While I find myself traveling far less than in years past (by design), I still get to poke my head out into the world of NOGs and Cons from time to time. One such opportunity is upon us this week; I’m packing up today for the 2016 edition of AWS re:Invent. Heralded as the “largest global cloud computing conference,” Amazon invites attendees to:

Connect with peers and cloud experts, engage in hands-on labs and bootcamps, and learn how AWS can improve developer productivity, network security, and application performance while keeping infrastructure costs low.

The conference started five years ago, in 2012. In those few years AWS has certainly had an impact on Enterprise IT and software development. One more sign of this is the explosive growth of their flagship event, which has quadrupled in size from about 6,000 attendees in 2012 to over 24,000 folks either in or heading to Las Vegas right now for this year’s gathering. This is certainly great for Amazon, but is a bit frustrating for a first time re:Inventor like me…

The 2016 agenda looks solid and expansive; with sessions covering everything from compute to storage to networking, from application architecture to migration strategies. Sessions include deep dives and lessons learned, round tables and workshops, and both business and technology topics. There are industry/vertical specific tracks as well as some really cool looking technology specific mini-Cons on IoT, Security, Machine Learning, Containers, and Serverless. Additional topics include DevOps, Big Data, Compliance, and of course Alexa. So many hot / hyped topics are bing covered that a game of buzzword bingo is sure to be a quick hit, maybe I should have had some cards printed (better yet, an AWS powered bingo app and accompanying Alexa skill).

The frustrating bit is that I had no idea just how popular re:Invent had become, and how much pre-planning is needed. First, registration sold out – a common consideration when buying concert tickets but a first for me at an IT conference. Luckily my name made it to the top of the list and I was able to secure a full pass, at a hefty cost of around $1600; ouch. After getting basic registration squared away I learned that this year AWS is doing reserved seating for all sessions. This is great if you registered in advance, but a bummer for a last minute newb like myself. A vast majority of the sessions I’d like to attend are already full. It does sound like there will be limited walk-in seating, so look for me skulking around outside many sessions trying to find a seat. Obviously the networking and security tracks are of most interest to me, but the sessions on IoT, blockchain, Alexa, and Machine learning are definitely on my radar as well.

Regardless of the (self-inflicted) first timer frustrations, I’m super excited to participate this week! I’m very much looking forward to learning a ton and meeting a bunch of smart folks. As always, if I can be of service, or if you just want to chat – let me know! Lots of contact options are scattered around my website.


  • If you are attending AWS re:Invent this week, reach out and let’s connect!
  • If you plan on going to AWS re:Invent next year, plan ahead;
    • get fully registered and reserved literally months in advance.
Published On: November 28th, 2016 / Categories: Travel / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , /

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