: `my-bucket-${stage}`,
  removalPolicy: cdk.RemovalPolicy.DESTROY,

8. Test Your CDK Code

Implement unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests for your CDK code. Use tools like Jest, Mocha, or AWS CDK's cdk.test for testing. Testing helps to ensure the correctness of your infrastructure code and facilitates continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) processes.

import { expect as expectCDK, haveResource } from '@aws-cdk/assert';
import { App } from '@aws-cdk/core';
import { MyStack } from '../lib/my-stack';

test('MyStack has a S3 bucket', () => {
  const app = new App();
  const stack = new MyStack(app, 'TestStack');


9. Version Control and Code Reviews

Maintain your CDK code in a version control system like Git and follow best practices for code reviews. Regular code reviews help to identify potential issues, ensure adherence to best practices, and promote knowledge sharing within the team.

10. Documentation and Comments

Document your CDK code effectively with comments, README files, and inline documentation. This helps other team members understand the purpose, functionality, and usage of your code. Clear documentation also facilitates onboarding new team members and maintaining the codebase over time.

In summary, adopting these best practices and tips can significantly improve the quality, maintainability, and efficiency of your CDK code. By leveraging high-level constructs, modularizing your code, parameterizing constructs, handling dependencies properly, implementing error handling, managing environment-specific configurations, testing your code, maintaining version control, and documenting your codebase, you can build robust and scalable infrastructure as code using the AWS Cloud Development Kit.

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