Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Conference Circus

I went down to Chicago yesterday for the Amazon Web Services Summit. This is a fairly large conference (approx. 5500 attendees). For those that don't know, Amazon offers cloud servers and storage space for any public or private organization for pennies on the dollar compared to what you might pay your own IT shop. They're the 500 pound gorilla of computing technology right now and getting bigger everyday.

I'll try not to bore you with all the geeky cool stuff I saw because, frankly it's a yawner for most people. I took the train down and between it and the conference, I came away with some interesting thoughts on the day. I'll sum them up here.


  1. If you've been to one tech conference, you've kind of been to them all. Lots of geeky looking people, many lugging laptops, tablets, phones and coffee while fast walking between sessions. Statistically I would put them at 70% male with a median age around 36.
  2. The train is my favorite way to travel for a number of reasons. First, you can sleep if you want. Or you can read if you want. Or listen to music. Or play mindless games on your tablet. If you're lucky enough to travel alone, it's like an hour and a half vacation. 
  3. The phrase of the day yesterday was "an all-in approach," as in "Netflix took an all-in approach to using Amazon Web Services." Heard it about four times. Does anyone ever take a "halfway-in" approach? Are there other percentage approaches? 
  4. I managed to pilfer a free T-Shirt from a vendor table without getting my badge scanned, which is always a bonus. (It saves you from having to answer their follow up sales pitch cold-call a week later. Never mind that these shirts are typically pretty ugly - nothing I'd much wear in public - but I lift and pilfer when I can. Why? No friggin' clue. Because I can't turn down anything free. Lord knows I have 300 other T-Shirts, why do I need one filled with tech-logos? It's a disorder and I'm not sure how to treat it. (Nor is my wife.)
  5. Similar to number four above, I do the same thing for trinkets, gadgets and vendor junk that sits out alluringly to pull in suckers like me. A flashlight that will break on the plane home? I NEED that! A stress ball globe that flattens into a mouse pad?  Sure, I MUST have that! A Swiss Army knife made in Thailand (Isn't that a Thai Army Knife?) well, now there's something that might actually get used in my fishing tackle box.
  6. Why am I subjected to watching a looping terrorist video in the train station telling me to call the cops if I see anything suspicious? Trust me if I see a backpack with alarm clocks strapped to it and fuse coming out, I'm calling the cops. No need to hire bad actors to act this out for me. The shady guy in the trench coat carrying the guitar case? Well, that's normal. Those guys are everywhere. LOL.
  7. How does blaring music in the conference atrium help make the conference better? I'm puzzled. Was that an extra charge? Save it and put more coffee out at the break please.
  8. Speaking of conferences, why is it that I can drink coffee all day at these things? I normally have a cup a day. Well, it's probably that "free" thing again.
  9. I'm a sucker for overtipping cabbies. For a $10 fair yesterday, I tipped $5.00 both times. They were both super appreciative. I figure if nothing else, I made someone else's day. That and I feel like a skinflint saying can I get two dollars back?
  10. These tech conferences are all about the jargon and acronyms. I came away from the conference yesterday with this mission:
I noodled the information, then leveraged it, then repurposed the big data, sent it to the cloud using an enterprise authentication store, and am now part of an "all-in approach" to an elastic cloud computing solution (EC2) for application development, deployment, with low latency, high availability, using a pay-as-you-go, high uptime virtual server in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and gathering statistics using CloudWatch and CloudTrail while looking at new technologies like Signal To Noise (S2N) and Elastic Block Storage (EBS, not IBS which is actually Itchy Butt Syndrome) to insure that we meet the Burstable demands provided by the Transfer Layer Security.

It makes your head spin a bit. But, at least I had a train ride to digest it all.

Blogging off...



2 comments:

Jhon David said...

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Jim Landwehr said...

Thank You Jhon David. I am so glad you read and enjoyed it. Cloud tech is a whole new experience, but I like what I see with it. Thanks again!