Guest Post: Notable AWS re:invent Sessions, by Jennine Townsend

A guest post authored by Jennine Townsend, expert sysadmin and AWS aficionado

There were so many sessions at re:Invent! Now that it’s over, I want to watch some sessions on video, but which ones?

Of course I’ll pick out those that are specific to my interests, but I also want to know the sessions that had good buzz, so I made a list that’s kind of mashed together from sessions that I heard good things about on Twitter, with those that had lots of repeats and overflow sessions, figuring those must have been popular.

AWS re:Invent 2018 Experiences

thoughts from a conference veteran who has attended every AWS re:Invent

There are a number of great guides to AWS re:Invent with excellent recommendations on how to prepare, what to bring, and how to get the most out of your time. This is not that. In this article, I am going to focus only on specific things that I recommend every attendee experience at least once while at AWS re:Invent.

You may not want to do these things every day (if available) or even every year when you return to re:Invent, but I recommend arranging your first year schedule to fit as many as you can so you don’t go home missing out.

You are taking a week off and making a long trip to Las Vegas. Don’t leave without having seen some of the impressive, large scale, in-person experiences the Amazon team has organized.

1. Attend a Live AWS re:Invent Keynote

Attending a keynote in person is one of the best ways to get a feel for the excitement, energy, and shear scale of this movement.

You could go to a satellite location and watch the keynote on a screen with fellow attendees, but there’s something special about being in the big room live.

Tip: Get in line early to get a decent seat and enjoy the live DJ. There are giant screens that show the speakers and presentation material so you won’t miss out on content wherever you sit.

Tip: It takes a while for the entire crowd to get out of the keynote space, so don’t schedule a session or important lunch meeting right after.

Tip: Werner Vogel’s keynote is slotted for 2 hours instead of the 2.5 hours for Andy Jassy’s, but I’m not sure if Werner has ever ended a re:Invent keynote on schedule, so sit back and enjoy the information and enthusiasm.

Tip: If new product/service/feature announcements are what excite you, then make sure you hit the Andy Jassy keynote.

Veterans… often watch the streamed keynote on their phone or laptop while getting ready in their hotel room, or eating breakfast at a cafe. But you flew halfway around the world to be here, so you should go the last mile (perhaps literally) to get the live AWS re:Invent keynote experience at least once.