AWS Summit NYC 2018: What’s in a Cloud?

Last week, I attended AWS Summit NYC 2018 at Javits Center in New York City.  While I’ve attended tech conferences in the past, this was the first technical industry-driven conference.  AWS Summits happen all over the world, and are free to attend!

What’s AWS?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing platform.  Amazon launched the service in 2006 to support its own infrastructure.

Cloud Computing Services provide “on-demand” delivery of computation, database storage, applications, and other IT resources via the Cloud.  AWS utilizes convenient pay-as-you-go pricing format.  Basically, you only pay what you use, when you use.

You can minimize risks and financial expenditures while maximizing flexibility and scalability.  Pricing for the services range from Free to $15,000/mo, scaling with use.

It blends IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) with Paas (Platform as a Service) and Saas (Software as a Service).  Its services range from data storage to Artificial Intelligence to Video Encoding.  Its services are expanding every year.

In short, it can do almost anything you can dream up of from a web service.  If you are using Gmail, Google Drive, or GoDaddy, you are also using Cloud Computing.

While it’s not unique (you’ve probably heard of competitors such as Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure), it’s by far the most widely adopted.  According to RightScale, AWS accounts for over half of all Cloud Adoption in both 2016 and 2017.

Microsoft Azure came in next, rapidly gaining marketshare.  Google Cloud came in third, with half of Azure’s marketshare.  (Personally, I’ve never even heard of Oracle Cloud…)

Cloud Adoption graphs with AWS leading with 57%.

What’s AWS Summit?

AWS Summit is a convention for sharing the newest and hottest about AWS.  It provides a venue for partner companies and users to share their products and effective ways they have utilized AWS.

It’s free to attend the summit itself.  You can also choose to attend bootcamps about certain topics or certifications for a fee.  Since I felt I didn’t have enough background in AWS to benefit from the bootcamps, I attended just the summit.

Summit Registration Booth

There are high-profile keynotes where they announce new releases and reports, as well as multiple educational sessions to attend.  They also have testing labs to play with AWS features.

They provide free lunch, and the Expo has vendors waiting to pounce on you (with lightsabers).  I wish someone was handing out umbrellas to prepare for the downpour that began around 3!

3 people in a group shot in a convention center, with two males having emojis over their faces, and one girl holding up her AWS Summit convention badge.

I attended the AWS Summit with my boyfriend and 2 teammates from work.  Separately and together, we explored the different sessions, the expo, and the labs. Ironically, the labs went down right as we were about to get in. I bet they were running on AWS.

Headphones for event

One of the coolest think about the convention was that in one of the sessions I attended, there were 3 different sessions happening simultaneously in the same room.  So attendees could listen and focus on their chosen session, they provided headphones tuned to each session.

I did worry a little bit about ear cooties, as a fellow attendee commented, but I decided to trust the AWS Summit gods and their sanitation wipes.  And… My ears haven’t fallen off yet, so I guess it was ok?

The AWS Summit NYC 2018’s keynote was hosted by Amazon’s CTO, Dr. Werner Vogels, and General Manager of AWS, Dr. Matt Wood.

Why AWS Summit?

I am looking to take my first AWS certification this fall, so I am slowly beginning to immerse myself in certification resources and poking around in the console to gain experience.  Attending the conference and listening to users speak about ways they are using AWS encouraged me to begin using it myself.

Since I am looking to become a Cloud Administrator/Engineer, AWS is one of the logical next steps in my list of systems to learn.  It’s recently become even more relevant, as our company has started to actively leverage its many features.  This is exciting because as soon as I become more fluent in AWS, I will have ways to contribute to the administration of AWS within the company.

AWS administrators are hot commodities these days, with AWS Certified Solutions Architects having average of $125k/yr salaries.  Each of the 5 AWS certifications have average salaries of more than $100k/yr, and are highly sought after in many industries.

Apparently there were over 10,000 attendees at AWS Summit NYC!  If you’re interested in a free and educational tech event introducing cutting-edge technology, check out their itinerary!

Do you use Cloud Computing for work or for fun? I’m just recently getting into it, and I find it fascinating!

Hiroko Nishimura
AWS Community Hero. Special Education teacher turned IT Engineer turned Technical Writer. Author "AWS for Non-Engineers" (Manning Publications). Technical Instructor "Introduction to AWS for Non-Engineers" (LinkedIn Learning).

3 thoughts on “AWS Summit NYC 2018: What’s in a Cloud?”

  1. That’s pretty neat it’s free and had so much going on. I love how those headphones light up. Glad your ears haven’t fallen off. Back in the day, I used to use AWS for hold content files so they wouldn’t weigh down sites I was managing. Worked great at the time. I liked your strike out sentence. LOL

    1. I was very surprised it was free too! And I’m glad my ears are still here… I am clearly not germaphobic enough because until someone tweeted me I didn’t even think about ear cooties. LOL. I am playing around with it, and highly considering moving some of my websites on there! It’s amazing infrastructure!

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