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AWS Developer Essentials: The ACG Hands-on Labs playlist

ACG Technical Editors Team
ACG Technical Editors Team

This post highlights hands-on labs that will help you get real-life experience building up AWS developer skills.

Hands. They’re the best thing out there for making origami or opening a jar of pickles. But they also come in handy when it comes to learning cloud. How? With ACG’s Hands-on Labs. Our hands-on Labs are guided exercises that let you get your hands cloudy working through real-world scenarios in safe cloud environments.

In this post, we’ll cover a mix of Hands-on Labs that will help you get hands-on with some of the tools need to learn the essentials of being an AWS developer, those cloudy humans who can write, deploy, and maintain AWS-based applications. 

So buckle up, and keep your hands inside of the ride at all times. Let’s get started!

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Check out our other hands-on labs playlists

The AWS Developer Essentials playlist

To get started with the hands-on labs below, you’ll need to have an ACG account. Don’t have an account? Don’t fret! Start a free trial. And, for a limited time, you can save up to $89 on your ACG membership!

Skill Level: Practitioner  
4 Labs | 2 hours

Suggested Music Pairings

1. Creating a Lambda Function Using the AWS Console

Duration: 45 minutes


  • Author Node.js Lambda Function in AWS Console
  • Test Function Using a Test Event
  • View Lambda’s CloudWatch Logs

Description: In this hands-on lab, you’ll write a Node.js Lambda function that checks a URL and returns the status code that signifies if the website is up and running or down. You’ll explore the Lambda console, function code, execution roles, test events, and execution results. AWS Lambda allows you to write concise functions and only have to worry about your code.

Are you already an ACG member? Start this lab here.

2. Creating and Subscribing to AWS SNS Topics

Duration: 15 minutes


  • Create an SNS Topic
  • Create a Lambda Function
  • Send Your SNS Topic to Multiple Endpoints

Description: In this hands-on lab, you’ll use the AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS), creating an SNS topic and then subscribing to that topic using multiple endpoints: SMS, email, and AWS Lambda.

Signed into your ACG account? Get hands-on here.

Cloud Adventure

Watch: Become an AWS CloudFormation Power User
In this free, on-demand webinar, get a deep dive into the lesser-known features you can use to level up your CloudFormation game.

3. Creating a DynamoDB Table

Duration: 30 minutes


  • Create a DynamoDB Table
  • Add Items to Your Table
  • Add a Global Secondary Index to your Table

Description: In this hands-on lab, we’ll create a DynamoDB table as part of a scenario in which we’re working to store pet inventory data. In this exercise, the data architect on the team has requested a table definition with a partition key of `pet_species` with the data type `String`, a sort key of `pet_id` with the data type `Number`, and that the table be named `PetInventory`. Because the workload in development is not known, `On-Demand` provisioning should be utilized. We’re free to create the table with any method we choose (web console, CLI/SDK, CloudFormation).

Already an ACG member? Try this lab here.

4. Getting Started with CloudFormation

Duration: 1 hour


  • Create a CloudFormation Stack
  • Update the CloudFormation Stack
  • Add CloudFormation Stacks
  • Delete CloudFormation Stacks

Description: CloudFormation is a powerful AWS automation service that can be used to create simple or complex sets of infrastructure. In this hands-on lab, you’ll get a gentle intro to CloudFormation, using it to create and update a number of S3 buckets. This lab will get you comfortable using CloudFormation and prepare you for experimenting with your own templates.

Signed into ACG? Fire up this lab here.

Watch: Automating AWS Cost Optimization
Using AWS cost-effectively can be a challenge. In this free, on-demand webinar, you’ll get an overview of AWS cost-optimization tools and strategies, like data storage optimization.

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