AWS re:Invent Conference Attendee Recap
I recently had the unique experience to attend the AWS re:Invent Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was five very intense days of training, showcases, and keynotes. If you have never been to an AWS re:Invent, just imagine 50K IT Cloud-obsessed people gathering in the same place to talk all things AWS. It was a cloud IT guy’s dream come true. For a beginner like me it was eye-opening, a bit overwhelming, and exciting at the same time. There is a ton to write up when it comes to this event. Whether it was the keynotes, trainings, networking opportunities, vendor fair or fun events like a chicken wing eating contest, I could write for paragraphs. For this recap, I will limit it to the keynotes, variety of training sessions and vendor fair.
The first keynote was geared towards partners. It was well presented and intermixed with partner testimonials. The second keynote was by the CEO and was pretty impressive. The CEO himself spoke for nearly 3 hours. Despite the long timeframe, he was able to keep it interesting. He made several key announcements including more services being developed. The two key announcements were the on-premise private cloud offering where AWS will bring you a private stack of equipment but still connect it to all the same apps and functionality as if in the AWS cloud. This was called AWS Outpost and is done in conjunction with VMware. There will be two types available: VMWare on AWS and AWS Native. The second keynote was in the artificial intelligence realm. They made a cool concept car and even started a contest at the conference for the quickest time around the premade track. The car was named the AWS Deepracer and will be available in March 2019. The last keynote was by the CTO and was a deeper technical dive into a lot of the apps that are being developed as well as some of the database innovations that are occurring. Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) is truly here with AWS.
There were multiple tracks and multiple levels of presentations. The conference offered items for everyone from the beginner to the AWS cloud experts and beyond. The variety of sessions included tech presentations, leadership and sales presentations, chalk talks with technical experts and live demos. The levels started out at 101 and went up to advanced developer type sessions. Perhaps the biggest challenge of the conference was paring down the sessions and then figuring out how to juggle the schedule to fit everything in. The logistics of having to move between venues for sessions was another challenge. A pro tip here is to try and schedule your sessions at the same venue for each day whenever possible. In addition to all of the individual sessions was the ability to sit for certification exams. This offered a concentrated opportunity for those that were prepared.
Perhaps the coolest part of the event was the vendor fair. This was by far the largest group of vendors together in one area that I have ever experienced. This was a show in and of itself. Each vendor was competing for the attention of the 50K attendees. There were demos, swag, raffles and fun contests. A pro tip here is to bring a separate bag for all the swag that can be brought back. The most important part was getting to speak with some of these vendors and just find out what they do in the AWS ecosystem. Each vendor had their own take on how to use AWS to their business advantage.
The AWS re:Invent conference was quite the experience. For anyone starting in cloud or an expert that has been in cloud since the beginning, this is the conference to attend. The learning opportunities, networking opportunities, and being the first to hear ground breaking announcements was worth the price of admission. If one can only attend one conference per year, this is the one to attend.
A proven leader, Jeremy Niedzwiecki has over 20 years in the IT industry. As the Director of Customer Support at ABS, Jeremy works to ensure that the ABS Customer Support team continuously provides the highest levels of support possible ABS clients.