It’s that time of year again, the annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the AWS re:Invent conference. This will be my seventh re:Invent! This conference has its share of problems…huge crowds, terrible session reservation process, incredibly spread out campus. So why do I keep going back to this conference year after year? The Learning, the People, and the Fun.
Andy Jassy used to say this every year at the top of his keynote: re:Invent is truly a learning conference. I really believe this. re:Invent is a place where you can try out and learn how to use services you’ve never used before, or dive very deep on various AWS services that you are already using. Hands on activities like Workshops and Builder’s Sessions are my favorites, and give you an opportunity to get up close with Solutions Architects and Product Managers who are focused on the services.
Speaking of learning, you can come see me speak on the re:Invent stage alongside Yuriy Prykhodko (Principal TAM at AWS) and J.R. Storment (Executive Director, FinOps Foundation) at our session ARC319: Optimize cost and performance and track progress toward mitigation. We’ll be talking about how you can leverage the Cloud Intelligence Dashboards to build your FinOps toolset and empower engineers to make better architectural decisions.
The more re:Invents I attend, the more important the people aspect becomes. It’s a great opportunity to see folks who I’ve met over the years at the conference or in other online communities like AWS Community Builders, or connect with product folks at AWS whom I’ve only interacted with online. It’s clichéd but true…the hallway track is sometimes more important than the sessions.
Folks who work with AWS are passionate, eager to learn, and eager to share what they have been working on. Striking up conversations with random people while at lunch, over an evening drink, or just standing in line for a session is so worthwhile. Despite the crowds and the lines, overall I find the whole atmosphere to be very energizing
Besides learning, there are lots of opportunities to have fun at this conference. First, I always make it a point to sign up for at least one session each year on a topic that has nothing at all to do with my day job. Last year, it was building dancing robots. A few years before that, making music with Generative AI tools. It’s just fun to try something completely different and stretch your mind a bit.
Cloud Economist Corey Quinn runs a really fun “nature walk” where he leads a snark filled tour through the vendor expo floor and makes fun of just about everything he sees. Check out the details at re:Quinnvent.
Then there are the evening activities. Social events abound just about every night, mostly gatherings sponsored by the many vendors who also flock to re:invent. Someone who I finally got to meet at re:invent last year runs Conference Parties which tracks all the free events you can sign up for during the week. The week culminates with the incredibly over the top rePlay party….a combination of music festival and nerd playground where you can see some great performers, play a variety of games and socialize with your fellow cloudonauts.
Hope to meet you there!
Will you be attending re:Invent? I’d love to meet you and hand you one of my shiny new Cloudy Advice stickers. Come to the annual Sticker Swap happening at 5:30 PM on Monday at the AWS Village on the Expo floor, or send me a note!