I went to AWS Summit Sydney last Wednesday. I didn't have much expectation going to this Summit knowing that I am an AWS newbie. But unfortunately even with this low expectation, I still find the Summit a dissapointment.
Let's start with the keynote. Stephen Schmidt from Amazon gave overview of Amazon new offerings like AWS Lambda among plethora of other things that interesting (but irrelevant for me). The keynote also included testimonials from AWS partners like Origin Energy, Kogan and PwC, they of course talked about their cloud success stories with AWS - all well and good I think.
Then for the rest of the days, sessions were ran over 6 different locations. Some of these sessions were ran by Amazon and some ran by “partners”. The ones ran by Amazon are OK content wise, in that I did learn few things about AWS and cloud computing (I went to Creating your Hybrid Cloud with AWS and Design Patterns for Developers).
But the ones not ran by Amazon are just plainly time waster. These are just basically product marketing sessions. I mean I don't mind product pitch, but keep it to 5-10 mins out of your 45 mins session. So please understand when I walked out when after 30 minutes of your “AWS Security Best Practice”, you still talked about your product. This is not the only one though - I walked out from every business partner sponsored sessions. Maybe this is normal for a free event like this Summit.
Not all bad though - got some t-shirts, ate delicious pizza for lunch, also got to know a couple of analytics and monitoring companies that looks interesting like Datadog and Sumologic. Shoutout to Lincoln from Sumologic (Melbourne), as he was passionate talking about his company offering and seem to be genuinely happy talking to me eventhough he knows that I am just a small business.
So as a software consultant, it's a waste of my time and money (losing one billable day) to attend this summit. If I were an employee and my company sent me to attend that would be another story. AWS Summit - too much marketing, too little content.
It's a 2 day event - I didn't come back for the 2nd day.