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Augusto Valdivia for AWS Community Builders

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A Roller Coaster Ride: My Experience Speaking at the AWS Summit 2023 in Toronto

On Wednesday, June 14, 2023, I had the incredible opportunity to speak side by side with AWS Community Builders leaders and AWS Heroes at the AWS Summit 2023 held in Toronto, where I delivered a talk on DevOps strategies for building scalable data lakes with AWS IoT Core. This blog post aims to provide you with a glimpse into my exhilarating and nerve-wracking experience as a speaker, and how I navigated the journey from excitement to fear and back again.

AWS Community Builders Leaders and AWS Heroes


During my presentation, I explained how Terraform infrastructure as code help me to create a robust and adaptable data lake architecture. This architecture showcased its versatility that we have collecting vast amounts of data from a diverse number of customers and different industries such as health, education, telecommunications, construction, and building management.

An intriguing case study that I delved into was the journey of HH Angus, a well-established mechanical/electrical engineering company with over 100 years of experience. I reviewed how we harnessed the power of AWS as a transformative tool to elevate our consulting services, showcasing how use AWS enabled the creation of real-time monitoring dashboards. These dashboards provided to our customers invaluable insights into their building’s performance.

As we combined the two worlds the cloud using AWS resources and the engineering world utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) to build super realistic three-dimensional dashboards to improve our customers building management.

The ultimate 3D Dashboard


The 3D dashboard leverages sensor data from the lighting and BAS systems to provide almost real-time insights.

Firstly, the 3D dashboard integrates seamlessly with sensors, streaming valuable data into a dynamic 3D platform. With a minimum data streaming interval of just 5 minutes, we ensure our customer receive up-to-date information for informed decision-making.

To support decision-making process, the system can display a static average of room occupancy for a specific time window. For example, you can easily evaluate the average occupancy during the workday from 8:00 AM to 3 PM, assisting in understanding space utilization and making informed decisions regarding furniture placement and allocation as well I can be use for emergency evacuation.

In open spaces, the inclusion of more than 40 sensors allows for comprehensive coverage. Interestingly, if a single sensor is triggered, the entire space is counted as occupied, ensuring accurate occupancy monitoring.

One of the key features of the dashboard is the ability to select a time window and explore sensor data within a detailed 3D model. You have the flexibility to adjust the time window and zoom in for a more granular view, enabling precise analysis and identification of trends.

The dashboard provides an intuitive display of sensor values for individual rooms, including the occupancy status. These values are averaged into time intervals, with a default interval of 1 hour. However, users can easily customize the interval to summarize data over different time periods, such as 8 hours, a day, adapting to your specific needs. In addition to providing valuable insights, our system also helps identify sensor failures and triggers maintenance actions. This proactive approach ensures the smooth operation of your infrastructure and minimizes disruptions. Red indicates unoccupied rooms, while green represents fully occupied rooms, providing an instant visual representation of occupancy status.

Lastly, the dashboard allows for seamless navigation between different floors while maintaining the same time window, facilitating efficient comparison and analysis across multiple levels of your facility.

In conclusion, the combination of AWS IoT and data collection has empowered us to create a powerful 3D dashboard. Its sensor integration, flexible time window selection, data filtering, and visual representation of occupancy provide invaluable insights for optimizing your space utilization and enhancing operational efficiency.

Moreover, I shared how AWS IoT Core and data collection empowered our data scientists to unleash the full potential of data analysis, making the process more efficient and impactful.



Throughout the talk, I emphasized the benefits of incorporating IoT devices for real-time data collection, and how this data acted as a spark for driving crucial insights and enhancing our customers overall business operations. Ultimately, my aim was to exhibit how DevOps engineers can effectively harness the power of AWS and IoT to drive data-driven businesses, particularly in industries like construction and building management.

As I stood on that stage, sharing these transformative ideas and showcasing groundbreaking demos of 3D and 2D dashboards, the mix of excitement and terror surged within me. However, witnessing the audience's genuine interest and engagement in the subject matter filled me with an unparalleled sense of pride and gratitude. 

Here are my tips for future AWS Summit speakers:

  •  Speaking at the AWS Summit can be a thrilling adventure filled with excitement and growth so embrace your passion for AWS and let it shine brightly as you prepare for your talk.

  •  Take your time to polish your content and create visually captivating slides.

  •  Don't worry about feeling a bit nervous; it's just a sign that you're boarding on something amazing.

  •  Don’t worry if English is your second language and you have a bit of an accent.

  •  Engage with the audience, have fun, and encourage their participation through lively discussions and Q&A sessions.

  •  Embrace feedback with a smile, as it will help you improve and connect even better with your audience.

  •  Remember, you have the power to inspire and empower fellow AWS enthusiasts and community members.

  •   Be grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this fantastic community, and let your excitement fuel your journey of sharing knowledge.

Speaking at the AWS Summit Toronto 2023 was a truly gratifying experience, especially due to the immediate and overwhelmingly positive feedback from the audience. My presentation was consistently rated 4 out of 5 stars in each category, demonstrating the engagement and appreciation for the content delivered.

Moreover, I had the privilege of interacting with fellow DevOps Engineers and Hispanic members of the tech community, and it was heartwarming to hear their feedback of feeling proud and represented during the event. This feedback filled me with joy and a sense of accomplishment.

Furthermore, the opportunities that arose after the summit, including invitations to participate in podcasts and meetups group talks, highlighted the impact and value my presentation brought to the audience.

During the Q&A session, attendees asked thoughtful questions, sparking insightful discussions. Witnessing their genuine interest and eagerness to learn reinforced the value of the knowledge I shared, making all the preparation and nervousness worthwhile.

A month later

The Post-Talk Reflection: As the adrenaline from the presentation subsided, a profound sense of accomplishment and satisfaction washed over me. The roller coaster ride of emotions, from excitement to fear, had transformed into a feeling of pride and gratitude. Being able to contribute to the AWS community and inspire fellow enthusiasts filled me with humbleness and a renewed sense of empowerment.

Speaking at the AWS Summit 2023 in Toronto was undeniably a whirlwind of emotions, but the experience illuminated the power of stepping outside my comfort zone and embracing the opportunity to share knowledge. As I conclude this blog post, I thank the AWS Community Builders program specially to Shantavia Craigg, Jason dunn, Wesley Faulkner, Rohini Gaonkar, Mark pergola for giving me the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience in the IoT and big data collection field and to my HH Angus Digital team for your great support.

Furthermore, I eagerly anticipate future adventures where I can continue to inspire and empower the AWS community with passion and expertise.

Photos from the event

  • Full Stage crowd
  • The teams group
  • The topics Name
  • The stars behind the scene The stars
  • The interview The interview

Top comments (2)

rohini_gaonkar profile image
Rohini Gaonkar

Loved this! Thank you for being AWSome!!

valaug profile image
Augusto Valdivia

Thank you!