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AWS re:Invent 2017: The Day 0 Buzz

November 27th, 2017

2017-11-26 20.09.49

I flew yesterday from London to Las Vegas and with it being Thanksgiving Weekend, the airport was rather quieter than expected which made for a pleasantly quick immigration experience. The streams of travellers inbound to one of the most important IT conferences of the year has given Vegas some more buzz today.

I wrote a comprehensive Preview Blog Post: AWS re:Invent 2017: The Show Preview with my reasons for why I’m here, what I hope to get out of it and some crystal ball gazing about what I expect we’ll see.

I buffeted up big time for breakfast this morning as I didn’t have much conference stuff on. Marvellous glutonny. Smile

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I then registered which was painless and had a DJ playing which was nice and lively.

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Robocar Rally

2017-11-26 18.21.01This was an interesting “session”. The idea was getting behind a keyboard for a hackathon for getting your hands dirty with deep learning, IoT, AI and autonomous cars, sounds like a fun mix.

Teams joined as pit crews to train and race an autonomous little car over a two day hackathon in a final time trial which is tomorrow night. You could also bring your own car for a separate race if you wanted. As the hackathon is over two days, I wasn’t expecting to see the final tonight but it was fun to see how the hackathon was set up and what people were doing. Basically there was a Raspberry Pi connected to a car with a number of sensors. You needed to take the video from the car, train your deep learning algorithm to stay within the white lines and race! This has been a public project via http://www.donkeycar.com/. It shows how how far we’ve come in cloud when you can upload a live video feed to the cloud for analytics and then get back the results to steer a radio controlled car.

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Midnight Madness

This is an interesting one as its AWSs way to “Kick off re:Invent in true AWS style” with a pep rally! as it was billed (very American! Smile . Music kicked off with a marching which was a reference to some basketball thing. The idea was for the event to be exclusive, limited entry, DJed launch with AWS execs giving a behind the scenes look at AWS. We had a few execs up giving a history lesson of AWS and the conference itself.

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IOPipe who do serverless management did a demo of their new offering which includes servers.lol to find out of your legacy EC2 applications are a good fit to be refactored for Lambda. A rather technical demo for a crowd that was looking forward to some music so it fell a little flat unfortunately for them.

2017-11-26 23.32.30CEO Andy Jassy did a chat about some of his seminal moments in the history of AWS, Netflix coming on board once they’d worked out there wasn’t any platform competition with Amazon Video and the CIA contract were a few of his highlights.

Another interesting quote was “re:Invent is not a marketing event, it’s a customer led learning event” which was a comment from the event organiser.

Then midnight struck and the first announcement of the conference was Sumerian, a slick and easy way way to build VR, AR and 3D Experiences.

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There was Churros to eat and bubbles to drink so that at least got my thumbs up!

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Last up was retired basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal who was the DJ, although I’m not convinced he was doing much of the mixing. He chose to play middle aged white guy rock music, probably ideal for an iT conference but didn’t really seem to fit with the Shaq persona…

2017-11-27 00.11.10

FitBit said I dis 63,000 steps today…wow!

Main Conference kicks off tomorrow.

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