5 Tips for Getting Started with Terraform

Are you ready to dive into infrastructure as code? Terraform is a great place to start. Terraform simplifies the process of setting up infrastructure in the cloud, making it easier to maintain, scale and deploy.

If you are new to Terraform, getting started can feel overwhelming, but don't worry, we've got you covered. In this article, we will share five tips to help you get started with Terraform.

1. Learn the Basics

Before diving deep into Terraform, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the basics. Terraform uses a declarative language called HCL (HashiCorp Configuration Language) to describe infrastructure as code.

Start with Terraform's official getting started guide, which provides a high-level overview of Terraform's architecture.

After that, you can proceed to Terraform Up & Running. It's a comprehensive guide for teams looking to learn and apply Terraform to build, manage, and scale infrastructure on any cloud.

To really learn the basics, you should get hands-on with Terraform itself. Terraform has excellent docs and tutorials that allow you to experiment with creating infrastructure using Terraform.

2. Use best practices from the start

When it comes to Terraform, there are several best practices to follow from the start. Using these practices will simplify your experience and help you avoid common mistakes.

3. Start Simple

With Terraform, you can define infrastructure in different ways such as AWS, GCP, and Azure. As a beginner, we recommend that you start with one platform at a time. This way, you can focus on learning the specific resource types needed for infrastructure.

For example, if you’re working with AWS, the official Terraform documentation can guide you for a single infrastructure component. You can also start with a sample code to get started, such as Terraform's Sample Code.

Also, create a single resource before expanding your codebase. This allows you to practice the basics and avoid unnecessary complexity that hinders progress.

As you gain experience, you can add more resources to your project, and perhaps start using modules to simplify your code-reuse.

4. Use Community Resources

Terraform has a vast community with passionate individuals who are looking to help, teach, and support beginners in the field.

Browse resources such as forums, online tutorials, community-authored modules, and social media, which are essential for Terraform newcomers or hobbyists.

Here are some community resources to kickstart your journey with Terraform:

5. Think Ahead About Manageability & Security

One of the pitfalls of using infrastructure-as-code is the tendency to quickly get lost in a myriad of unmanageable infrastructure. Clarify how you want to organize your codebase and resources upfront. It will significantly improve the platforms' modifications, manageability, and security.

Terraform manages infrastructure's extensive cloud resources' deployment, which can pose a security risk if not implemented correctly. Plan your resourcing so that access is only granted to people who need it, instead of giving open cloud access to everyone.

When it comes to scalability, it's essential to think about costs. Terraform makes it challenging to keep track of costs for infrastructure as a code, leading to cost inefficiencies. To avoid this, ensure you test what won't modify existing resources and assess how the cost implications will impact how you will deploy infrastructure.


By now, you should have an idea of what Terraform is and how to get started with this excellent Infrastructure as Code tool. Don't be afraid to dive into Terraform, start experimenting and learning as you go.

Remember that these tips will only make Terraform development faster and more intuitive. To become great at Terraform, you'll more significantly contribute by doing pull requests or becoming a module owner.

So, what are your thoughts on Terraform, and what tools do you use alongside it? Let's chat in the comments below.

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