AWS Community Day - Midwest

I had the opportunity to present at the 4th annual AWS Community Day for the Midwest in June. This event was planned, organized, and delivered by AWS user group leaders and was an absolute blast. I got to catch up with a few remarkable individuals I haven’t talked to since pre-pandemic, and I got to meet many new people and listen to their stories of transformation in their respective enterprises.


AWS re:Invent is incredible, but it is a little like drinking from the firehose. So much to do, so many people to see, so many sessions, and a crowd like you’ve never seen. Community Day is smaller, intimate, and focused. CSCC, Mitchell Hall was used for the venue, which is an excellent facility for event hosting, and the Community Leaders did a fantastic job with organizing everything.

My talk was centered around my real-life experiences with navigating network complexity as businesses dive into the digital transformation deep-end. You can grab the slides here. One thing that did surprise me was how many other professionals in attendance were going through precisely what I had gone through in their respective organizations. Legacy infrastructure and company culture are no respecter of persons. If you want to take a listen, here is the link:

Diagnosing Childhood Cancer with AWS Step Functions presented by Grant Lammi, was one of the major standout sessions for me. His talk focused on the difficulty of diagnosing and understanding why children have the cancers they do, what treatment is available, and how to get that treatment to them quicker. This involved a massive operation of sequencing the DNA of children throughout the United States. All the other sessions I attended were fantastic.

It was refreshing attending an event in-person again. There is a contagious energy that these events bring, and I found myself going home motivated with lots of new ideas. Everyone is in a different stage of their journey, but no matter where you are, you will find someone who emboldens you or others you can encourage. That, my friends, is community.