AWS re:Invent review: Las Vegas 2016 and what to expect in 2017

| 4 min. (733 words)

If you were in Las Vegas, Nevada during the week of November 28th  you probably noticed the sea of developers and IT professionals wearing black AWS re:Invent jackets. The northern portion of the Las Vegas Strip was almost constantly filled with AWS platform users, vendors, and partners from all corners of the world.

The Raygun team travelled down from our US Headquarters in Seattle for AWS re:Invent 2016 and I would like to share my experience in this AWS re:Invent review so you can get a flavor of what to expect next year.

What is AWS and AWS re:Invent?

For those who haven’t heard of it before, AWS stands for Amazon Web Services and is a subsidiary of Amazon. AWS itself is a cloud services platform handling everything from file hosting and traffic routing to machine learning and databases. Since 2012 AWS has hosted the AWS Re:Invent conference every year to announce new product offerings, certify developers on the AWS platform, and to provide top-tier training to developers of all experience and career levels. (Raygun provides support for AWS Code Deploy and AWS Lambda.)

AWS re:Invent 2016 continued to address the tremendous growth of attendees over previous years by increasing the number of sessions and adding additional venue locations. Even with those changes the conference was still packed to the brim with attendees clamouring to get access to standing-room-only sessions that had been booked solid week in advance. Despite the large amount of attendees and sessions, everyone was still overwhelming friendly, welcoming, and up for a quick chat about anything tech related.

The conference at a glance

The conference started off on Monday and Tuesday with a hackathon, a Alexa skills development competition, and numerous training sessions/bootcamps for attendees. The Global Partner Summit was also held on Tuesday for anyone who was part of the AWS Partner Network. Unlike the normal conference sessions, the Global Partner Summit sessions were geared towards executives, sales managers, and other technical professionals.

The main portion of the conference opened up Wednesday November 30th with a keynote by Andy Jassey, the CEO of Amazon Web Services. The rest of the days were filled with technical sessions, hands-on workshops, an amazing exhibit hall filled with sponsors, and continuing AWS certification tests being conducted. From 6:30 AM till late in the evening, you’d find the convention center halls at the Venetian and Mirage hotels teeming with energy as attendees rushed between session locations and took brief breaks in the halls to plan their next block of time.

Notable sessions

While the wait list lines to get into sessions were quite long and the sessions themselves were booked up full before the conference, I still managed to spend some time soaking up all the knowledge AWS provided. Among my favorite sessions were:

New product announcements

Another large portion of AWS Re:Invent every year is the announcement of new features and products for the AWS platform. This year was no different, with tons of additional features being added to existing systems and some completely new offerings that hadn’t been seen before on AWS.

Some of those new services that I really liked are:

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, AWS Re:Invent 2016 was a huge event and covered much more ground than any one developer could hope to take in over a week. Thankfully AWS will be posting most (if not all) of the session recordings online in the coming weeks. As those videos are released I’ll provide links to the sessions I mentioned above as well as a link to the entire video library.

Next year’s AWS Re:Invent will be held from November 27th through December 1st of 2017. The location is likely still going to be in Las Vegas, NV so plan to bring some warm clothes and comfortable shoes. Another tip for next year is to register early and make sure to watch for when the sessions open up for registration to make sure you have a guaranteed seat for all the great presentations!

Were you at AWS re:Invent 2016? If so I’d love to hear about your experience! Please leave a comment with your thoughts or any questions you might have.

Raygun provides support for AWS Lambda and AWS Code Deploy to provide deeper insights and better error tracking for your applications. Take a trial here or book a short demo with one of our friendly team members.