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Gilbert Young Jr for AWS Community Builders

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AWS re:Invent reCap 2022

Now that I am home and well rested, I can finally share what my experience was at re:Invent. This blog is a recap of my trip in the form of answering top questions I got asked.

What is AWS re:Invent?

AWS re:Invent is one of the largest IT conferences in the world hosted by Amazon. Whether you are new to the cloud, just learning the cloud, or running hundreds of production workloads in the cloud it does not matter re:Invent is beneficial for all. Conference attendees have access to workshops, break-out sessions, labs, keynote speeches, insights into new product launches and much more.

How did I get to go to re:Invent?

I was selected as an All Builders Welcome Grant recipient. The ABW Grant Program is geared towards giving underrepresented communities and minority groups the opportunity to learn, network and grow at re:Invent. The All Builders Welcome Grant includes registration for re:Invent 2022; airfare to Las Vegas, Nevada; hotel accommodations for the duration of the conference, reserved seating in keynotes, special dinner receptions, uber gift cards and much more! There is also the possibility of being recruited for job roles by companies that sponsor the program. Application for the program is fairly simple, all you need to do is justify why you want to be apart of the program and identify as a part of a minority group. At the moment, the application form for this program is currently closed and will re-open in mid 2023. If you need assistance in drafting your application please feel free to contact me on LinkedIn.

How did I get invited to AWS Build on Live Twitch stream?

AWS Build on Live is a Twitch channel that streams technical sessions to help solve challenges practitioners currently face. I cannot say for certain if there was one specific action that got me invited on the show. It was a series of actions and events. It all started with having a passion to get more Belizeans actively involved in technology and spreading awareness about the lack of STEM opportunities in Belize. Acting on this goal, led me to start the first ever AWS User Group in Belize with the help of my colleagues at ThinkTech Ltd. Consequently, I got the opportunity to meet some amazing AWS employees from the Build on Live team (Du'An Lightfoot, Curtis Evans, Darko, Jacquie Grindrod, Jessica Zhu) to name a few. The team saw my vision and supported me by giving me a platform for my voice to be heard. In a separate blog, I will deep dive into how I built the StockX Price Predictor application I demoed on the show. In a nutshell, you can get invited on the show if you are recognized as a passionate individual who shares real life experiences and solutions to help others through their technical career.

How can I get involved in an AWS Community Program?

AWS has so many amazing community programs, but I will only explain the following 4 programs. Some benefits of joining an AWS Community Program include discounted vouchers for re:Invent tickets, vouchers for certification exams, early access to new AWS Services and ofcourse plenty of SWAG.

  • AWS Community Builders
    The AWS Community Builders Program accepts application twice per year. You can increase your chances of getting in the program if you display strong values of being an evangelist and helping others on their learning journey in the cloud.

  • AWS User Groups
    AWS User groups are peer-to-peer communities which meet regularly to share ideas, answer questions, and learn about new services and best practices for development on AWS. Most User Groups do not have a strict requirement regarding becoming a member. Find a user group near you and join the community today. While you are it please feel free to also join the AWS Belize User Group.

  • AWS Heroes
    The Heroes program are selected candidates who express expert knowledge about AWS. Heroes pushes the limit to share knowledge regarding AWS whether it be blogs, open source projects, videos, online/ in-person conferences, etc. I believe there is no application process to become a hero, heroes are nominated by AWS employees.

  • AWS Student Hub
    This is an early program purpose built to benefit all students, internationally and locally. Cloud Clubs allow you to network, attend career building events, host hackathons, earn benefits such as AWS credits and certification exam vouchers, and more. Applications will open soon for this selective program. If you need more information regarding the program you can contact Jen Looper.

What new launches were you most excited about?

  • SageMaker Geospatial ML
    SageMaker now supports the ability to access geospatial data such as satellite images, maps and location routes. Having access to this rich data can drive innovative new ideas.

  • AWS Application Composer
    As an engineer my daily job duties revolve around working with IaC tools (CloudFormation, Terraform, AWS SAM), so it is no surprise that AWS Application Composer is one of my favorite launches. The tool allows developers to visually build and design serverless applications rapidly by using an intuitive drag and drop feature. Some benefits of AWS Application Composer are, it provides a visual representation of your application architecture and manages your infrastructure using IaC (Infrastructure as Code)

I do hope this article helps you understand what re:Invent is, the different community programs AWS offers, and how you can also be a part of re:Invent 2023. If you have any questions or want to have a chat please feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or on Twitter.

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