A re:Invent for Everyone

What I'm looking forward to this year at re:Invent

Farrah Campbell

Watch a video overview

Re:Invent this year is… a little different. Last year was a big one for me and for Stackery (my first year as an AWS Serverless Hero!), but this year I’m looking forward re:Invent to more than any other, and here’s why.

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re:Invent 2019, back when we used to see each other in person.

The first re:Invent that’s truly for everyone

With scholarships and honoraria, it can be possible to get help getting a ticket to re:Invent, but that does not cover airfare, lodging, time off work, and the myriad other costs of attending an in-person conference. This year everyone with a stable web connection can attend re:Invent, and most talks will be available to stream at any time throughout the conference. Exciting, right?

Like most people I struggle to learn much while sitting in a crowd with a laptop perched on my knees. So even though attendance in person is within reach for me, I still massively appreciate the new focus. I hope that the benefits of making it more accessible to others around the world online can carry forward into next year.

A chance to recharge

2020 has been a slog for almost everyone. But I hope that re:Invent will give all of us a chance to recharge our batteries a bit. Connection with other people recharges me, and for me having the ability to connect online with so many around the world is reinvigorating.

Further, seeing other's work reminds me that despite being forced to stay home there are thousands of us building amazing things this year. It shows me the resilience of humans and the real power of digital platforms.

Amazing success stories

In my niche within AWS of serverless cloud applications, it was a year of big changes.

Since 2017, serverless has been called "the next big thing" and 2020 is the year it arrived.

Here are some highlights:

  • Rather than just lifting and shifting their services to AWS virtual machines (EC2), the BBC adopted a whole new architecture to make use of serverless, handling tens of thousands of requests per second to bring arts and information to the whole world.
  • While technology is enabling millions of us to keep working during the pandemic (and giving most of us access to endless episodes of the Great British Bake-Off), serverless is also seeing use in the fight to combat COVID-19. Denis Bauer talked about some of these applications at a recent ServerlessDays.
  • We often associate serverless with a "Move Fast and Break Things" philosophy, but what about adoption by enterprises that cannot afford to take risks? Liberty Mutual moved some mainframe tasks over to serverless jobs, and in the process reduced their annual costs for the job from $50,000 to $10 per year. When you lift your jaw off the floor, be sure to follow fellow serverless hero Tom McLaughlin, who always has great stories about the ups and downs of serverless in practice.
  • Finally, I’m always amazed by the great stuff achieved by the Lego Group by diving deep into cloud architectures. They're trailblazers in serverless but always manage to turn their experiences into useful lessons for us all. Check out a recent talk and look for more great stuff at re:Invent.

Hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you are looking forward to this year, if you have your own serverless success story to share, or if you want to learn more about how I got started in Serverless. I am always happy to help!

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