Ah, AWS re:Invent: the largest cloud conference in the world. Can you believe it's eight-years-old?! I'm sure when it was a mere twinkle in Jeff Bezos's eyes (and when Amazon's stock was at a fraction of it's ulcer-inducing ~$1,100/share price), no one expected AWS to become the leader in cloud hosting. Since then, Google and Microsoft have been playing catch-up, and now, everything is in "the cloud" (just ask Bezos).
The Tugboat Logic team will be going to re:Invent this year, and we put together a top 5 list of must-dos for people going to the conference. Note we're not listing out sessions and workshops that you should attend: the Datadog team has put together an excellent guide for that, and Gremlin has one of the more visually appealing guides for the conf.
Must-Do #1: Comfy shoes, earplugs, lip balm, portable battery Lot of walking. Lot of people (~60,000+). Lot of dry, cold air (it is the desert, after all). Very few electrical outlets around. You're going to need all of these, and then some.
For shoes, I recommend Hokas: when you wear them, you look like you're straight out of a LifeAlert commercial. But, they're like "running on clouds" according to my brother's former cross country coach (and especially great if you have bad knees). Hokas will also help if you're going to be on a Strip booze cruise at the numerous free happy hours provided by vendors.
To ward off hearing loss from the 60,000+ people milling around The Strip, you're going to need earplugs. Seriously, it gets loud. And nothing beats having a conversation full of yell-talking, so bring earplugs (or grab some from our booth).
And of course lip balm and a portable battery pack (like the ones Anker sells) are self-explanatory and needed at all times.
Must-Do #2: Don't use the shuttles. Seriously.
Wading through the morass of humanity that is The Strip is daunting, but man, it beats sitting on a bus waiting for over an hour just to go up two blocks. However, if that's your yum, then I certainly won't yuck it (or whatever the kids and Joe Biden say nowadays).
Must-Do #3: Check out "Life Hacks for Automating DevSecOps Security Tasks" at Pilvi Theater (Venetian) Our Chief Product Officer Patrick Murray will be speaking at re:Invent this year with the aptly-named "Life Hacks for Automating DevSecOps Security Tasks". It's bad enough engineers have to wear multiple hats as part of their jobs, so why not learn some pro tips from a veteran product guy who's helped really successful eng and product teams scale?
Patrick will be speaking on Wed 12/4 from 11:10 AM - 11:30 AM at the Venetian (Level 2) in Pilvi Theater . Go check out his talk, and even if you only learn one thing from it, you'll at least have something actionable to the security work you inevitably have to do as part of your day-to-day.
Must-Do #4: Collect the cool enamel pins and shirts It's true: some shirts and swag from various vendors will be "meh". You don't need those, unless you're trying to re-gift them as Christmas gifts or for a White Elephant party (which was a great TIL post on Reddit), or you want to help Marie Kondo stay in business longer. But, please don't be like one of my former colleagues at re:Invent last year: instead of engaging and selling software to attendees as part of her job description, she decided to booth crawl and stuff her backpack (and grab several reusable bags) full of random swag – literally to the point where her backpack could not close and her bags were overflowing.
Must-Do #5: Check out the different sponsored bar crawls and dinners hosted by various sponsors
Yeah, those are glorified sales meet-and-greet sessions, but where else will you get free drinks and food? In all seriousness, those are great places to meet new people and hang out with former co-workers you haven't seen in a minute. Not to mention, they're also actually legit places to chat up a sales rep for a tool your boss is making you evaluate. Bonus Must-Do: Check out the Tugboat booth (we're next to Meetings Room West) to learn how you can save $22,000 or more on your next SOC 2 audit (and get free earplugs)
Like hearing loss, security and compliance work can sneak up on you. We help you be prepared, just like the earplugs will come conference time. Plus, you can tune out sales pitches you don't like on the floor lol.