I still feel it now: The positive vibe and energy at the summit and especially at our booth. Meeting people in real life again, after seeing them only on the screen for about 2.5 years was an awesome experience. Everyone was happy to talk in person, even though, it felt weird having so many people gathered in one place. I think I have to get used to it again. But as a whole, I felt very comfortable.
When I was younger, I didn’t approach people and talk to them. I was more of an introvert and avoided talking to others at conferences and summits. I still kind of am, but I can handle it better now, meaning when I need to approach people I do it easily, but going back to keeping quiet when I want to is possible as well. This keeps me balanced. This was my first AWS Summit with a booth shift, and it marked a great opportunity for me to confirm this!
Feel The Buzz!
The past two days I loved talking to others, approaching people who were passing our booth, asking them how they felt and if they were enjoying the summit. I got the feeling that everybody loved being back at an event like this. They were happy and energized at the same time, which made me feel great, as it shows that personal interaction is very valuable to everyone.
Still, at the end of the first day, I was exhausted, but happy at the same time. Having so much noise and people around you is something I think we all have to get used to again. Especially the constant buzz in the ears and the concentration of talking to others and trying to understand what they’re saying. Also having to read lips requires a lot of attention and takes its toll by the end of evening. The music was loud and announcements in the main hall made the noise level even louder.
The buzz was real, and the positive vibe rocked. I think after 2 or 3 events of this kind, our bodies will be back on track. At least, I hope so.
Talk Is Cheap, Show Me Code!
My plan was to attend sessions the first day, as the second one I had shift in our booth. As a technician I had the expectation to see deep dives, code examples and good advice on how to approach things. Unfortunately, I didn’t experience any high level approaches or deep dives on day one. As it is the nature of a summit or conference, I couldn’t attend all sessions to confirm this 100%, but other colleagues had the same feeling and told me that depth was missing on the first day. When studying the second day agenda, I saw that it was much more technical. I learned that there were some deep dives, which I would have loved to attend. I could imagine that balancing/mixing those talks into both days could be beneficial, but at the same time, the reason to split it up is obviously to give people the chance to have everything they need on one day if they are pure technicians.
More code, combined with less high level talk, would have been really nice. There’s always room for improvement.
Failure Is An Opportunity To Grow!
Overall, AWS did a great job organizing the summit and I had a lot of fun attending it. A lot of positive things come to my mind when thinking about it:
- Great organization with all the sessions in the agenda and talks
- I liked the Berlin Station as a venue with the old building structure and the possibility to be outside
- The food was great
- Beverages were provided, but I wasn’t able to find an empty fridge
- No plastic cutlery was available
- A lot of exhibitors had really nice swag
- Creating a safe environment with the vaccination checks before getting the ticket
Recently I read the book Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon which I can fully recommend. The book pointed me at the AWS Leadership Principles, and they inspire me on a daily basis. When reading through them and thinking of the AWS Summit Berlin 2022, with what can be improved, I stopped at “Insist On The Highest Standards”.
From my point of view, there are some points where these standards could be higher:
- Providing enough space for every session (sometimes the rooms were so crowded that there were no places left to stand or sit, some people were even on the floor)
- AWS events app was nice, but I missed some basic features (e.g. not seeing the hall when having the talk marked as favorite in the calendar)
- Provide a quiet space to retreat to, e.g. when you want to make a phone call and need privacy
- The presentation slides were too small, and it was hard to read them (even in the keynote hall where they provided screens in the back)
- Some halls had poor acoustics, the noise in the background was too loud and the sound too low
- Lower the volume of the speakers for the keynote announcements
- Provide more mixed food to choose from, e.g. one more vegetarian and/or vegan in exchange for one of the meat meals
- As said, maybe more deep dive session and/or more advanced session > Level 300
- A better app for “lead” scanning people
OK, I get it, the points above are not really failures, but a good example of how the summit can grow!
Conclusion: AWS Summit Berlin 2023 Where Are You At?
Honestly I cannot wait for the next summit in Berlin. Why? Berlin is a great city and the summit is a great place for inspiration and getting together. Hopefully what was missing this year will be better next year. Maybe you and I will meet next time? Why not!
You were at our booth this year? Great. You felt the positive vibe and energy at our booth? Even better. Wanna work for us? Awesome. Take a look at our careers site. We hope to hear from you soon.
Or maybe you weren’t able to visit our boot this year. So, next year will be a great opportunity for you to meet the people from kreuzwerker and feel our positive and enthusiastic vibe. See you there!