How to use AWS SAM with Go in Visual Studio Code


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Setup Visual Studio Code as your IDE to build and deploy an AWS SAM stack using Go.

I recently started to experiment with Go and the best way to learn is to play with it and build something. So I decided to build a simple application. During this process I ran into the problem that my IDE did not like having many go modules within one project.

Project layout

With AWS SAM you can build and deploy your stack or via a CI/CD pipeline, the process is the same. First you perform a sam build. This will compile the source code for each AWS::Serverless::Function in the template.yaml. Followed by sam deploy. This will upload the artifacts and deploy the template using AWS CloudFormation.

The problem that I faced was that each function needs a go.mod in the source folder. Visual Studio Code expects a single go.mod file in the project.

Project Structure

As a result imports in the unit test do not get recognized:

Sample code of the unit test without workspace
  • The RequestEvent struct.
  • The handler method.
  • The ResponseEvent struct.

The reason for this is that the IDE has set the GOPATH to the root of the project. Therefor the imports are not correct. By using Workspace Folders you can change this behavior so that each folder has it’s own scope.

From Go 1.16+ the default build mode has switched from GOPATH to Go modules.

To do this you need to create a workspace.code-workspace file. Place it in the root of your project with the following content:

    "folders": [
            "path": "functions/api"
            "path": "functions/confirm"
            "path": "functions/ship"
            "path": "functions/stock"
            "path": "."

Now because each Go module lives within it’s own scope the imports are correct. As a result you are able to navigate through the code using the ⌘ click action.


When you deal with many Go modules within one project it is important to configure your IDE. This will improve readability, reduces errors and increases your development speed!

Joris has been working with the AWS cloud since 2009 and focussing on building event driven architectures. While working with the cloud from (almost) the start he has seen most of the services being launched. Joris strongly believes in automation and infrastructure as code and is open to learn new things and experiment with them, because that is the way to learn and grow. In his spare time he enjoys running and runs a small micro brewery from his home.
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