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Cover image for Launching A Virtual Global Conference In Two Weeks Through AWS Community Builders
AWS Community Builders

Launching A Virtual Global Conference In Two Weeks Through AWS Community Builders

nideveloper profile image Matt Coulter ・5 min read

CDK Day is coming 30th September, sign up now or submit a talk proposal

What is CDK Day?

Over a year has passed since AWS CDK went GA and it has now grown into a family of products: AWS CDK, CDK8s (Kubernetes) and CDKTF (Terraform).

A small group of community members from across the globe thought this was something worth celebrating so we are going to take one day and showcase the brightest and best of cdk from across the whole product family. Let's talk serverless, kubernetes and multi cloud all in the same day!

During the day we plan to mix introduction talks with hands on builders sessions so that everyone can leave having learned something new.

www.cdkday.com

Who Is Organising It?

A global crew of people!

Matt Coulter, Sebastian Korfmann, Matt Bonig, Julia Jacobs, Thorsten Hoeger, Pahud Hsieh, Marek Kuczyński, Anubhav Mishra, Richard Boyd, Elad Ben-Israel, Chris Fife, Sudeepa Prakash, Aaron Schwam, Eric Johnson

Matt Coulter, Sebastian Korfmann and Matt Bonig
Julia Jacobs, Thorsten Hoeger, Pahud Hsieh and Marek kuczyński
Anubhav Mishra, Richard Boyd, Elad Ben-Israel and Chris Fife
Sudeepa Prakash, Aaron Schwam and Eric Johnson

How Did It Come About?

Alt Text

As you might have seen, AWS launched a new initiative a couple of weeks ago called AWS Community Builders (ACB) - https://aws.amazon.com/developer/community/community-builders/. This has a different take than previous initiatives like the AWS Hero program, instead of being hand selected to be included you apply to join providing a link to your technical content. It is not designed to be a limited, exclusive status symbol but is about building a passionate community.

ACB is designed to provide a common platform for people excited about AWS to meet/communicate with their peers and learn from each other. It fits with a lot of our core values and the application window to join is open now (https://amazonmr.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aVP5WTzsHJWX3Vz).

Werner and myself have similar opinions :)

I am a member of the dev tools category of the AWS Community Builders program because of my open source work with CDK Patterns

cdk patterns

This is a personal, passion project of mine done in my spare time over the past 7 months, where I have been collecting various different serverless architecture patterns all together in one place using AWS CDK and making them deployable with one command. All the patterns are available in Python and Typescript but recently community contribution has added some C# and Java is on the way. I use Twitter as my main source for updates about these patterns and to date there are nearly 1300 followers with over 500 GitHub stars on the repo.

Building this project has given me a unique insight into the AWS CDK community over the past year combined with our internal adoption rates, it also has connected me with a lot of AWS Heroes to the point I can sometimes directly message them if I need an opinion.

When the AWS Community Builders program launched I wondered if it was a good idea to merge the two worlds. I had an option to go all in on the community and make something very public or to just continue like nothing had changed. I decided to test drive the power of a motivated group of individuals passionate about AWS.

On 29th of July 2020 I sent a message to a few people from the builders program and some AWS Heroes saying:

"Sorry for the cold message but I had an idea... what would everyone think of having an official CDK Day? We can bring the SMEs in for CDK8s, CDKTF, CDK and plan a full day of talks showcasing what has been built in the past year. We could even have a discussion panel with some of the core team. There’s loads of scope!"

The conversation escalated very quickly through AWS and through the Builders program - we had two meetings, lots of async communication and exactly two weeks later on 12th August, we announced CDK Day to the world:

In those two weeks we had:

  • Brought together 3 product teams (AWS CDK, CDK for Terraform and CDK8s)
  • Learned how to live stream an event
  • Found an awesome host
  • Established a name - more complicated than you would think given CDK and AWS CDK are different products both made by AWS and CDKTF/CDK8s can deploy to Azure/GCP
  • Created the branding
  • Created/Deployed the website
  • Setup sessionize for CFP
  • Setup eventbrite for tickets
  • Expanded our team

What Have I Learned?

The AWS Community is so awesome - nearly 350 people have signed up to attend less than 36 hours after launch! Everyone retweeted / shared and commented to make the launch a success.

Everyone I asked if they wanted to be involved immediately said yes and has been fully supportive. This has been an incredible experience to just be part of this group.

The original group had people from Taiwan, Israel, Germany, Northern Ireland, East/Central/West Coast USA and Canada. We have now expanded to include The Netherlands, so in 2020 it is possible to form an effective global group of individuals which is amazing.

What's Next

I hope that a few people will submit talk proposals- https://sessionize.com/cdkday

If not please grab a free ticket and join us on 30th September - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cdk-day-tickets-116595156251

If you are passionate about AWS please do apply for the Community Builders program, you can see it has significantly helped me - https://aws.amazon.com/developer/community/community-builders/

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nideveloper profile

Matt Coulter

@nideveloper

Software Architect working on enabling engineers to rapidly deliver serverless-first solutions in a Fortune 100 organisation - passionate about Serverless, AWS, dev.to/cdkpatterns, TCO, and CI/CD

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