Jeremy’s Guide to a Very Serverless re:Invent 2020

It’s AWS re:Invent time, and once again, developers, architects, business leaders, and everyone in between are faced with the daunting task of selecting from thousands of hours of re:Invent content. As usual, I will be focusing most of my time on serverless, so I’ve combed through the massive session catalog and picked out the ones that look the most interesting to me. If you’re looking to focus on serverless during this re:Invent, perhaps you’ll find my suggestions useful.

My picks are also available on the Cloud Pegboard re:Invent Tool (Thanks, Ken). Select “Jeremy Daly” from the “AWS Hero Picks” dropdown and you’ll see all my selections with the options to add them to your wishlist and export them to your calendar. I have about 60 sessions on my list, which I’ve categorized below. But I realize that no human is likely going to be able to watch them all, so I’ve also made a list of Sessions you can’t miss!

There are sure to be plenty of announcements throughout the three weeks of re:Invent, so be sure to subscribe to the Off-by-none newsletter for weekly recaps.

NOTE: The times below are all Eastern Time and are the first broadcast. Check the session catalog or the Cloud Pegboard re:Invent Tool to find rebroadcast and other replay options.

Sessions you can’t miss!

Werner Vogels Keynote
Keynote Even if you’re not a big Skrillex fan, the Werner Keynote is usually loaded with lots of great technical information, customer success stories, and visions for the future. This year everyone gets a front row seat without waiting in that huge line. 12/15/20, 10:10 AM

Amazon DynamoDB advanced design patterns‚ Part 1 & Part 2
Session Clearly AWS is messing with us by leaving the best for last. This two-part session by the wizard himself, Rick Houlihan, is sure to be just as engaging and mind-blowing as his previous ones. Hopefully it will also highlight some new DynamoDB updates as well. Clear your calendar and make time for this. 12/15/20, 1:30 PM & 12/16/20 12:45 PM

Data modeling with Amazon DynamoDB‚ Part 1 & Part 2
Session Giving Rick Houlihan a run for his money is Alex DeBrie. AWS Data Hero, author of the DynamoDB Book, and all around great guy, Alex will be following up his session from last year with another deep dive into DynamoDB modeling. You don’t want to miss this one either. 12/2/20, 4:15 PM & 12/3/20, 5:00 PM

No more idling: Creating parallel builds using serverless CI
Dev Chat Michael Hart has been pushing Lambda to its limits since the beginning, and in this session he’ll show you how to create super fast serverless builds using parallelization, layers, EFS, and other techniques.12/1/20, 12:00 AM

The pragmatic cloud developer
Session This session promises to share insights from AWS’s experience with customers and how Amazon builds its own higher-level services. This should be really helpful for developers struggling with best practices. 12/1/20, 3:00 PM

How accelerates innovation with serverless
Session Serverless Hero Sheen Brisals will take you through the fascinating serverless journey that LEGO has been on and how EventBridge and Step Functions have become core parts of their system. 12/1/20, 2:15 PM

Application integration patterns for microservices
Session This one looks really interesting. Learn fundamental application integration patterns based on messaging and connect them to real-world use cases in a microservices scenario. 12/1/20, 4:30 PM

Reliability, consistency, and confidence through immutability
Session I’m guessing Adrian Hornsby will be giving this talk as this is a subject he has written about extensively. It is a fascinating topic and something all companies should be looking at. 12/1/20, 5:15 PM

Building event-driven applications with Amazon EventBridge
Session I love EventBridge and what it means for the future of serverless applications, so any opportunity to dig in deeper and learn more is one that I’m going to take. 12/2/20, 12:45 PM

Monolith to serverless SaaS: Migrating to multi-tenant architecture
Session Another really interesting topic. This session plans on exploring approaches to incrementally decompose your monolith into serverless microservices as well how tenancy affects logging, metrics, and data partitioning. 12/3/20, 1:15 PM

Is your serverless application well-architected?
Session Best practices, best practices, best practices! There, I said it three times, so now you have to watch it! 12/3/20, 5:45 PM

Building revolutionary serverless applications
Session I am really looking forward to this session by Ajay Nair, GM of AWS Lambda. It promises to guide you through what’s next for serverless at AWS and learn about what the future of serverless applications looks like. Join the revolution! 12/9/20, 2:00 PM

AWS Lambda‚ Part 1: Optimizing your serverless applications
Session I’m guessing this will be led by Chris Munns, with the first part covering everything that you should consider apart from your Lambda function. If you want optimal serverless performance, you need to know how to optimize your applications! 12/16/20, 1:15 PM

AWS Lambda Part 2: Optimizing your Lambda function performance
Session This second part will cover how you can best measure and tune your function’s performance as well as best practices for prehandler logic and reuse of information to enable fast startup and fast execution of your functions. 12/17/20, 1:15 PM

Adrian Cockcroft‚ architecture trends and topics for 2021
Session Never miss an opportunity to hear Adrian Cockcroft speak. In this session he’ll discuss upcoming trends including serverless first, continuously tested resilience, and Wardley mapping for technology transitions. 12/17/20, 5:00 PM

Below are some more sessions that I’ll be trying my best to watch. They are organized into categories to make browsing a bit easier.

Security & Account Management

15 things I wish I knew about securing my AWS account
Dev Chat 12/1/20, 12:00 AM

Understanding multi-account management
Dev Chat 12/1/20, 12:00 AM

Best practices for securing your multi-account environment
Session 12/8/20, 10:15 AM

Best practices for securing your serverless applications
Session 12/10/20, 12:15 PM

Best practices to securely operate GraphQL at scale with AWS AppSync
Session 12/16/20, 2:00 PM

Deep dive into AWS Lambda security: Function isolation
Session 12/17/20, 3:45 PM

Best practices for security governance in serverless applications
Session 12/17/20, 5:15 PM

GraphQL & AppSync

Introduction to GraphQL
Session 12/1/20, 5:30 PM

Power modern serverless applications with GraphQL and AWS AppSync
Session 12/9/20, 3:00 PM

Model and access application data more efficiently with AWS Amplify
Session 12/15/20, 1:00 PM

Unify access to siloed data with AWS AppSync GraphQL resolvers
Session 12/17/20, 6:00 PM


Add a custom domain to your AWS Amplify-hosted web application
Lightning Talk 12/1/20, 12:00 AM

Speed up your release cycle: Host SPA and static web applications on AWS
Session 12/10/20, 2:30 PM

Leadership Talks & Vision

Andy Jassy Keynote
Keynote LIVE 12/1/20, 10:30 AM

The value of innovation in challenging times
Lightning Talk 12/1/20, 12:00 AM

The business case for serverless with Stedi
Session 12/9/20, 1:15 PM

Increasing innovation with serverless applications
Leadership Session 12/16/20, 1:30 PM

Diversity in Tech

Building the pipeline of next-generation tech employees and leaders
Lightning Talk 12/1/20, 12:00 AM

Together, We Can Close the Gap
Session 12/1/20, 12:00 AM

Customer Success

How CATCH FASHION built a serverless ML inference service with AWS Lambda
Dev Chat 12/1/20, 12:00 AM

How BMW Group uses AWS serverless analytics for a data-driven ecosystem
Session 12/1/20, 3:00 PM

How FINRA operates PB-scale analytics on data lakes with Amazon Athena
Session 12/1/20, 6:00 PM

Data & Databases

Boost serverless app performance with Amazon RDS Proxy & Amazon Aurora
Dev Chat 12/1/20, 12:00 AM

Analyzing data at any scale with AWS Lambda
Session 12/3/20, 4:45 PM

How Disney+ scales globally on Amazon DynamoDB
Session 12/3/20, 6:30 PM

MySQL options on AWS: Self-managed, managed, serverless
Session 12/17/20, 12:45 PM

Building Event-Driven, Serverless Applications

Getting started building your first serverless web application
Session 12/2/20, 4:15 AM

Getting started with AWS Step Functions for service orchestration
Session 12/2/20, 5:00 PM

End the monolith! Lessons learned adopting serverless (sponsored by New Relic)
Session 12/3/20, 5:30 PM

Decoupling serverless workloads with Amazon EventBridge
Session 12/17/20, 11:15 AM

The serverless LAMP stack
Session 12/8/20, 2:15 PM

Scalable serverless event-driven architectures with SNS, SQS & Lambda
Session 12/8/20, 5:15 PM

Understanding AWS Lambda streaming events
Session 12/10/20, 10:15 AM

Choosing the right load balancer for serverless applications
Session 12/10/20, 1:45 PM

Modernize your applications with AWS Lambda and Amazon EFS
Session 12/16/20, 5:00 PM

Amazon API Gateway HTTP APIs: Beyond the proxy
Session 12/16/20, 5:45 PM

Tooling & Observability

The journey of an AWS CloudFormation template to AWS CDK
Dev Chat 12/1/20, 12:00 AM

I didn’t know AWS SAM could do that!
Session 12/9/20, 11:00 AM

CI/CD for serverless applications
Session 12/15/20, 2:15 PM

Increase availability with AWS observability solutions
Session 12/15/20, 5:30 PM

Becoming proficient with serverless application observability
Session 12/16/20, 3:00 PM


AWS Fargate: Are serverless containers right for you?
Session 12/1/20, 2:30 PM

AWS Fargate: Roadmap and vision
Session 12/16/20, 3:30 PM

Tags: , , , ,

Did you like this post? 👍  Do you want more? 🙌  Follow me on Twitter or check out some of the projects I’m working on.

2 thoughts on “Jeremy’s Guide to a Very Serverless re:Invent 2020”

  1. I like listening to real serverless use cases and learning from them. This talk dives into migrating from VMs onto serverless using lambda, databases and streaming services in the new architecture. Very much looking forward to this session by Ajay Nair, GM of AWS Lambda. Ajay will guide you through what’s next for serverless at AWS. Learn about the future of serverless applications and what AWS is building to make it a reality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.