What to Expect at AWS re:Invent 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … again … already! Sure, the holidays are approaching, but every AWS user, partner, IT pro, cloud guru and fanatic is looking forward to one thing and one thing only: AWS re:Invent 2017. The event runs from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 and has been sold out for a while now.

So what can newbies and seasoned attendees expect at this year’s show? We have a few insights to share and also talked to a couple of our AWS authorized instructors, John Hales and Bart Castle, who will be assisting with the hands-on labs at the show.

What our instructors are most excited about as our front line here at Global Knowledge:

  • To work with a big pool of interested cloud folks and be involved with one of the best ways to learn about AWS — the hands-on labs!
  • New features for:
    • Lambda (new languages, memory/library persistence, endpoints)
    • VPC endpoints
    • Ad-hoc data processing (similar to Redshift Spectrum, EMR, Athena)
  • New networking options, particularly a better managed VPN product similar to Cisco’s CSR solution and any new developments in the Hybrid cloud offering (more on-prem style products).
  • Hearing about machine learning and container updates.

What do they hope to squeeze in during free time?

  • The chance to meet other Global Knowledge instructors and extended business network contacts they only have face time with a few times a year.
  • Castle is planning to sit in on sessions for two new specialty certifications, Big Data and Data Networking. “Both areas I am well versed in, but have not obtained the corresponding AWS certification,” he said. “There are several existing products that I am hoping to work with more, such as AWS Glue, Machine Learning, IoT, Redshift Spectrum and Amazon Athena. I will focus primarily on attending Big Data and Data Analytics training sessions as these are both areas that I teach regularly but need to aggressively stay active in myself to keep up the value-add I can provide in class.”

What’s the best piece of advice for those new to re:Invent?

Consensus among everyone is to plan your time accordingly. The show is stretched across multiple venues making it easy to lose track of time and simply be unaware of how long it takes to travel from place to place during breaks. Make sure you mark and map out the sessions you want to get to.

Castle provided this insider tip: “I focused on having one planned activity for each four-hour period of the day and letting the rest fill in based on what is nearby and interesting in the current location. It takes time to move between venues so I will also try to minimize making major venue changes any more than once or twice a day and you never know what you might run into that you want to stop and check out for a bit.”

What else can you expect from the 2017 show?

  • Live-streamed keynotes — be sure to register ahead of time!
  • An additional full day of content for more learning opportunities.
  • Expanded expo hours — stop by and see us at booth no. 941 to pick up some swag.
  • Hackathons, bootcamps and workshops for hands-on experience — say hi to Bart and John!
  • Fun extracurricular activities like broomball, a wing-eating contest (Tatonka Challenge), Harley rides and the re:Play party.
  • Fitness challenges like the 4K, Spinning Challenge for charity and Fitness Bootcamp led by a top Seattle personal trainer.

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