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Highlights from Amsterdam’s AWS Summit 2023


The long-awaited AWS Summit has made its return to Amsterdam after a three-year absence, igniting anticipation for an event brimming with exciting opportunities and a sustainable focus. With its renewed presence, the AWS Summit united the community for a day of knowledge sharing and valuable insights into leveraging diverse services to meet market demands. Engaging in conversations with fellow AWS enthusiasts from various backgrounds, I thoroughly enjoyed discussing their experiences and the incredible projects they have built on AWS.

Increasing Impact in the Netherlands Market

One of the main topics of the AWS keynote was their focus on increasing their impact in the Netherlands market. To achieve this, they set up an education and certification booth where they generously provided discount vouchers for associate and professional level certifications. Additionally, they offered valuable advice on the certification process and conducted beginner-friendly study sessions to assist attendees. As someone interested in the field, I was particularly intrigued by the discussion on generative AI, which is currently a prominent technology trend. AWS introduced their new developer companion, CodeWhisperer, designed for use in AWS IDEs like Cloud9 and external IDEs such as VSCode. Moreover, they unveiled Bedrock, a solution aimed at accelerating the adoption of Machine Learning (ML) across organizations and making it more accessible to communities. To further enhance the ML training process, AWS also introduced new cost-effective instance types.

Exploring the Power of Serverless: Insights from the AWS Summit

With the rise of AI, numerous sessions at the AWS Summit focused on the transformation of organizations into data-driven entities, as they transition away from traditional compute instances towards adopting more serverless architectures. Among the sessions I attended, one in particular caught my attention.

As a dedicated advocate of serverless computing for the past few years, I actively promote its benefits whenever the opportunity arises. At the AWS Summit, I had the privilege of attending a captivating session titled “Build next-gen applications with event-driven architectures” presented by Marcia Villalba and Luc Van Donkersgoed. This session, held prior to the main keynote, provided fascinating insights into how different companies are encountering similar challenges to ours when orchestrating large-scale event-driven solutions. It was during this session that I became aware of the limitations of AWS Step Functions and discovered that, in certain use cases, leveraging Airflow could be a more suitable option.

During the session, PostNL shared their remarkable journey of embracing a serverless-first mindset and developing their own event-driven architecture using Step Functions and Lambdas. I was particularly intrigued by a specific challenge they faced – executing thousands of concurrent stateless tasks while implementing robust retry mechanisms. Given my previous experience with similar obstacles, I was keen to learn about PostNL’s approach in overcoming these challenges. Their solution involved harnessing the power of AWS SQS and Lambda, which added an extra layer of interest to the discussion.

Networking and Collaboration

One of the highlights of the AWS Summit was the invaluable opportunity to connect and network with professionals in the industry. Throughout the event, I engaged in conversations with various monitoring solutions partners, including DataDog and Dynatrace, and together we brainstormed ideas to enhance observability and traceability in the cloud for both our current and future clients. Additionally, the summit provided me with the chance to reconnect with former colleagues and catch up on the innovative projects and developments taking place in the cloud space. 

It was also a great opportunity to meet with our colleagues from Devoteam in Belgium and the Netherlands. It was a valuable experience to exchange insights, ideas, and best practices related to the cloud.

One of the aspects I have always appreciated about AWS is how they cater to people from different backgrounds and knowledge levels. Information on each session was provided with the targeted audience as well as the targeted skill level beginner, intermediate and advanced.

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