Your AWS re:Invent 2019 Guide to All Things DevOps

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High-stakes gambling, fine dining, and exclusive parties; that’s what Vegas is all about. Oh, and (DevOps) computer nerds of course! Yup, re:Invent 2019 is fast approaching, and year after year, it has proven itself as the cornerstone conference for the ever-growing AWS ecosystem. But with over 2,500 sessions offered at this year’s event, slated for December 2-6, the choice can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve spent the past month culling the re:invent promotional videos, blogs, and Tweets from well-known AWS heroes and evangelists in order to create this guide to the sessions the DevOps-minded cannot afford to miss.

So don’t take a gamble on how you choose to use your valuable time at this year’s re:Invent— save that for the card table—and check out our guide!

The DevOps Culture

DevOps is a multi-faceted domain. It’s a collection of culture, automation, lean, measurement, and last but not least, sharing. Without sharing and learning from others at scale, DevOps would be nearly impossible. So whether you’re leading your first DevOps transition, or you’ve been doing this for a while, bridging the gap between development and operations is key.
The following DevOps courses will provide valuable insight to help you define a culture of observability and empower your DevOps community of operators and developers.

Two DevOps sessions of particular interest this year focus on culture and storytelling, and I look forward to learning first-hand from the Amazon Prime Video team how to improve resiliency through chaos engineering. Speeding up the release process is another core theme for many organizations undergoing a DevOps transition, so this session about how a company charged up its CI/CD pipeline to help cut release cycle times by 600% is highly relevant.
Be sure to check out all our top picks below.

Recommended Sessions:

Containers, Containers, Containers!

Containers have played an important part in streamlining the DevOps process and thus simplifying the lives of DevOps teams. They create a consistent environment across the delivery pipeline; make it easier to update, share, and deploy applications; and they support a number of programming and deployment frameworks.

That’s why I highly recommend taking the time to brush up on your knowledge of AWS-hosted containers at this year’s re:Invent.

If you’re new to containers, I’d suggest signing up for Introduction to Amazon EC2 Containers, which will cover everything you want to know about containers, how to get started, and what’s up and coming. And the avid container operator or developer should be sure not to miss the roadmaps for containers at AWS session or the AWS containers bootcamp.

See our list below to find the right container learning opportunities for you and your organization.

Recommended Sessions:

Serverless Making DevOps Easier

The serverless world is constantly evolving and making even more in-roads to many companies who are looking to take advantage of the potential cost savings as well as increased agility and reliability the technology offers. For DevOps teams, going serverless offers major benefits. For example, eliminating the need to manage servers means more time can be focused on developing apps. But serverless comes with its challenges as well.

To this end, there are a number of sessions both DevOps teams looking to adopt serverless and those who have already done so shouldn’t miss at this year’s conference. The talks will cover everything from best practices for deploying workloads to AWS to troubleshooting of serverless applications and tuning event-driven Lambda and Amazon SQS solutions at scale.

Recommended Sessions:

DevSecOps: Shifting to the Left

I know you and your team understand security and that you work every day to ensure everyone does their part. Security is very much an integral part of any successful DevSecOps team and must be implemented from the ground up. And while it may not be your favorite part of your job, there are definitely ways to make integrating security across the pipeline easier.

To this end, this year’s re:Invent DevSecOps sessions are sure to inspire even the most experienced DevSecOps team and help your team get the most bang for its security buck, so take a look at our list of recommended sessions below.

Recommended sessions:
SEC323-R – Building a DevSecOps Culture
SEC302-R – DevSecOps: Integrating Security into Pipelines
SEC321-R – Continuous Security Monitoring and Threat Detection
SEC215-R – Best practices for Proactive Security Testing
DEM07-S – Life Hacks for Automating DevSecOps Security Tasks.

AI/ML Solutions for DevOps

AI and machine learning (AI/ML) may be seen as buzzwords, but they have certainly earned their place in the DevOps world by helping resolve CI/CD issues, create automated processes, and more. Whether you are new to AI/ML or an expert, these selected workshops, bootcamps, and hands-on training courses will help you better understand how to apply these technologies to simplify your DevOps processes.

With so many prominent use cases for AI/ML, this specialty ops vertical features inspiring stories about companies that have made incredible transformations and advancements through these technologies. These include applying AI solutions to automate cloud operations, improve customer relations, and automate the creation of redacted content.

If you’re a machine learning novice, the AWS DeepRacer session is a great hands-on learning experience for developers. For those at a more intermediate level, I recommend this full-day session on machine learning on AWS. And for those who want to dig deeper, this session on observability and ML advancements in the traditional metrics and logs space is one to reserve a seat for.

Recommended sessions:

Databases for DevOps Professionals

We know you care about your data, and re:invent offers a rich array of learning opportunities for DevOps professionals managing big (terabytes or petabytes) data. As cloud providers continue to drive down the costs associated with storage and compute, the need for databases to support large petabytes of data has never been greater.

At this year’s conference, you can discover how both relational and non-relational databases are more purpose-built, for example, in this session on how the Pokémon team moved a live database to Aurora PostgreSQL. Some of my favorite sessions are included below.

Database Recommendations

Bootcamps, Certifications, and GameDay Exercises

If you’re looking to enhance your existing DevOps skills, learn about new solutions, and soak up the wisdom of leading AWS experts, re:Invent will also offer a number of full- and half-day bootcamps geared for the DevOps engineer, SysOps administrator, and solutions architect. It will also feature developer courses and GameDay exercises. These sessions are sure to help you climb the DevOps career ladder.

Recommended sessions:

Your DevOps re:Invent Journey

If you want to help your DevOps team be the best it can be, to learn how to overcome the daily challenges it faces as well as streamline your DevOps process, and then unwind at some great parties, re:Invent 2019 is the place to be! With so many sessions with DevOps goodness this year, it’s important to make the most of your time by signing up for the sessions that will offer the knowledge and training that best fit your needs. We hope this guide has made that choice easier.

So get ready for an unforgettable DevOps learning experience, and hit me up on Twitter if you want to catch up at re:Invent!

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