AWS re:Invent Tips & Tricks Pt. 3

If you’re a certified AWS professional and going to reinvent, then you have a bit of a different perspective than most others attending the annual gathering of AWS users.

For those professionally certified that have not attended in the past, here are some things to expect. First, as soon as you check in you are most likely going to notice the certified branding on your badge. AWS certified professionals typically receive pins to put on their lanyards, backpacks, sweatshirts, etc. Even the pins themselves indicate different levels of achievement. For instance, sporting the silver hardware versus the brass indicates you achieved the AWS Professional Certification and signifies your proven knowledge (most humbly speaking of course).

The lanyards that you’ll see everyone else sporting are also of different colors that carry some significance. re:Invent has used the same color categories for the past few years, and here is a quick guide to what each of these colors indicates:

  • Black: Basic conference goer
  • Light blue:  AWS Partner
  • Green: Conference / Expo badge only
  • Yellow: AWS team members
  • Silver: Executive Summit pass holders
  • Red: Members of the media

You are seeking deeper knowledge

If you desire deeper level knowledge sessions, beyond the basics of any AWS service, your schedule should be filled with sessions that are no lower than the 300 level.

re:Invent meal breaks are the place to find hidden tricks that people are using in their implementations. Don’t just sit at a table alone or with all your colleagues because that is what feels comfortable. Mingle and learn from others.

Take a look at the campus map this year. Sessions are grouped by different talk tracks and the campus has expanded this year to encompass the entire Las Vegas strip. You’ll also notice the Campus Shuttle Service being offered to get you from your various desired bootcamps, certification exams, and sessions.

Making the Most of the Expo Hall

The Expo Hall serves as your go-to destination to seek answers from all of the vendors and sponsors at the conference. You may have a piece of third-party software that you are currently using, evaluating, or discovering for the first time. Take some time to talk to the people in the booths. This is your opportunity to talk to some of the more technical people on the partner teams and AWS product teams that can answer those deeper questions about a product or service that you are seeking.  

People often look at the expo floor as a place to get a bunch of SWAG, and it can be great for that. However, there are also great opportunities to get real feedback and experience on features and functionality to help inform final decisions. Look for conference goers at the booths talking to the technical SMEs that are getting insightful questions answered. That is the person to ask if they have a few minutes afterwards to compare notes on the product. Ask questions like what kind of problems have they faced with the product and would they give the product a recommendation?

Finally, be on your A game and always be prepared to make a first impression. Opportunities are abundant at re:Invent.

Adam BookComment