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Cloudash guide to Re:Invent 2022

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Do you feel it in the air? The excitement, the anticipation, the buzz? It's that time of year again, when the cloud community gathers in Las Vegas for the biggest cloud conference of the year: AWS re:Invent. This year, half of Cloudash team will be there in person, and the other half will be watching from afar (someone has to keep all the servers up & running).

We're all excited to see what AWS has in store for us this year, and we've put together a list of the sessions we're most looking forward to (either in person or checking out the video afterwards).

Data-driven application performance monitoring with Amazon CloudWatch

Customers demand high-quality user experiences when interacting with your applications or public websites. Good customer experience increases customer satisfaction and drives revenue and market share. Application performance monitoring (APM) is key to understanding how your customers are using your applications and where they encounter pain points. It helps you be intentional about designing applications, building new features, and testing and rolling out new features with minimal or no end user impact. Join this talk to learn how you can use Amazon CloudWatch to set up APM using Amazon CloudWatch RUM, CloudWatch Evidently, AWS X-Ray, and CloudWatch Synthetics.

As you can imagine - we've been using CloudWatch for a while now, but we're still learning new things about it. We're especially excited to learn more about CloudWatch RUM, which launched last year and we're excited to see how it's been used in the wild.

Understanding design in event-driven architecture

Event-driven applications can help you to reduce coupling and increase agility. The design and contracts of your events shape how your distributed architecture is built and determine how it can best remain decoupled, scalable, and fault tolerant. In this chalk talk, learn a robust approach to event design, common event patterns used, the importance of event-first thinking, and how event designation can impact your architecture.

Event-driven applications are not a new concept, but they're becoming more and more popular. We're excited to learn more about how to design them, and how to make sure they're decoupled and scalable.

Deploy modern and effective data models with Amazon DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed NoSQL database that provides consistent performance at any scale. Customers like Disney+, Zoom, and Snap use DynamoDB to handle some of the largest applications on the planet. In this session, AWS Data Hero Alex DeBrie and DynamoDB Senior Principal Engineer Amrith Kumar walk you through key data modeling concepts for DynamoDB and share why DynamoDB architecture and implementation can help your applications scale seamlessly from 30 to 300 million customers while maintaining consistent, single-digit millisecond performance.

I'm especially glad that I was able to reserve a spot at this session with Alex, after all - there's only a single table available. I'm looking forward to learning more about DynamoDB, and how to use it effectively.

Best practices for advanced serverless developers

Are you an experienced serverless developer? Do you want a helpful guide for unleashing the full power of serverless architectures for your production workloads? Are you wondering whether to choose a stream or an API as your event source, or whether to have one function or many? This session provides architectural best practices, optimizations, and useful cheat codes that you can use to build secure, high-scale, and high-performance serverless applications and uses real customer scenarios to illustrate the benefits.

We're big fans of serverless here at Cloudash, and we're excited to learn more about how to build secure, high-scale, and high-performance serverless applications from the experts. 👀

A closer look at AWS Lambda

Serverless computing allows you to build and run applications and services without needing to provision, scale, or manage any servers. When you take a closer look at a serverless application, there is a sophisticated architecture that takes care of all the undifferentiated heavy lifting for the developer. Join this session to learn how AWS architected AWS Lambda. Explore how Lambda takes care of virtually everything required to run and scale your code in a reliable, highly available manner.

We're excited to learn more about how AWS Lambda works under the hood, and how it's able to scale so well. After all, Cloudash blog has millions of monthly readers [citation needed] and we need to learn how to scale our serverless architecture to handle that kind of traffic.

Operational excellence with AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript

AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript is a suite of utilities for AWS Lambda functions that help simplify, accelerate, and scale the adoption of best practices for serverless applications. In this workshop, dive deep into some practical examples of how these utilities can help you run serverless workloads more effectively and gain insight into how they operate. You must bring your laptop to participate.

Lambda, Power, TypeScript - need I say anything more? I'm looking forward to learning more about how to use AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript, and how to build more effective serverless applications.

Building well-architected serverless applications

Companies building production applications in the cloud are looking to build and operate their applications following best practices. Established practices are useful throughout the software development lifecycle and help show if the application is well architected. Serverless technologies provide a solid foundation for building well-architected applications to reduce and minimize the impact of issues. In this session, learn how to use the AWS Well-Architected Framework and the AWS Well-Architected Tool with the AWS Serverless Application Lens to compare applications against AWS architectural best practices. Get advice on improving and building confidence in the architecture and operations of your workloads.

Speaking of serverless applications - we're excited to learn more about how to build well-architected serverless applications, and how to use the AWS Well-Architected Framework and the AWS Well-Architected Tool with the AWS Serverless Application Lens to compare applications against AWS architectural best practices.

Governance and security with infrastructure as code

In this session, learn how to use AWS CloudFormation and the AWS CDK to deploy cloud applications in regulated environments while enforcing security controls. Find out how to catch issues early with cdk-nag, validate your pipelines with cfn-guard, and protect your accounts from unintended changes with CloudFormation hooks.

I'm unfortunately not able to attend this one in person but I can confirm it's worth checking out - cdk-nag is a great tool for catching issues early, and cfn-guard is a great tool for validating your CloudFormation templates.

The Amazon Builders’ Library: 25 years of operational excellence at Amazon

Amazon has practiced DevOps, where builders build but also test and operate almost every aspect of their services, since before it had a name. In this session, hear how Amazon practices have changed and improved over time and what we’ve learned as builders and as operators. What has it been like to be on call at Amazon? And what’s it like now to be on a call at Amazon? We’ll share real-world experience and answers.

"And what’s it like now to be on a call at Amazon?" - I'm looking forward to learning more about what it's like to be on call at Amazon, and how Amazon practices have changed and improved over time. Perhaps we'll get them to try Cloudash? 🤞

Domain-driven design and event storming

Distributed systems are complex to design and implement. Years of designing microservices results in numerous best practices and learnings for designing these types of systems. This chalk talk applies those lessons by first looking at domain-driven design and how it applies to serverless architecture. Then, the talk uses event storming to discover and design a domain before developing its interactions on a whiteboard.

Apparently domain-driven design does not mean "buying lots of domains you'll never use". I'm looking forward to learning more about domain-driven design and event storming, and how they can help us design more effective distributed systems.

Are you integrating or building distributed applications?

Integrating systems provides many benefits, from seamless user experiences to consolidated data for better insights to interactions with partner ecosystems through APIs. Despite having connected systems for decades, fundamental concepts like partial failure, eventual consistency, or idempotency still challenge many developers. In this session, reflect on two decades of building connected systems, ponder the nuances of messages versus events, learn that loose coupling isn’t always better, and discover how serverless cloud automation can change the way you think about integration.

Integrating systems is tough, and we're excited to learn more about how to build more effective distributed systems, and how to design them to be more resilient to partial failures, eventual consistency, and idempotency.

Building observable applications with OpenTelemetry

In this demo-focused session, review how OpenTelemetry works and how you can use it to instrument your applications. The session starts with an existing application running on containers and serverless functions and demos how to make it observable using AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry to collect telemetry data such as logs, metrics, and traces. Then, observe a simulation of a few issues to learn how you can use telemetry data for troubleshooting and root-cause analysis. Finally, to collect and visualize telemetry data, see how to compare different options using tools like Amazon CloudWatch, AWS X-Ray, Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus, and Amazon Managed Grafana.

In most apps observability is binary - app is either up or it's down. The goal of this session is to learn how to make our applications more observable, and how to use telemetry data for troubleshooting and root-cause analysis. Really looking forward to checking out the recording.

When security, safety, and urgency all matter: Handling Log4Shell

On December 9, 2021, there was a report of a potential remote code execution issue in the widely used open-source Apache logging library Log4j. This issue allowed a user to use Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) and LDAP endpoints to execute arbitrary code on a system. Over the next 10 days, 5 additional common vulnerabilities and exposures affecting Log4j were made public. This event as is now referred to as Log4Shell. In this session, learn about the response to Log4Shell, from initial notification to hot patch, fleet scanning, and customer communications.

Best part of using a cloud provider - they take care of security for you. I'm looking forward to learning more about how AWS handled Log4Shell, and how they were able to hot patch, fleet scan, and communicate with customers.

And that concludes our (obviously biased) list of interesting sessions for this year. Looking forward to meeting you all at re:Invent 2022! 👋

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