The time is upon us again, and soon we will prepare to descend on Las Vegas. It is time to begin getting ready for AWS re:Invent. This year’s event begins on November 27th and runs through December 1st.  There are pre-event activities on Sunday December 26th as well, but let’s concentrate on what you’ll want to be keeping track of during the main stage and conference actives.

Here are some key things you should be thinking about while getting ready for AWS re:Invent 2017:

  1. Download the AWS re:Invent mobile app:
  2. Build out your agenda with room to learn and to enjoy the community
  3. Use the opportunity to get certified
  4. Get some hands-on labs experience for free
  5. Prepare to walk a lot.  The event spans 6 different hotel locations.
The full agenda is here, which gives a day-by-day view by track.  You can also take a look at the official catalog to see which content suits your mood and goals.  The catalog can be searched by session track, level of technical depth,

There is little doubt that AWS architecture and new design patterns are opening up new opportunities for IT architects and developers alike.  It was just over 10 years ago that AWS was sharing stats that they had reached 150,000 users on their services.  In 2017, they predict 13 Billion dollar in revenue.  The re:Invent event this year is the sixth in it’s history with an expectation of upwards of 40,000 attendees.

It should be announcements galore from both AWS and the overall AWS partner ecosystem, so prepare your Twitter timeline for a lot of fast moving information once the show begins.

There is more to just the news and sessions that you can do as well.

Getting Certified at re:Invent 2017

The education services are out in full force at re:Invent.  Your in-person education opportunities cover everything from bootcamps to hackathons and lots in between.  If you want to start getting ready for AWS certifications ahead of time, be sure to take a look at some great free AWS learning resources.  For the AI content seekers, there is also the Deep Learning Summit that happens on Thursday the 30th which will explore how others are using AI to solve very interesting challenges.

Content in the breakout sessions is dived up as Introductory, Advanced, and Expert, so every level of skill and content depth is available there. If you are a virtualization specialist, you can learn how to map the different AWS certifications to take a test while you are on site if you have the chance.

For the builder in all of us, there is even an AWS Lego section to take a break from all the traditional learning and conference activities.

Hands-on Labs at re:Invent 2017

The hands-on labs are open from Monday through Friday including a Late Night Labs event on Wednesday which adds beverages and snacks to keep you fueled up while you practice and learn.  Remember, these labs are a rare opportunity to use AWS resources free of charge and with guidance.  The online labs available publicly require credits when you’re not at the event.

Most of all, have fun!  There will be a lot of our community friends there and many new people to meet.  As you can see by the Play section on the re:Invent web site, there are more than enough opportunities to break out of the routine while you explore the AWS cloud.

getting ready for aws reinvent cloud play

Enjoy the event.  For those who cannot attend in person, there will be a live stream of the content from the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday keynote sessions.  The registration page is available here, and be sure to keep watching the AWS YouTube channel as the sessions begin to publish throughout the week and after the event finishes.