At the beginning of June, we have participated in an AWS Summit event in Berlin. A two-day, free event that started at 6th is an excellent opportunity to network, hear about novelties in AWS world. Personally, we seek such occasions, because In the past year AWS itself provided more than 450 updates and announcements regarding their services. Participating in such intensive event is a great way to catch up.
For us, this event has additional meaning. We have decided internally that we would like to support our AWS expertise with membership in Amazon Partner Network. I treated this event as an opportunity to learn more about APN and talk with current members about their feelings, possible benefits and nowadays, evident for them, pitfalls when it comes to becoming and being a partner.
Other than that, we tweet a lot with the #AWSSummit hashtag:
Keynote progressing, thankfully in English now. 😉 #AWS narrative evolves year after year - it becomes more pragmatic, this year #BuildOn is focusing on builders and building. Will we hear "Builders, builders, builders!" today? 😂 #AWSSummit #Cloud #AWSSummitBerlin pic.twitter.com/YcGBvCrENY— Pattern Match (@patternmatchPL) June 6, 2018
Organizations and Statistics
I must admit that for a conference with more than 4500 attendees organization was excellent. In such massive venue , with nice expo hall, everything was clearly marked. WiFi and the mobile application worked flawlessly, which is not a typical thing for such big conferences.
All conference talks were spread across nine tracks, including APN Summit focused on partnership program. The first day of the conference was focused on technology and technical side, during the second day you felt the more business-oriented vibe.
A thing worth mentioning is this year theme for all summits, which is focused on builders and delivering, over infrastructure and managing the cloud. Go Build!
There were no special announcements at the conference itself, but everyone was excited about Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service general availability mentioned the day before.
Also, many people were interested in a new type of instances for C5 and M5 family that has optimized storage based on NVMe. Such instance types were announced in the middle of May.
Adding to that, I have tried to ask around (even at the “Ask the Architect” booths) about the thing that we read a while ago and in which we are personally interested - AWS CloudFormation Drift Detection, but unfortunately, nobody knew if it would be available soon.
The best talks
I would not be myself if I did not choose the best talk I have participated. And I have a problem here because there are two great ones, thankfully I can accept both - as they were performed on two different days.
The best talk of the first day, in my opinion, is the one performed by Ian Massingham with the title “How To: Build your Data Lake on AWS.” The topic is extremely hot, assuming how many people from the outside covered that topic. Ian managed to deliver it most practically, even that it should be harder for him, as he did not represent any particular case study.
At the second day choosing the best one was even more straightforward for me. Talk delivered by Steve Seymour about Direct Connect (with title “AWS Direct Connect Deep Dive”) was excellent. Full of technical details, perfect coverage of the technology itself, but also best practices. It also provided actionable feedback for people that are working with this particular service.
Amazon Partner Network Summit
As I stated in the introduction, during the second day I have participated mostly talks at the Amazon Partner Network Summit track. Our goal was to gain as much knowledge about the road to APN, discover possible benefits of being a partner and network with existing partners and AWS Marketplace members.
We definitely fulfilled that goal, especially the last one regarding the gaining insights from existing partners. We will intensify our efforts to climb the partnership ladder and finish the necessary certification by the end of 2018. It is definitely worth doing, but it requires grit and energy and to see first results.
Fun and SWAG
I would like to mention two more things. First one is related with the certification lounge - if you are a certified AWS expert you could get free SWAG, including stickers! As we all know, you cannot have too many of them, so I gladly picked up those.
Additionally, I really enjoyed networking and the discussion panel with AWS User Groups organizers. Meeting such passionate people responsible for the success of their user groups is definitely an inspiring thing. It reignited interest into resurrecting and being an even more active member of the local communities here in Poland (stay tuned for more details).
And one more thing. There was a funny element near “Ask the Architect” booths - Alexa team put there a huge Echo statue:
Was everything perfect?
I would like to say that everything was, but there is a significant glitch for me. Part of the keynotes on both days were in German, with live translation on the screen. The same was with some of the talks on APN Summit, this time even without translation. I do not understand precisely why it happened on a conference with more than a local vibe.
I cannot say anything wrong about the organization of such massive event. And the same goes regarding talk quality. There were very little low-quality talks with a lot of marketing or branding (even though, it happened twice on my personal track).
For us, AWS Summit in Berlin was definitely worth participating. We could network and meet current members of APN and learn more about the road to the partnership. And as I stated above, it always good to catch up - especially in such a dynamic environment like cloud computing and particularly AWS.
After inspiration and gaining so many insights, it is time to build. Let’s go build something!
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