# Table of contents
PART 1 # First Things First, The Basics:
First things first, set clear goals for what you hope to achieve at the conference. Dive into the schedule and scope out the sessions, workshops, and events that will help you achieve those goals. Prioritize the ones that are most relevant to you and group them by location to save time.
If a hands-on experience is what you're after, workshops are where it's at! Sign up for the ones that align with your goals and prioritize those that aren't recorded. Think chalk talks, builder sessions, and hands-on workshops. As a full-stack developer, I was all about sessions that covered building full-stack applications using AWS services. And let's not forget about the machine learning aspect - I made sure to include those sessions in my schedule as well.
But it's not all about the sessions. Take some time to attend networking events and meet new people. You never know who you might bump into and what you might learn from them.
And here's a pro tip: leave some extra room in your luggage for all the fantastic conference goodies you're bound to score! Don't pack your bags to the brim with non-essentials. Plan ahead and pack strategically to avoid having to pay extra fees for overweight luggage. Trust me, your future self will thank you for it!
This is what I packed:
- 1 Bag
- 1 Carry-on
- 2 Pairs of Jeans
- 5 - T-shirts
- Lots of socks, plus all the ones I get from the expo ;)
- Snacks → they offer free breakfast & lunch, but, I always bring them because I don’t always have time to grab food
- 1- Pair of Sneakers
- 1- Shower Sandals
- 1- Dressing shoes - but, honestly, I didn’t need them. I was wearing my sneakers the whole time I was at the conference.
- 1- Water bottle
- 1- Sunglasses
- 1- Cap
- Laptop & charger/ extra battery charger
Bring Comfortable Shoes
Wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket or sweater as conference halls can get chilly. With so much happening at the conference, you'll be doing a lot of walking, standing, and sitting. It's essential to wear comfortable shoes that you can walk in for long hours without getting tired.
Networking at the conference is absolutely crucial! Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to expand your professional community by connecting with other like-minded individuals who share your interests. Make sure to take full advantage of every networking opportunity available to you!
Keynote Sessions → SKIP, they’re recorded, watch later.
Skip the keynote sessions if you don't have the time to attend. They're recorded, and you can watch them later. However, if you do attend, arrive early as they tend to fill up quickly.
Visit the Expo Hall
Visit the Expo Hall to explore new AWS services, speak with AWS experts, and network with other attendees. Plus, it's where you'll find all the free swag!
Take breaks to relax and recharge between sessions and workshops. Attending a conference can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. The conference offers plenty of opportunities to grab a coffee, network with others, or simply sit and relax.
Don't miss out on the parties! AWS re: Invent has some of the best parties, with an open bar, food, and great music. RSVP in advance, and follow re:Invent Parties on Twitter for all the latest parties happening during the conference.
PART # 2:The Most Popular AWS Services
First up is Amplify Studio, a service that provides developers with a toolbox for quickly and easily building and launching mobile or web applications. With a visual editor for designing the app's user interface, built-in hosting and deployment capabilities, and integration with other AWS services, Amplify Studio simplifies the development process and speeds up time to market.
Next, there's SageMaker, a fully-managed machine learning service that makes it easy to build, train, and deploy machine learning models. Whether you're looking to build a model for image recognition, natural language processing, or predictive analytics, SageMaker provides the tools and algorithms to get the job done. And with features like automated model training, hyperparameter tuning, and deployment, SageMaker helps you get to results faster.
For those interested in sustainability and climate change, AWS offers the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI), a program that provides access to large datasets related to these important issues. ASDI helps researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders better understand and address environmental challenges by providing high-quality data and analysis tools.
EC2 provides scalable computing capacity in the cloud, allowing users to run virtual servers on-demand.
S3 is a highly-scalable object storage service that can be used to store and retrieve large amounts of data.
RDS provides managed database services for popular relational database engines such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle.
Lambda is a serverless computing service that allows users to run code without provisioning or managing servers.
PART # 3: The Two Workshop I Signed-Up For
These are two of the workshops I did at the conference and their descriptions. The workshops were three hours long, so I made sure to bring snacks, food, and anything else I needed to stay focused and ready to learn. The instructors were incredibly helpful and patient, even when I asked a lot of questions. So, don't be afraid to speak up and ask questions - that's what they're there for!
Overall, I found the workshops to be a great way to dive deep into specific topics and gain practical experience working with AWS services.
Build a full-stack retail web application with AWS Amplify
“User-facing web and mobile applications are the primary touchpoint between organizations and their customers. To meet the ever-rising bar for customer experience, developers must deliver high-quality applications with both foundational and differentiating features. AWS Amplify helps frontend developers build faster front to back. In this workshop, learn how to build a full-stack retail web application with frontend UI and a backend with AWS Amplify Studio. Discover how to approach use cases such as data, authentication, storage, and APIs, and how to extend use cases as your needs evolve. Finally, learn how to deploy your serverless application using Amplify Hosting built-in hosting and out-of-the-box CI/CD capabilities. You must bring your laptop to participate.” Link
Detecting deforestation with geospatial images and Amazon SageMaker
“Since 1990, the earth has lost about one billion acres of forest, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In this workshop, learn how to track deforestation caused by fires and forest cutting using Sentinel-2 satellite imagery and visualize changes using Amazon SageMaker Studio labs. Build a SageMaker Jupyter Notebook that uses Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) geospatial imagery and calculates pixel changes, known as spectral indices. Create a machine learning model that identifies newly deforested areas and detects forest cut changes. You must bring your laptop to participate.” Link
Attending your first AWS re: Invent conference can be an exhilarating rollercoaster ride that may leave you feeling a tad overwhelmed. But don't worry, with some savvy planning, you can make this experience an absolute blast! So, buckle up, and get ready to schedule your sessions like a pro, sport those comfy shoes to navigate the massive venue with ease, hobnob with like-minded attendees to make valuable connections, hit up the Expo Hall to discover exciting new tech, and don't forget to take some well-deserved breaks to recharge your batteries. Share your thoughts on what else should've been added to this blog in the comments below, and let's make the most of this fantastic conference together!
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