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AWS re:Invent
James Strong

AWS re:Invent 2021: 8 Sessions and Activities Not to Miss

AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services’ major global learning conference is soon to be upon us, and it’s celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Every year re:Invent gets more prominent, and 2021 will be no exception! This conference will be the first time it will be both in-person and virtual. With a wide range of events and activities taking place, we’ve highlighted some of the key events we think would be of interest to you.

But first, let’s cover the basics...

What Is AWS re:Invent?

AWS re:Invent is a global AWS conference that happens every year—and it’s been running for ten years already!

AWS has designed re:Invent for the global cloud computing community; the annual conference features keynotes from industry leaders, over 1500 technical sessions, training and certification opportunities, and much much more.

So whether you’re a budding developer, an IT executive, or a technical decision-maker, there are plenty of activities and sessions to choose from.

When Is AWS re:Invent 2021?

The conference will take place between 29 November and 3 December 2021.

Here’s the full agenda.

Where Is AWS re:Invent 2021?

This year re:Invent is taking place in person! The conference will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will be spread across a number of different venues. AWS has a great Campus page if you’re looking for a breakdown of venues, hotels, and transportation options.

And if you can’t make it over to Las Vegas, don’t worry, you’ll be able to attend virtually for free (don’t forget to register!).

How Much Is AWS re:Invent?

The cost to attend AWS re:Invent in person is $1,799 USD. If you’re looking to attend virtually, it’s free!

There’s still time to register for AWS re:Invent 2021 so what are you waiting for?

4 Sessions Not to Miss

Here is a list of sessions that I am most looking forward to attending. Remember that re:Invent does take over the strip and talks are happening in various hotels including Caesars Forum, Venetian Wynn, and Encore.

1. CON304 - Deep dive on Amazon EKS

Amazon EKS is a fully managed Kubernetes service. This session covers recent enhancements to EKS and dives deep into the latest features. Learn how EKS gives you the flexibility to start, run, and scale Kubernetes applications in the AWS Cloud or on premises and how customers trust EKS to run their most sensitive and mission-critical applications.

2. MKT303 - Unlock value from your AWS Control Tower landing zone using Flight Controller

Contino will be hosting a talk on AWS Control Tower and how our Flight Controller solution maximizes value and enables delivery teams to flourish. Learn how an SLO-based approach to demand management across domains provides meaningful and impactful business outcomes to reduce waste and technical debt. Check out a sneak peek of Flight Controller here​.

3. DAT313 - Building a machine learning-enabled application with Amazon Aurora

Amazon Aurora ML enables you to add ML-based predictions via a SQL-like programming language. This has the potential to open machine learning capabilities and insights to teams, without having to learn separate tools. At Contino, we are always looking at driving business decisions through data, this talk will enable you to understand new ways of doing so.

4. DOP311 -  Incorporating continuous resilience in your development ecosystem

We are navigating an increasingly complex and uncertain world; organizations need to ensure they can continuously operate through people, processes and technology. At Contino, helping organizations understand this landscape and build operational resilience is what we thrive on. This talk focuses on resilience from a broad range of considerations to provide continuous improvement through a DevOps methodology.

4 Activities Not to Miss

It’s not just sessions and walking at re:Invent, there is a plethora of activities that folks can indulge in as well. Learning by doing with Gamesdays and Jams, showing off your skills in a DeepRacer tournament or even getting certified in all things AWS!

1. Jams and Gamedays

Jam sessions allow you to work with a new team for the day, solving a series of challenges. It’s got a competitive aspect to it as points are awarded for each challenge, the team with the most points wins! If you're looking to up your cloud security knowledge, take a look at HJS301 to get involved with simulated security incidents.

Gamedays get you involved in a real-world, full scale, risk-free gamified environment. Working with a team to solve real problems, at a production scale. Check out the Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rearchitect (GMD201) to focus on building services with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind.

What better ways are there to meet new people and upskill yourselves in AWS? Get involved with topics including AI/ML, DevOps in AWS Modernization & DevOps Jam HJS302-R1, Security in AWS Security Jam HJS301-R1, scale, automation and more! The full list of Gamedays and Jams is here.

2. BugBust

Ever wanted to hold a world record? AWS re:Invent is the place to make that happen. This year will be the first annual BugBust, where experts from across the globe aim to set the Guinness World Record for the "Largest Bug Fixing Competition".

If you want to be part of this world record attempt, make sure you sign up here! AWS re:Invent is no stranger to setting world records, having already smashed the other world records, such as the largest chicken wing competition.

3. DeepRacer

AWS DeepRacer brings the power of AWS and Machine Learning to life, with an autonomous vehicle being raced around a track. The AWS DeepRacer League championship at re:Invent this year will line up at the toughest race track to date, with the fastest deep racer vehicles from around the globe racing for the top prizes. The championship race will be broadcast live during Swami Sivasubramanian's re:Invent keynote, with some serious prizes up for grabs.

4. Certifications

re:Invent is a great place to learn! With industry experts at every turn, you might want to choose this time to tackle an AWS certification. There’s dedicated exam halls if you fancy tackling one of the 11 AWS certifications. To help you do so, here are a few Contino resources to help you get started:

Already certified? Look out for the free AWS Certified gifts, Certification Lounge & Certification Appreciation Lounge. Be sure to link your AWS Certification Account with your ReInvent registration here.

What to Expect from AWS: Services Updates

With all the recent releases of AWS services around Observability, AWS Managed Prometheus, AWS Managed Grafana, and AWS Distro for Opentracing,  I would expect that AWS is going to continue that trend and double down on their investment in Open source and Observability.

There are arguments about the number of ways to run a container in AWS—37 to some, not so many to others—but you can guarantee that AWS will showcase updates to EKS, and how Enterprises can leverage EKS anywhere to bridge their hybrid Kubernetes Platform.

We all know that security of the cloud is the responsibility of AWS while security in the cloud is your responsibility. But that doesn't stop AWS from making cloud security easier for their customers. Updates to Control tower, Macie, Security center should be expected this year as well.

With the release of Amazon Rekognition in 2016 and SageMaker in 2017 AWS continues to evolve their Machine Learning offerings with an impressive 29 service offerings.  Expect that list to grow with new services that will help you understand your code, and your customers better by harvesting the power of your data already in AWS.

Covid Guidelines for AWS re:Invent 2021

This is the first in-person re:Invent since the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to reduce the risk for everyone attending, AWS have introduced health measures, including:

  • All badge holders at re:Invent must be fully vaccinated, no exceptions.
  • Masks are required for everyone at re:Invent.
  • Social distancing will not be enforced
  • Follow the Vegas Smart Guidelines

You can read about these in further detail here.

Meet with Contino

AWS is always going all out with services updates, new releases, keynote surprises, and all the re:Invent events you’d expect.

Between sessions, talks, the Expo floor, and the re:Play party, you could end up struggling to cut through the noise to the stuff that matters. Help is at hand, however! Contino will have people in attendance throughout the conference, and we’d love to talk to you about all things transformation, enterprise cloud, and DevOps.

Consider setting up a meeting with one of us here.

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