AWS re:Invent: The Guide To Not Going

AWS hosts their annual conference next week in Las Vegas, bringing in 40,000+ people from around the world to showcase their company and roll out new and enhanced services for the coming year. AWS re:Invent is a big deal, and for many of us, how we spend 2019 will be greatly shaped by the announcements next week. That’s why we subject ourselves to the sprawling campus, huge crowds and long lines.

Everyone seems to have a guide on how to go to reInvent–what to do, how to get the most out of it and tips on managing the absurd scale of the event. But, there are hundreds of thousands who aren’t going but are equally interested in what’s happening. This simple guide will help you keep an eye on what’s going on next week from the comfort of your desk or couch.

Keynotes

The most significant product announcements occur during Andy Jassy and Werner Vogels’ keynotes on Wednesday and Thursday morning. The keynotes are not to be missed, but they’re also occasionally watered down by customer showcases, long tirades against Oracle, and disappointing musical segues. So, they’re perfect to tune into via the AWS livestream while multi-tasking.

Many conference attendees will also watch from hotel rooms to avoid the crowds. 10,000 people sitting on chairs in a large, dimly lit room is not for everyone.

Keynote Schedule

  • Monday Night Live: Monday (11/26) @ 7:30PM PT This keynote is usually light on announcements but full of interesting stories and insightful on AWS strategy. In effect, this is a good way to learn the roadmap that will guide announcements that will come later in the year.
  • Global Partner Summit Keynote: Tuesday (11/27) @ 8:30AM PT AWS talks to its partners about coming changes to the various partnership programs, but anyone can listen in. If you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Andy Jassy: Wednesday (11/28) @ 8:00AM PT Andy’s talk is the main event of the conference, rolling out the most significant product announcements, giving painful but obligatory customer showcases, and taking potshots at Oracle whenever possible. The talk is long. Really long. 3 hours this year. But, it also is dense with key announcements, particularly entirely new products.
  • Werner Vogels: Thursday (11/29) @ 8:30AM PT Werner’s talk takes a back seat to Andy’s, but it is still full of useful announcements. For daily AWS users, Werner’s talk may be the more important one. It tends to cover enhancements to existing services that we spend most of our time with. Typical announcements include new instance and storage types, enhancements to managed services and increasing or eliminating old limits.

It is a good idea to register for the livestreams ahead of time. They’ll also be available after the fact, though sometimes it takes a few days for AWS to post them.

Launchpad

Launchpad is a twitch livestream of non-stop product demos, interviews and Q&A sessions. This was a bit of a yawn last year, but AWS has promised it will be more interesting this year. The goal is to demo newly announced products, so don’t expect much on Tuesday.

AWS will be streaming Launchpads on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You can watch them on Twitch.

Expo

Hundreds of vendors pay a premium to exhibit at the conference. Aside from an opportunity to get copious amounts of swag, it is also a great way to see how companies are pitching their products. Though the list is poorly assembled, you can browse the list of exhibitors to learn more about them.

Twitter

The AWS Twitter feeds will be in full force, giving additional info as announcements roll out. We’ll be retweeting what we think is best, so follow us on Twitter @RhythmicTech.

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