re:Invent Guide: Programming in the Cloud


Community Hero

This guide is for re:Invent attendees who are interested in automating their cloud experience by using infrastructure as code, the command line interface, or software development kits.

I love scripting everything that I need to do more than once to make sure that I redo it the same way over and over again, and to avoid documenting click paths in the UI for fellow users by giving them a script to execute. Several lines of code are a way better form of documentation than pages full of screenshots that are outdated the moment you save the file. That is also why I maintain several OSS projects in the automation space and why I’m a contributor to the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK).

Suggested Sessions

Successful deployment of CI/CD using containers and AWS CDK ›

This talk gives a great overview of automating your CI/CD pipeline for container workloads on AWS. You get to know the AWS “Code” services and learn to deploy applications using the Cloud Development Kit (CDK).


Infrastructure as code for containers ›

This session provides a deep dive into running containerized applications using AWS CloudFormation, AWS Cloud Development Kit, or Terraform.


Deep dive into AWS Cloud Development Kit ›

If you are into the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK), this talk by Elad Ben-Israel and Jason Fulghum, directly from the CDK team, is a must-see. They dive deep into developing CDK applications and using the AWS Construct Library.


Contributing to the AWS Construct Library ›

This session guides your path to giving back to the community by contributing to the AWS Construct Library for the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK). The team shows you how to create your first pull request on the CDK project with live coding on stage.


Building a scalable serverless application with AWS CDK ›

This workshop is your perfect entry into the world of serverless application deployment using the AWS Cloud Development Kit. You also get to know the AWS “Code” services.


CI/CD pipeline integration using AWS native tools ›

In this builders session, you learn how to create a CI/CD pipeline using the AWS “Code” services to deploy a containerized application into Amazon ECS. There will be only six attendees in each session, so this is really hands-on, and it will fill up very fast.


Best practices for authoring AWS CloudFormation ›

If you are writing AWS CloudFormation templates, this session by the service team is a perfect fit. They show best practices for writing templates, testing them, and keeping them in a maintainable state. By looking at real-world samples, you learn the best way to write great templates.


Adopting infrastructure as code for existing AWS environments ›

You want to use infrastructure as code, but you already have your application running in the cloud? In this builders session, an expert shows you and five other attendees how to import existing resources into AWS CloudFormation. This session will be out of space fast.


Building AWS CloudFormation custom resources ›

Do you love AWS CloudFormation, but feel that an important feature is missing? In this builders session, you learn how to implement AWS Lambda-backed custom resources, including tests and troubleshooting. Only five other attendees will be in this session, so reserve your seat early. Some cool newly released features might be part of the session too!


What's new in AWS CloudFormation ›

This session recaps all the great new features in AWS CloudFormation that were added before and especially at re:Invent. The team covers new features and improvements that span many use cases, including programmability options, cross-region and cross-account automation, operational safety, and additional integration with many other AWS services.


Introduction to the AWS CLI v2 ›

In this talk, the core developers of the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), Kyle Knapp and James Saryerwinnie, show the new version of the CLI, which comes with better user experience, more interactive features, and new high-level commands.


Speed up native mobile development with AWS Amplify ›

This session is not a typical infrastructure session, but it shows how front-end and application developers can automate the cloud using the AWS Amplify client framework to set up infrastructure without knowing the details about it.


Building and deploying applications on AWS with Python ›

This is another session by Kyle Knapp and James Saryerwinnie, the core developers of Boto3. This session focuses on writing Python applications using the AWS SDK. They walk through the complete development and deployment process of a serverless Python application.


Leadership Session: Developer Tools on AWS ›

This leadership session by Ken Exner, general manager of AWS Developer Tools, gives a good overview of all the tooling available and paints a picture of the future of developer tools on AWS. Be prepared for new announcements in this session. This talk is an absolute must-see for people programming the cloud.


Using CDK construct libraries to meet enterprise compliance ›

On Tuesday at noon, I will talk about how to use the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) to make sure that you adhere to all the rules your enterprise defines for the cloud, like encryption, firewalling, and so on. I will stick around after the talk, so feel free to get in touch.


To sum everything up, I want to give some advice for the week in Las Vegas.

First of all, plan enough travel time when switching between venues. You should plan for at least one hour to get from one hotel to another.

To get the most out of the sessions at re:Invent, feel free to get in touch with the speakers after their sessions. After some sessions, there will even be speaker meet and greets in dedicated areas.

When planning your week, I recommend prioritizing chalk talks, builders sessions, and workshops above regular sessions, as the latter ones will be recorded and available to view later on.

The conference is about learning new things and getting to know other people, so go to networking events throughout the week and talk to people. Good icebreakers include:

• What is your favorite AWS service?
• What did you enjoy most about your last session?
• What did you learn today?

And after all the work and learning, don’t forget to give your brain some rest by enjoying the week and the events in Las Vegas. See you there!

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