Exciting Capability Enhancements and Other Takeaways from AWS re:Invent

Exciting Capability Enhancements and Other Takeaways from AWS re:Invent


By Anthony Monas, Chief Technology Officer

AWS re:Invent is a strategic conference for many of our customers, so in line with many of Criterion’s core values, we sent a number of our employees to Las Vegas this year to represent our steadfast commitment to ensuring the success of our customers, while simultaneously supporting and advancing the technical and professional excellence of our employees. They took part in events that were geared towards driving our customer’s mission forward and identified several takeaways from the conference that I thought I’d share with you today.

First, we’re excited about the significant steps forward that AWS has taken with the enhancements focused on improving data management and governance, e.g., AWS Security Lake, AWS Glue Data Quality, AWS Lake Formation, etc. We also learned more about effective deployment of containerization within supported AWS constructs, no-code AWS services event management through EventBridge, parallel processing with Lambda, improved ML management with SageMaker, enhance data reporting and visualizations from QuickSight, CloudWatch application monitoring improvements, and more.

Jonathan said, “The two most interesting and applicable sessions to me were, “Simplifying Your Infrastructure with Go, CDK, and cdk8s” and “Introducing AWS Verified Access: Secure Connections to Your Applications.” Being able to programmatically define Kubernetes resources including type checking, unit testing, and creating reusable higher-level abstractions seem like big improvements. I’m considering using what I learned in that session for my program’s next Hackathon in January.”

Dan added, “One of the most beneficial and directly impactful things I learned about while at the conference was the AWS Workspaces Family. This is a suite of tools that provide various forms of virtual desktops. An interesting aspect of these tools is that AWS provides instances from a soft client as well as browser-based environment. Instances can be stood up and brought down on demand, so the solution is scalable and cost-effective since instances can be shut down when not in use. I can see this being useful for the remote workforce as well as system administrators.”

Beyond technical knowledge, the event was valuable to employees for gaining new enthusiasm about their careers and ideas about their own professional development. Austin commented, “Overall, it revived my excitement for a career in IT. This is important because it will help me learn faster. Through conversations I had with the pros, I was given ideas and a way forward for professional development — important certs, key concepts to learn, and contacts for mentorship. By walking the expo, asking questions at as many booths as I could, and learning core concepts and available tools/services, I believe I have a more solid foundation for DevOps career. I also gained a better understanding of my program’s current infrastructure/tools as it compares to other organizations.”

These types of events help our employees to remain on the on the forefront of technology so that we can continue to be thought leaders for our current and future clients. And who knows who they may be! Dan went to one talk where a research group was using machine learning and the cloud to map and translate communication between sperm whales. They talked about how being able to translate whale communication was a step towards translating alien communication should we ever find life outside our solar system!

Whether its adapting to historical capability enhancements or preparing for new releases of AWS capabilities, Criterion stands ready to deliver AWS’ cutting-edge services offerings in direct alignment with our customer’s mission and budget.