Chloe McAree (McAteer)
Published on

AWS re:Invent - Community Edition


As the vibrant lights of Las Vegas welcomed attendees to another year of AWS re:Invent, I found myself immersed not only in the realm of groundbreaking technical innovations but, more importantly, in the heartbeat of the AWS community.

A huge part of these conferences are the people that you meet and the community that you have around you. While there was such a huge range of announcements at re:Invent in terms of compute, serverless and AI this year, I wanted to release this blog more on the community aspect of the conference!

AWS Community Builders

The Community Hub

I am now in my 4th year as a AWS Community Builder, having joined during its initial Beta program. If you are unfamiliar, it is a community that offers technical resources, education, and networking opportunities to AWS technical enthusiasts around the world.

This year at re:Invent there was a dedicated space for community builders, heroes and user group leaders. Nestled in the heart of the conference buzz in the Venetian Hotel was the AWS Community Hub at Buddy Vs Ristorante.

This hub became the go-to spot between sessions, offering not just food and drinks to refuel, but also the opportunity to dive into highlights from talks, share learnings and hear everyone's opinions on keynote announcements – it was a great space to meet people and let technical discussions unfold.

Community Builder Mixer

Tuesday night brought the AWS Community Builder Mixer, an event brimming with energy, connections, and a touch of AWS style – Last year we were given an AWS Community Builder branded cable bag as swag that hold leads, adapters and all sorts of cables, for an event like this, I decided to transform it into a handbag, adding a shoulder strap and making it the accessory of the night!

This was such a fun night, it's amazing to see how these gatherings transcend geographical boundaries, uniting the AWS community in a shared passion for innovation. I typically connect with a lot of my fellow builders over Slack and LinkedIn, so getting the opportunity to hang out face to face is always super fun! A highlight for me is catching up with some of the builders I met previously this year in LA, when AWS invited me to an AWS x Riot Games experience, where we all got to learn about the technology that powers esports. It was great getting to hear about what everyone has been working on and gain some insights into their future plans.

Women In Cloud

A delightful Women in Cloud brunch set the tone for a day of inspiration. Fuelled by coffee, pancakes, and maple syrup, I connected with women from diverse backgrounds, sharing stories, insights, and plans for future community initiatives. At this event I also got to meet some of the recipients of the All-Builders Welcome Grant, a program close to my heart, as I was a previous recipient a few years ago. It was great to have the opportunity to pay forward the support I once received and offer advice and tips for making the most of the program.

Certification Lounge

Over the years when working with AWS, I have been completing my certifications to really enhance my knowledge and ensure that I am staying up to date with the best practices in working with these tools and services.

A perk of holding an AWS certification is that you get access into the AWS Certification lounge at re:Invent – a private lounge filled with tea, coffee, spaces to work and an opportunity to connect with other certification holders.

One of my favourite things about the lounge is getting to build your own AWS Lego figurine, using your certifications as building blocks. I love seeing how my Lego character has changed over the years, by getting to add new blocks.

I currently hold: Developer Associate, Solutions Architect Associate and Machine Learning speciality certifications.

Since everyone in this lounge is a certification holder, it is a really great place to ask advice and get study recommendations – I am interested in sitting the security exam next, so it was great to hear from some people who have sat it this year to understand, which modules they found hardest, how they studied, how long it took them to review the content and overall hear about the benefits it has brought them in their day to day work.

Speaking at the MongoDB Booth

Speaking at the MongoDB booth was a highlight, allowing me to share more about a project I am very passionate about at Hamilton Robson that showcases the positive impact Generative AI can have. During this talk, I delved into employing Generative AI in language translations and text-to-speech applications, ultimately contributing to greater inclusivity within visitor attractions. I discussed how we selected the right tools, the challenges we faced, and our overall learnings from building this award-winning platform!

MongoDB also hosted an incredible evening in their Emerald Lounge, filled with food, drinks, dancing robots, pac-man machines and an AI DJ that added a unique twist to the night.

The AI DJ was fun to interact with, it showcases using embeddings and vector search in such an engaging way. To use it, you started by answering a few questions, your name, your thoughts on how GenAI is impacting the way you work and then the tool ran sentiment analysis and based on your level of optimism, it returned a list of different songs, you could then pick which of the songs got added to the queue to play for the whole party – such a fun way to get involved!


Overall, I had an amazing re:Invent this year - it was great to catch up with old friends and meet new connections. A personal highlight for me was meeting someone who has been learning from my blogs.

I have been writing blogs for the past 7 years and it is something I absolutely love doing, whether it’s a quick debugging blog, a new service I'm experimenting with, a certification study guide or a personal growth piece on leadership or development. Writing for me has always been a way for me to learn more and share what I'm doing – so a really special part of re:Invent for me was hearing from one of this year's ABW grant participants that they have been using my blogs and it has helped with their learnings towards a certification. For me this really means a lot and I can't believe the impact something like these can have on people, so thank you to anyone who is reading. My main goal for these blogs has always been to help people with my learnings.

With a plethora of announcements in compute, serverless, and AI, re:Invent 2023 did not disappoint. Stay tuned for a dedicated blog where I unpack my main takeaways and learnings, ready to be applied in my day-to-day endeavours.