4 min read
October 30, 2020

What to Watch at this Year's All-Virtual AWS re:Invent


Virtasant Research Team

This year's all-virtual AWS re:Invent is jam-packed with keynotes from cloud leaders and hundreds of sessions to tune into from anywhere.

This year has brought forth many changes in our lives and shifted how we engage with the world. Some changes were devastating while produced innovation and creativity. One silver lining to the temporary loss in mobility is that we've gained the occasional front row seat to events that some may not otherwise be able to attend.

From the in-theater movies to the NBA Playoffs, some of the biggest in-person attractions have found a way to meet their audience where they are - at home. Tech conferences and summits are no exception. HubSpot's INBOUND conference went all digital this year, along with hundreds of other global and regional tech events. Joining in the new normal, Amazon's annual AWS learning conference, re:Invent will be all-virtual for the first time in its 8-year run. The three-week conference will be "following with the sun," broadcasting hundreds of sessions in multiple time zones.

Our team is looking forward to hearing from leading engineers and architects to talk about cloud innovation on the world stage.

Compelling Keynotes

Kicking off the event will be the opening keynote address from Amazon CEO Andy Jassey live from Seattle. To follow will be weekly keynotes from half a dozen AWS thought-leaders and Amazon's c-suite.

Our Director of Marketing, Melisa Prolaz, is eager to check out re:Invent's first ever machine learning keynote from Swami Sivasubramanian. "I'm excited to hear more about AWS machine learning services, especially in terms of personalization and data analysis. Creating a positive customer experience is really important, and with the right set of tools, companies will be able to that more effectively."

James Cross, who pens a series on our blog about taking a pragmatic approach to an array of cloud topics, awaits Amazon VP and CTO Dr. Werner Vogels' keynote address on the future of software development. "Werner is the daddy of cloud computing," says Cross, "his insights are always super valuable." In addition to Dr. Vogels' insights, James says architects everywhere will be looking forward to seeing the new product and feature launches that will impact how they build.

Education and Diversity

Along with some brand new machine learning content, we'll also hear from Maureen Lonergan, Director of Worldwide Training and Certification for AWS. Her mission to create education and career advancement opportunities for a diverse span of technologists led to Virtasant's own push to sponsor a pool of engineers to complete AWS certification and accreditation this year.

Maureen's leadership of AWS's re/Start program aims to provide training and job opportunities to underrepresented and underemployed demographics and bring more talent into the tech space. Diversity and inclusion have increasingly come into center focus as tech industry leaders push to expand their recruitment efforts. Lonergan takes this a step further, creating a robust educational program that "prepares individuals for careers in the cloud and connects them to potential employers." Our Head of Content, Ashley Simpo, who helped lead Virtasant's diversity efforts and launch our very first diversity scholarship program, is excited to hear Lonergran's keynote. "I love how the re/Start program is connecting with underemployed folks as well as veterans. I think we're missing out on so much in tech if we're not tapping into the potential of everyone - not just a select few."

Big News For Developers

With the surge in demand for cloud solutions this year due to COVID-19, software and IT developers will be perched and waiting to see what insights and announcements come from the Container, Serverless, and Container leadership sessions. John Knight, Virtasant's DevOps lead, hopes to gain insights from these sessions. "Serverless, in particular, has a very disruptive potential so I want to see more serverless services and options available." Knight also looks forward to the Infrastructure Keynote from Peter DeSantis, Senior VP of Global Infrastructure, and Customer Support for AWS. "This could highlight the direction AWS will go in, as well as cover any new advances they might be working on next."

What's Next

With a little over a month to go until re:Invent, and more details being released each week, we're excited to learn more about what's to come this December. Here at Virtasant, we'll be covering the entire event and keeping the cloud conversation going. We'll be hosting an exclusive private event featuring nationally celebrated award-winning sommelier and restauranteur André Mack, and hosting a break out series, Hallway Conversations, where our experts share takeaways from their favorite sessions.


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