Last week I attended AWS ReInvent in Las Vegas. It was the largest conference I’ve been to with 9000 people, and a crazy number of sessions. When I was trying to decide what sessions to go to, I realized I had multiple conflicts at every slot (a good problem to have). It was also one of the funnest conferences I’ve been to, and I’ll be back next year (a bit more prepared next time around).
I’ll post about the sessions I went to, but the following are my favorite highlights from the conference:
- Day 2 keynote with Werner Vogels: After a more marketing and “C” centric keynote on day 1, the day 2 keynote was tuned more to the large developer crowd in the audience, and I left inspired. Check out all my notes here.
- Expo Hall: Holy cow! I got tired after walking around just 1/2 this hall. According to the booklet, there were maybe over 170 sponsors, and it took a while to walk through and check out what everyone was doing. The expo hall was also packed the first couple of days, so I went on the 3rd day when things were a lot quieter (pro tip: If you want the best swag, go the first day), but it also gave me a chance to talk to more of the folks in a leisurely manner! My 2 favorite highlights about the expo hall were Datadog (Most enthusiastic even on day 3), and Cloudability (who knew that I was a customer of theirs even though I didn’t realize another team at Mentor used the product; I thought that was pretty awesome!).
- Crazy number of sessions: I’m glad these are all on YouTube now. I hear the slides are also going to be online in a bit. This will give me a way to catch up on the sessions that I missed out on.
- AWS Hands on labs: This was pretty cool! You could skip a session or two and do a hands on lab on an AWS technology. I spent some time doing a hands on learning AWS beanstalk, and it was totally worthwhile.
- Day 1 (Tuesday): I only got in on Tuesday, but next time I’ll need to register in time to be a part of the hackathon or gameday. I talked to a bunch of folks who attended these, and they ended up having a great time at both of these. The Gameday was pretty cool as well and was targeted at DevOps folks. You ended up forming a team with a bunch of other folks and had to build an application infrastructure that was resilient to any kind of breakage. Then, you’d swap your credentials with another team, and they would try to break your infrastructure; you can imagine how this would end up being entertaining!
- Meeting up with folks, and catching up with people I hadn’t seen in a while.
- VEGAS! It was good to not lose at the roulette tables this time around :)
A lot of developer friends commented that the talks were light on technical side of things, which I thought was true; the way I got more out of these was actually talking to the product managers and the customer at the end of the talk to ask and understand some of the more technical concepts. This is true for most conferences, but was especially true for this one.
Stay tuned for a bunch of post conference session updates!
Besides the “big one,” DevOpsDays Austin 2013, there’s a bunch of great events going on in Austin for techies.
The Agile Austin DevOps SIG meets every last Wednesday over lunch at Bazaarvoice; lunch is provided. This month’s meeting on January 30 is Breaking the Barriers.
The Austin Cloud User Group meets every third Tuesday in the evening at Pervasive; dinner is provided. This month’s meeting is January 15, sponsored by Canonical, and there is a talk on Openstack Quantum, the network virtualization platform.
South by Southwest Interactive is here of course on March 8-12.
Hip security event BSides Austin is on March 21-22.
Data Day Austin is on January 29.
Texas Linux Fest will be May 31 – June 1.
It’s never been a better time to be a techie in Austin!
Austin is such a great place to be a techie.
- The Austin Cloud User Group (I help run it) meets every third Tuesday evening, and we’ve ben having 50+ people come in to check out some awesome stuff. Next meeting Feb 21 on Puppet, hosted by Pervasive.
- The Agile Austin DevOps SIG meets fourth Wednesdays, we had our meeting today and had about 20 attendees, hosted by CA/Hyperformix. I also help run that one.
- The Austin Big Data User Group is back meeting – next one is tomorrow night! Hosted by Bazaarvoice.
- The Austin OWASP chapter is one of the biggest and most active in the country, and also meets monthly, hosted by National Instruments. Fellow Agile Admin James Wickett helps run that group.
- The Cloud Security Alliance, Austin chapter is just getting started but has a lot of momentum and we’re coordinating with them from the ACUG and OWASP sides. Their first meeting is tonight, come out!
There are others but those are my favorites and therefore the coolest by definition.
There’s also cool events coming up you should keep an eye out for.
- DevOpsDays Austin, Apr 2-3, hosted by National Instruments, and this’ll be big! Patrick Debois and the whole crew of DevOps illuminati will be here. Now taking sponsors and speakers! Register now!
- AppSec USA 2012, Oct 23-26 – Austin OWASP kicks so much ass with LASCON that the annual OWASP convention is coming here to Austin this year!
- South by Southwest Interactive, March 9-13 – quickly becoming theWeb conference in the flyover states :-). Lots of stuff happens during it, like:
- Austin Cloud/DevOps party courtesy GeekAustin (ACUG is a community sponsor). March 10.
- CloudCamp – Dave Nielsen will be bringing a CloudCamp to Austin again this year during SXSWi. Details TBD, sounding like Mar 11 maybe.
- The Cloud Security Alliance and ACUG are hoping to put together an Austin cloud conference, too. Maybe early 2013.
A double threat is coming your way. Velocity 2010, the Web performance and operations conference, is June 22-24 in Santa Clara, CA. As one of the very few conventions targeted at our discipline, we’ve been attending since the first one in 2008. And this time, there’s dessert – the day after it ends, a new DevOps unconference, DevOpsDays 2010, will be held nearby in Mountain View!
OpsCamp Austin kicked ass, and I’m sure this will be even better. So come double up on Ops knowledge and meet other right-thinking individuals.
If you want to read all my musings from the previous Velocity conferences, you can do that too!