5 Cloud Dev Tools
February 17, 2023
Overview

Cloud development tools have become essential for any cloud engineer. These tools can help automate and streamline various processes, making development faster and more efficient. In this article, we will discuss the five cloud development tools that are indispensable for any cloud engineer. These tools are designed to enhance productivity, improve collaboration, and ensure smooth operations in the cloud environment.

Leapp

Leapp is a tool designed to help cloud engineers manage their cloud credentials locally. I use it every day! It has the ability to add the multi-container extension feature with Firefox and it makes it super easy to access multiple accounts simultaneously. Since I work as a consultant, I have to access many different AWS Organizations. Leapp allows me to add multiple integrations and authenticate via AWS SSO, select the account, and then it will automatically set my credentials locally. I can switch back and forth seamlessly and even use named profiles if I prefer. Another awesome feature is when there are EC2 instances that have SSM enabled, it will show in the Leapp console and you can use SSM session manager to connect to it locally. Overall, Leapp is an essential tool for any cloud engineer looking to streamline their access to AWS.

AWS CDK or SST

The AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) and SST are two popular infrastructure-as-code (IaC) tools that provide developers with a high-level object-oriented programming interface to define cloud resources. AWS CDK is a software development framework for defining cloud infrastructure in code and provisioning it through AWS CloudFormation. SST is a newer tool that is designed specifically for serverless applications and simplifies the process of creating and deploying serverless applications on AWS. Both of these tools provide an efficient way to manage cloud infrastructure and are widely used by cloud engineers.

I’ve been a fan of the CDK for a while now but I am really enjoying SST as a high level of abstraction. More specifically, I have been working on and learning more about full stack web development and came across the create-t3-app project. It’s an open source batteries included starter project which includes tools like NextJS, tRPC, Tailwind, Prisma, and NextAuth all out-of-the-box and configured. When I started to mix this with the ease and deployment of SST, it was a dream developer experience. I call it the SST3 stack and it’s amazing!

For example, this website is deployed with SST using the following code:

typescript
import { StackContext, NextjsSite } from "sst/constructs";
export function Portfolio({ stack }: StackContext) {
const site = new NextjsSite(stack, "Site", {
path: "web/",
customDomain: "blakegreen.dev",
});
stack.addOutputs({
URL: site.url || "localhost",
});
}
Github Copilot

Github Copilot is an AI-powered code completion tool that uses machine learning to suggest code snippets and complete entire functions based on the context of the code. It is designed to help developers write code more quickly and efficiently by providing suggestions and completing repetitive tasks. Github Copilot is a powerful tool that can save developers a lot of time and effort, allowing them to focus on higher-level tasks and more complex coding challenges.

I find a lot of inspiration from Github Copilot and it limits my distractions. I don’t need to leave my IDE as much to look at documentation or search the internet for answers. It’s like having an AI powered pair programmer that is helping me write more efficient code that I would have otherwise come back to refactor eventually.

Vantage

Vantage is a cloud cost allocation tool that helps cloud engineers track and manage their cloud spending. It provides real-time cost visibility and analysis, allowing engineers to identify cost inefficiencies and optimize usage. Vantage also offers automation capabilities, enabling engineers to automate cost allocation and reporting tasks. Overall, Vantage is an essential tool for any cloud engineer looking to manage and optimize their cloud costs.

Steampipe

Steampipe is an open-source command-line interface (CLI) tool that allows cloud engineers to query and analyze data from various cloud services and data sources using SQL. It provides a unified interface to access data from different sources, making it easier to analyze and manage data in a cloud environment. Steampipe also offers a plugin system that allows developers to extend its capabilities and add support for new cloud services and data sources. Overall, Steampipe is a powerful tool that can help cloud engineers streamline their data analytics workflows and improve productivity.

I particularly like the Mods for AWS because it makes it so simple to create dashboards and reports for the AWS resources such as AWS Insights Mod. Where Vantage helps with cloud costs, I use Steampipe for inventory management.

For example, let’s say you want to query the number of lambda functions with each runtime. It would look something like this:

sql
select
runtime,
count(*)
from
aws_lambda_function
group by
runtime;

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