Our Favorite Sessions from re:Invent 2022

Chris / December 6, 2022 in 

We’ve just returned from re:Invent 2022 Amazon Web Services’ annual developer conference. This year over 50,000 attendees gathered in Las Vegas for the conference. It was a jam-packed week of learning, networking, and . . . exceeding our step goals.

Out of the dozens of sessions our team attended, here are three that stood out as favorites.

Amazon’s Culture of Innovation (INO102)

Breakout session

Giulia Rossi, Principal Digital Innovation Lead, AWS

At BTI360, we know that two critical elements to software success are:

  1. Building the right thing
  2. Building the thing right

It’s easy for software engineers to become too focused on the second part. And while building the right thing with practices like Clean Code, Test-Driven Development, and Refactoring are crucial to a program’s longevity, you still ultimately need to arrive at a marketable product. That’s where building the right thing comes into play.

Giulia Rossi’s breakout session, “Amazon’s Culture of Innovation” dove into practices Amazon uses to make sure they are building the right thing for new products. The session discussed how they start each product with a press release, an FAQ, and a visual guide before any code is written. With the product vision set, they work backwards to write the code. In this way, they keep the customer’s perspective and desires at the center of their product development.

The session emphasized the importance of prudent risk-taking:
“Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking”

This is because:
“Failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.” (Jeff Bezos)

This is important advice in a world where customers and development teams can become too focused on too many 9s of availability. Stifling risk will stifle innovation as well.


AWS GameDay: The New Frontier (GHJ301)

Gamified Learning

Melina Schweizer, Sr. Partner SA, AWS
Danny Navo, Product Manager, AWS
James DeHart, Partner Solutions Architect, AWS

GameDay is a collaborative coding exercise format where participants are tasked with solving a real-world problem using AWS services. There is no prescribed solution, so participants have broad leeway in crafting a solution. The best teams are flexible, creative, and comfortable with ambiguity.

BTI360 is no stranger to AWS GameDays. We work with our dedicated AWS representatives to bring AWS GameDays in-house for our team at our Herndon office. The New Frontier GameDay at re:Invent may have been our favorite one yet.

Dylan: “We used a variety of services to solve problems, some of which I hadn’t tried or known about before (e.g. AWS App Runner). Plus, we were able to work on multiple “quests” in parallel so everybody had something to do the whole time.”

We sent two teams to two separate GameDay sessions. Even though this was a new GameDay challenge for us, both of them placed in the top three!

Andy, Dylan, Peter and Mike placed second, earning drones as a prize. Separately, Tyler, Gordon, Bart and Jim earned first place and were rewarded with a photo opp with Werner Vogels.

Keep an eye out for us in 2023, when we plan to continue BTI360’s dominance of GameDay events at re:Invent 2023.


How to Stay Afloat in Your Data Lakes (STP305)

Chalk Talk

Christine Samson, Manager, Startup Solutions Architecture, AWS
Winston Nwanne, Solutions Architect, AWS

BTI360 is supporting customers building out Data Lakes for their structured and unstructured data at scale. This chalk talk gave a helpful overview of many technical aspects that go into Data Lake implementations.

On the security front, the talk covered a plethora of layers of defense including:

  • S3 data access restrictions with bucket policies, S3 access points, S3 data encryption, S3 object tagging and S3 object lock
  • Principal access restrictions with IAM policies and Cognito user pools

The talk also covered innovative data organization patterns, in particular a technique of using separate buckets for raw, processed, and consumable data.

The speakers also offered strategies for optimizing cost with S3 storage classes, as well as ideas for using S3 Storage Lens for visibility into usage and metrics.

We recommend this talk to anyone involved in Data Lake design and implementation.

Career Opportunities
Are you looking to join a software company that invests in its teammates and promotes a strong engineering culture? Check out our current Career Opportunities. We’re always looking for like-minded engineers to join the BTI360 team.


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