Thomas Step

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re:Invent 2021

Last week I was lucky enough to be in Las Vegas attending the 10th annual re:Invent. I have already posted my notes from most of the sessions that I attended and I will link them all at the end of this post. Overall, I had a great time but reality did not exactly meet my expectations as is normally the case. I want to go over and solidify some of those suggestions for my future self and others. After going over my suggestions, I want to bring to light some of the recurring themes through my sessions and areas where I want to dive deeper.

Before too many suggestions and learnings from the conference as a whole, I want to congratulate myself for being on top of seat reservation. Almost my entire schedule was sorted out before I arrived in Las Vegas. For me, this helped alleviate stress. I overheard numerous people talking about the scarcity of reserved seats in sessions they wanted to attend. That being said, I do not think a single session I attended was at full capacity. While reservations may not be required, I liked having them so I could properly plan out my day.

Sessions I attended were mostly in the serverless and architecture tracks. While I do not necessarily reject doing this again, it might be better to go to various technical talks instead of focusing on one or two paths because I started noticing quite a bit of repeated information. If I get to go next year, I will probably expand my reach to topics such as databases, data and analytics, and other DevOps-related talks. At least that is where my thoughts are now.

From a logistical standpoint traversing the venue distances started adding up. I had one day with most of my sessions in the same venue and that was quite enjoyable. The other 3 days were filled with walking to and from venues. I started using the shuttles about 2 days in which greatly helped my feet. Next time, I will plan to minimize movement if possible and use the shuttles from day one.

Now for the fun stuff. One of my favorite sessions (excluding keynotes) was about event-driven architecture. For the same reason I like the “This Is My Architecture” video series, I enjoyed this session: I receive great benefit from seeing real-world examples. Taco Bell’s presenter layed out their architecture and design decisions well, and I will seek out other such examples and sessions next time around.

As far as recurring topics, cell-based architectures, event-driven architectures, and Lambda powertools all came up in multiple sessions. I have a feeling that event-driven architectures have been a popular subject at re:Invent for more than just this year because Lambda is such a powerful service. Cell-based architectures only appeared on my radar several months ago. Cell-based architectures supply great resiliency benefits, so a cell-based architecture can still employ an event-driven architecture within each cell. This is something that I would love to create and deploy. Finally, Lambda powertools is a set of commonly used and beneficial functionality that is available as a package for Python or a Lambda layer. Since I normally operate in the world of Javascript, it might take me a while to test this out; however, I am very intrigued by the set of functionality it offers. I wonder when AWS will offer this in other languages…

Finally, I wanted to bring up an event that was incredibly enjoyable: Dr. Werner Vogel’s keynote. I am a fan of Dr. Vogels, so I knew that I had to get an in-person seat at his keynote. The following are a couple of the key notes that I took away from his talk.

My favorite bits out of all of that are his 6 Rules for Good API Design followed closely by him saying “developers change the code.” All-in-all a great talk that was worth the wait.

My other re:Invent notes:

Categories: aws