Note: you can find my comments here for the similar event held in 2015.
Another year, another AWS event; for this year they have changed the venue and brought in more speakers, unfortunately of inferior quality compared to Sebastien Stormacq, the sole speaker from 2015. This year twice as many people registered, roughly 500 people queuing up for the early morning registration.
The main difference from the last year was the presentation content being split into 2 tracks, the “technical” and the “business” rooms, each with their own focus. On the technical side the following topics were covered:
Managed services and databases (RDS);
Elasticity and management services (ELB).
On the business side the talks were focused on putting forward the benefits of moving one’s business to Cloud (flexibility, cost savings). The topics covered were:
Benefits of Cloud Computing / defining the Cloud Strategy;
Cloud Economics (TCO);
AWS partner programs.
I have personally attended the Business Track, being familiar enough with the technical contents (I am AWS CSA(A) certified). My decision came out of sheer curiosity and I got to some disturbing findings:
First, the attendance proportion between business and technical seemed to be less than 1/15. Not only there were very few people attending the business track, the lack of interest was more than obvious: too many people using their phones (possibly to answer e-mails) and too few questions asked at the end of each session. One person on the same row as me, nicely dressed with full suit & tie, simply fell asleep at some point.
Second, there does not seem to be an immediate interest, from the Amazon perspective, on expanding their service offering by opening at least an Edge Location somewhere closer, latency wise, to the Eastern (South Eastern) Europe. While serving some presentation content from 60-80ms away may not be much of an issue, moving internal (real time) applications to Cloud with these latency parameters may actually worsen the user experience compared to some previous solution based on a local data center even if reliability-wise / cost-wise the Cloud solution is better.
My conclusion is that until the 2 above issues are (somehow) fixed, the AWS technical competency in my country will continue to be sold by the hour to external customers.