AWS re:Invent – Day 4

The day started off by heading the MGM Grand Garden Arena where Werner Vogels was hosting his keynote.  As with anything at re:Invent there were significant queues to get in but after approximately a 45 minute wait the doors were opened and the attendees started to stream in.

Werner spoke of wanting to theme his keynote this year based on his first keynote at re:Invent back in 2012, so the theme was around 21st Century Architectures re:Imagined.  Since the launch of AWS he said there had been 3951 new features and services which have predominantly been driven by what the Customers have been asking for as well as some that were on the AWS Roadmap.

img_9658Werner then discussed how “voice represents the next major disruption in computing” and then started talking through how the world and people are evolving along with the issues around simple things such as conference meetings never starting on time as people have to login to a laptop to obtain bridge details etc…  Following that there was an announcement for Amazon Alexa for Business that allows you to integrate Alexa with telephony from vendors such as Polycom and Cisco while also integrating with common tools used within companies such as, Success Factors for SAP and Concur.

The keynote continued through the AWS Well-Architected Framework by going through the principles, and the varying elements of the framework (Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, Operational Excellence and Cost Optimization).  One particular phrase that I thought was quite good as he continued talking through the Security Pillar and very true was “Dance like nobody is watching and Encrypt like everyone is”.

There was then a section that discussed developers and tooling for CI/CD pipelines and again came another announcement with AWS Cloud9 which is an IDE for writing, running and debugging code all within a web browser.  There was then a presentation by Nora Jones from Netflix around chaos engineering and the forces of chaos that was extremely interesting.

Werner then announced some additional features for AWS Lambda:

  • API Gateway VPC Integration
  • Concurrency Controls
  • 3GB Memory Support
  • .NET Core 2.0 Language Support
  • Go

Shortly after those came AWS Serverless Application Repository allowing you to discover, deploy and publish serverless apps.

Due to the Keynote over running by an hour I had to leave in order to attend the All-In Jam Hackathon over at the Mirage.  The hackathon involved being given a certain number of problems and scenarios that you then had to fix by utilising the AWS portfolio.  We were put into teams where initially we worked as a team for the first scenario but then we individually picked up additional scenarios and worked them through.  If we got stuck we then helped each other out in order to work through the problem that we were trying to solve since it was a competitive event with points being given to the number of issues that you fixed (of which there were 9 in total).  For anyone considering doing a hackathon I’d strongly recommend it as I got to play around with technologies that I’d not used before and only knew about conceptually such as AWS Code Pipeline, VM Import/Export and Application Discovery Service.

Of course later in the evening was the infamous AWS re:Play Party that was simply amazing.  There were a number DJ’s providing the music that night – Jen Lasher, Team Exy and DJ Snake.  The lighting system in there along with the music for the night was superb.



There was everything from a giant bouncy castle with a ball pool:


To Bubble Football.


It was a phenomenal experience and I now know that I must try and come back again next year.


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