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AWS re:Invent 2017: The Day 1 Buzz

November 28th, 2017


AWS Re:Invent kicked off in ernest today, 43,000 cloud makers and learners spread across 5 hotels, basically taking over Las Vegas. Its difficult to appreciate the size of the conference as you could be involved in part of the conference and be very separate from another area.

See my preview posts yesterday, AWS re:Invent 2017: The Show Preview as well as re:Invent 2017: The Day 0 Buzz for what I’m concentrating on.

This morning, the 1st proper day of the conference, I started off with a hot topic for all of IT at the moment, security. As I’m currently consulting in the financial sector, this session piqued my interest.

FSV301 – Security Anti-Patterns: Mistakes to Avoid

Kurt Gray from AWS and Jonathan Baulch from Fidelity Investments

This was a really great session with lots of useful tips. I wrote it up separately here:

AWS re:Invent 2017: Security Anti-Patterns: Mistakes to Avoid – FSV301

It’s a shame I had to leave a little early as I needed to head across Vegas because size of conference.

SRV213 – Thirty Serverless Architectures in 30 Minutes

Chris Munns from AWS

Unfortunately I was in the walk up line for this one and despite my dash across Vegas, they only let in 20 people so missed out on the session, a shame, I hope its posted afterwards.

I had been interested in this session as it was about the architectural patterns you can use with Lambda to set up any infrastructure. Chris was apparently going to go though the Lambda linked services which I’m I’m expecting we’ll see more of during the keynotes.

Security is of course front and center and I’ll be keen to catch up on the tips for Lambda specific security as well as monitoring and profiling them for issues.

The Quad at Aria – Builders Fair + other fun and games


As I had some time I looked through The Quad at Aria which had some different non-show floor presentations. there were a number of small booths with builder/maker style stuff that people had put together. A 737 simulator which used deep learning to predict how pilots would land so they can be trained more effectively.

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A few video and picture recognition things that could do mood analysis by looking at people’s faces and reading their expressions.

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A piano tuner skill via Alexa that you can ask to play a specific tone to tune a musical instrument or for a singer to warm up.

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A Lego builder Rube Goldberg machine that you could add to.

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Some pretty cool desks that can be adjusted for some pretty relaxed working or gaming

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Lunch was pretty good, catering at such a massive scale you don’t expect much but it was tasty! Smile

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SRV331 – Workshop: Build a Multi-Region Serverless Application for Resilience and High Availability

Next up I was very happy to be able to attend a hands on workshop for building a global serverless application.

I write about this separately: AWS re:Invent 2017: Build a Multi-Region Serverless Application for Resilience and High Availability Workshop

FSV302 — An Architecture for Trade Capture and Regulatory Reporting

John Kain – FSI Capital and Ashish Majmundar, AWS

Another on my list which I couldn’t get to in time but here;s what intrigued me so hopefully I can catch the recording afterwards.

As I’m working in the financial sector in a division that does a lot of trading, I’m well aware that post-trade processing is a very cumbersome job, expensive and time-consuming. Once trades have been placed, they need to be reconciled with so many different systems and there is a huge amount of data that needs to be wrangled for the post-processing. In my experience, the in-house tech lashed together to do this is often a collection of stuck together components, some bought and some written in house. It’s generally a huge mess.

AWS is highlighting how financial services companies can work with them and use AWS native services to make post trading easier. I see this as more of a push by AWS to better help enterprises modernise their IT. The finance industry has big pockets and big problems to solve.

Some info I gleaned from the summary:

They were going to go through how storage capabilities with S3 and Glacier can be used.

Big Data processing is a forte of AWS and Athena, EMR, Redshift and QuickSight can be used effectively to help with getting better with what they called “data insights”.

Security is paramount so KMS can be used for encryption.

Transparency and control is a must so of course CloudWatch and CloudTrail are good solutions for helping with more easily maintaining the audit trail.

SRV321 Serverless Reactive Microservices on AWS

James Hood, AWS

I was interested in this talk because it was about delving into the concept of “Reactive Microservices”, best practices and a set of patterns for building systems for high availability and for scale.

But…again I couldn’t get in, I was a walk up, apparently the room was for 50 and there were already 50 people in the walk up line so no chance of getting in, another one to catch up on later.

I wanted to see it as I liked that the talk wasn’t just about microservices being equal to containers but using the generic term meaning smaller parts of an application rather than a specific technology to achieve this. Microservices doesn’t only mean containers. Lamdba functions illustrate how this can be done along with API Gateway, DynamoDB and Kinesis. I hope the term microservice doesn’t consolidate to use of containers. Splitting up a monolithic database into for example multiple tables being separate DynamoDB databases is a form of microservice.

WPT203 – Diversity in Tech: Lightning Talks

Tricia Davis-Muffett and David Levy from AWS were the hosts.

AWS highlighted how it encourages diversity and is cognicent that a lot of people are at the conference yet a lot of people can’t make it.

There were a set of lightning talks from some interesting people talking about various diversity topics..

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Laura Gómez from Atipica spoke about Inclusion in Machine Learning and making sure you don’t have bias in your algorithms.

Danilo Araujo, a cloud community leader from Brasil talking about getting women more involved in local meetups.

Drew Firment, ex Capital One and now at A Cloud Guru talked about reaching more people in technology via training and how his experience at Capital One encouraged him to do something.

Maureen Chebet and Namukhosi Sirengo from Digital Divide Data in Kenya who are providing AWS training in Nairobi and the two ladies talked about their experience in the industry.

Plinio Ayala from Per Scholas which is involved in IT training for communities that are often overlooked in the IT profession. I love the idea of reaching out to underrepresented communities. I come originally from South Africa where there is such an urgent need for employment and IT can be such an important catalyst for this.

There was a drinks reception afterwards which was very welcome.

Tweetup & Board Game Night with AWS Social Media Team!

I then though it would be a good idea and more fun than hearing about pure tech to be a little more social and so joined the AWS Social Media Team for some board games and of course discussions! Seemed a very popular idea.

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Finished the evening with a thoroughly enjoyable drink with someone I’ve worked with before as we bemoaned how many large enterprises are missing out on the clever cloud stuff as they wallow in their siloes of stupidity!

Fitbit said 28,228 steps today.

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