Chloe McAree (McAteer)
Published on

AWS re:Invent 2021- Day 4


Today is the last day that I am at re:invent and what an incredible week it has been!

Today started off with the CTO keynote from Dr. Werner Vogels. This keynote took us on the road to re:invent 2021, by covering some of the major milestones in AWS history up to now – leading up to some pretty big announcements.

One of the first announcements Werner made was around the continuous work AWS are doing to improve network latency. Currently AWS has 25 regions and 81 availability zones across 6 continents, but now there is a plan to add a further 9 regions that will be coming online in the next 2 years (Calgary, Switzerland, Spain, Israel, U.A.E, Hyderabad, Jakarta, Melbourne and New Zealand). Having these additional regions will really improve latency and also help with data residency requirements for companies/users that are in these new regions and have been previously connecting to a farther region.

If you are using multiple regions across the world, Werner also announced AWS Cloud WAN. If you are a company, with offices all around the world that needs to connect to applications in AWS, you can now select the regions you require and build, manage and monitor your own Wide Area Networks globally! All users or datacenters can then connect to the closest geographical location using a VPN or Direct Connect — it is all built in minutes as it utilises the AWS backbone. Users can then view things like connectivity status and performance issues all through the AWS console.

Throughout Werner’s talk he was joined on stage by some special guests — including the amazing Ali Spittel, Senior Developer Advocate for AWS Amplify and co-host of the incredible Lady Bug Podcast, who took the stage to announce AWS Amplify Studio!

“Visually build complete, feature rich apps in hours instead of weeks, with full control over application code”

One word… wow! This sounds incredibly powerful and the applications built through the studio will automatically have security and scalability baked in. What I really love about this is that you still have control over the code and can still maintain it as all artefacts created through the studio can be exported as code.

UI components can be built at speed using visual interface library which comes with a selection of pre-built UI components, but you can also configure a extensible corresponding backend application where you can define your data model, user authentication and file storage.

I am definitely very excited to try this one out soon!

Another incredible guest to join Werner on stage was Matt Coulter – Architect at Liberty Mutual, AWS DevTools Hero and creator/maintainer of CDK patterns.

Matt shared Liberty Mutuals journey to the cloud and how they have stayed adaptive and innovative over the years. He talked us through how they have got to rapidly developing business value in a well architected way through the use for AWS CDK. The use of CDK has not only helped reduce the amount of code required for creating resources, but it created a common construct/practice between teams.

“Reducing over 1,500 lines of AWS CloudFormation down to 14 lines of AWS CDK”

Since the launch of CDK patterns, Matt has went on to curate a CDK conference and has also released a CDK book! Werner honoured Matt on stage by presenting him with the “Now Go Build” award – a very well deserved award for all the amazing work that Matt has done.

This story of seeing Matt on the main keynote stage at re:Invent is definitely an inspiration to AWS Heroes globally and also our local Belfast tech community.

Overall I really enjoyed Werners keynote and have really learnt a lot from it!

After the session I spent some time checking out the conference expo hall, which contained a tonne of different booths from all the conference sponsors. The expo hall was huge and also had a number of different lounges within it including the All Builders Welcome Lounge and the Developers lounge — both of these had a number of smaller more meet-up style talks and demos taking place within them. These were all really cool and very relaxed spaces to ask questions and get to know people better! There was a really nice buzz around the expo hall and was great to hear a bit more about the different companies and also pick up some great free swag!

The past 4 days at the conference has been a total whirlwind, it has been such an incredible experience and has been amazing getting to connect with so many like minded people — I would definitely recommend attending re:Invent and hope to attend again. These blogs have all just been little highlights of each day I have spent at the conference and hopefully have helped provide a feel for what the different events are like! I have linked the blogs from previous days below if you would like to check them out:

  • Day 1 Blog — Includes a summary to who I am, event registration and some highlights from architecture and networking talks!

  • Day 2 Blog — Includes highlights from the CEO keynote and breakout sessions on R&D at Astra Zeneca, sustainability at AWS and diving into EKS.

  • Day 3 Blog — Includes highlights from Riot Games AWS Outposts session and includes information on the All Builders Welcome Grant)