Eric Hammond
Internet Startup Technologist
Los Angeles, USA

This guide is for re:Invent attendees who have already started using AWS serverless technologies and methodologies and want to move to the next level. Select from the following session suggestions to get up to speed with the latest news and advances, sharpen your knowledge and skills, and add to your serverless toolbox.

Monday

  • SRV319 - Security & Compliance for Modern Serverless Applications
    Security in the new serverless world is just as important as it ever was in the old, but the responsibilities have shifted and the tools and techniques are evolving. This talk by Saroj Thatte and Daniel Lees covers the security model with AWS Lambda and API Gateway, and includes the use of services like AWS Config, IAM, Cognito, and AWS Secrets Manager.
  • SRV302 - Monitoring and Troubleshooting AWS Lambda Applications
    When we build large serverless applications with many AWS Lambda functions, we experience challenges trying to troubleshoot, debug, and monitor the system as a whole and in depth. This session walks through how to address these issues with tools and recommended practices.

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • SRV409 - A Serverless Journey: AWS Lambda Under the Hood
    Holly Mesrobian and Marc Brooker will share expert-level secrets that have not previously been published about the internals of AWS Lambda. Understanding how AWS Lambda is built (and why) may help us use it to build our serverless applications more efficiently and effectively.
  • CMP207 - AWS Compute Leadership Session: What’s New in Amazon EC2, Containers, and Serverless
    Formerly known as “State of the Union” talks, the “Leadership” presentations are required attendance in each AWS service area we care about. There is a more serverless-specific leadership session on Thursday, but this general compute session led by Matt Garman will announce some new capabilities in AWS serverless. It’s always fun to be in the room when that happens.
  • SRV401 - Optimizing Your Serverless Applications
    Briefly named “Become an AWS Lambda Black Belt” in the session catalog, this expert-level presentation by Chris Munns will help us understand the principles required to make our serverless applications bullet-proof and scale them to heroic proportions without breaking a sweat.

Thursday

  • SRV325 - Modern Application Development: A Leadership Discussion
    In this Leadership session, David Richardson and Deepak Singh, leaders of Serverless and Compute Services at AWS, bring us up to speed on all the latest advances in this area and clarify how all these services work together for building effective applications.
  • SRV305 - Inside AWS: Technology Choices for Modern Applications
    Tim Bray shares insights into what AWS services AWS developers use to build AWS services and why! Remember that our challenges may not be the same as the ones AWS faces, but this is still invaluable information and pretty exciting to learn.
  • (OR)
  • ARC305 - Serverless Architectural Patterns and Best Practices
    This session will expand our knowledge of serverless architecture patterns with Maitreya Ranganath and Drew Dennis. The more familiarly we have with architecture options, the better choices we make when it comes time to build with serverless.

Friday

  • DEV307 - Serverless Application Debugging and Delivery Best Practices
    Set a breakpoint in a locally-run AWS Lambda function and step through its code. This presentation by Steve Mayszak and Sanath Kumar Ramesh shows how to use the Cloud 9 tool for low-level, old-school debugging in code written to run on new-school, serverless architectures. Includes building a release pipeline with CodeStar, and using X-Ray to debug in production.
  • SEC401 - Mastering Identity at Every Layer of the Cake
    This expert-level presentation by Quint Van Deman covers the critical security concept of identity and how it works at every level of our applications, working with AWS IAM, Directory Services, and Cognito. Reference architectures and code included!

Tip 1: Chalk Talks

Some of the best advanced and expert-level serverless content this year at AWS re:Invent will be in the Chalk Talk session format. Unfortunately, Chalk Talks are not recorded and the audience size for each session is small (perhaps 50 people), so we’ll want to register early:
re:Invent Advanced and Expert Serverless Chalk Talks

As these Chalk Talks fill up, Amazon may add more repeat sessions, so keep checking back for topics of interest.

Tip 2: Workshops

The advanced and expert-level serverless Workshops are longer format, hands-on sessions that fill up quickly:
re:Invent Advanced and Expert Serverless Workshops

Tip 3: Builders Sessions

Folks who feel really lucky may try to reserve a seat in one of the advanced serverless Builders Sessions. Each of these sessions has room for 5 fortunate attendees, and the participants work directly with an AWS expert who helps them experiment and build on AWS using their laptop:
re:Invent Advanced and Expert Serverless Builders Sessions

Tip 4: New service/feature sessions

Immediately after big announcements are made at AWS re:Invent, we can often find brand new sessions added to the session catalog for that new service. Sign up quickly if session registration is available, or head to those sessions early to get a spot in line to hear the exciting details about the new services and features.

I’ll see you in the halls at AWS re:Invent 2018!