I attended the AWS Summit online for Australia & Newzealand yesterday. Wanted to recap on some of my favourite sessions.

Following the keynote, the first set of sessions started at 10.30 AEST.  I had two sessions that got my attention that was running in parallel.

  • Building serverless applications with AWS Amplify
  • Cloud-enabled security evolution with Origin Energy

I went ahead with checking out what AWS Amplify was all about. It sure did not disappoint. I see the benefit of it during the prototyping/POC phase of an application. You do not want to be bothered with the authentication/authorization of your application early on when developing your application so using the plumbing given by Amplify definitely makes sense to me. Of course it has a vendor lock in by confining you to AWS services, but for the initial POC stage it still works out fine. Also, with the plethora of AWS services out there, you do not want to have to learn their APIs to start using the service. Amplify gives you higher order functions that can be invoked on their services. The best thing for me about Amplify was the fact that they give you the ability to mock certain services such as S3, DynamoDB so that you can run some local tests against it before you push your changes to the cloud. That is a huge win in my opinion.

Next up, I checked out the talk named The art of successful kubernetes failures. My key takeaway here was the CloudWatch Container Insights. As I currently work on a platform that runs on AWS EKS, this was quite insightful(a little wordplay yes) as we needed something like this to monitor our cluster without having to deploy everything needed to get stuff working with Graphana. Looking forward to trying this out on our cluster to see how it will work out.

How Xinja built a newbank on the cloud session literally(yes not figuratively, literally) blew my socks off. The fact that this start-up is giving the major banks a run for their money is so enticing. Having worked in a few banks in the past I was always flabbergasted that some of their core banking systems still run on Cobol and the sort. They were quite a few times where certain things had to be compromised due to the fact we were dealing with legacy systems. Xinja uses SAP as their core banking system as per the presentation done by their Chief architect. Everything was nicely laid out with API integrations being at the core of their platform. How they handled card systems was so elegant. I almost had a nerdgasm. I am sure they will do amazing things in the future driving the much needed innovation in the banking sector.

I then checked out the A builder’s guide to testing which showed how AWS Code Guru works. It had two parts to it. One was the automate code reviewing functionality which does automated reviews on your pull requests. This alleviates the time a code reviewer needs to spend on checking code inefficiencies and more time on validating the business functionality.  The second part of it is the Code Guru Profiler which makes it easy for you to run profiling on your codebase with just a few lines of code hooking up the profiling agent. Now this feature got me hooked. So much so that we just tried it out in one of our codebases and this is a quick glimpse of it.

It even generates some recommendations. The fact that they give you a 90-day trial period to test it works out well for us, giving us time to really dig deep into the tool. 

There were a few more sessions that I really loved but probably not worth spending time on it, at least not on this post.

That’s about it. For me personally, the AWS Summit online was quite informative and useful. Good job to everyone who prepared and made it happen.

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