AWS Summit Mexico City: Back to In-Person Events

by Mario García

In March 2020, I presented my latest talk at an in-person event. This event was organized by a local university, Then when events started to happen online, during the pandemic, I was a speaker at about 41 events, where I presented 38 talks and 7 workshops (until September this year), in both Spanish and English.

Having the opportunity to join so many events and collaborate with communities around the world was one of the advantages that events were organized in virtual spaces. I met awesome people doing amazing things, and I learned a lot from them. But I really was missing attending in-person events, especially those being held in other cities.

On July 12, I joined Percona as a Technical Evangelist, and two months later I was at the airport, in my city, waiting for my flight to my first in-person event after 2 and a half years, and the first one as Perconian. AWS Summit Mexico City was held on September 21 and September 22 at Expo Santa Fe Mexico.

The last time I visited the Expo I was attending Campus Party Mexico 2013, with the Firefox OS launch team, for a pre-launch event, and my last trip to Mexico City was in October 2019, before leaving for London to speak at GitLab Commit London.

I was at AWS Summit Mexico City just as an attendee, looking forward to learning more about AWS, doing some networking, and meeting some friends I hadn’t seen in a long time or never seen in person.

AWS Summit Mexico City

The Adventure Had Begun

I booked my flight for September 20 at 9 PM, the only non-stop flight available. I arrived early at the airport, just in time for boarding. It was raining, so take-off was delayed until 10 PM. The plane landed in Mexico City at 11:30 PM.

My hotel was in Santa Fe, near the location of the event. Once I arrived I took an Uber and after 35 minutes I was at the hotel. But to my surprise my reservation was cancelled, and there were no rooms available. There was a problem with their payment system and my debit card was declined.

Had to call other hotels nearby, and finally found one with rooms available, 8 minutes from the Expo. I got a better deal: a lower cost, and a bigger room. Slept just four hours but I was ready for the event.

Visiting Booth

On the first day, I arrived early to the Expo for registering and getting my badge. The expo zone would open at 8 AM, so I had to wait. There were booth by sponsors and AWS.

AWS Summit Mexico City Expo

During the first day these were the booths I visited:

  • VMWare: When I was in college I tested VMWare for learning about virtualization, and how to install Linux on other operating systems. I haven’t used it since then, but it was interesting to know that VMWare now has some other tools and cloud services like Cloud Health.

  • Datadog / Dynatrace: While passing by Datadog and Dynatrace booths I had the opportunity to watch a demo of their platforms, specifically those monitoring and observability features they provide for databases, and a wide range of different technologies.

    On Datadog integration with AWS you can get:

    Dynatrace provides monitoring features for the following areas:

  • HashiCorp: I’ve been a HashiCorp Ambassador since 2021 and as part of the program I’ve been creating content related to Vagrant and Packer, including blog posts and a few talks I’ve presented at virtual events. These days I’m learning about Terraform. That’s why I passed by the booth to say hi.

  • MongoDB: MongoDB is on my list of technologies I would like to learn more about. The resources they shared with me were so helpful for starting my learning journey.

  • Nextgen.io: Nexgen.io is a platform that provides support in the following areas:

    • Transform the traditional monolithic application to micro services
    • Provide out-of-the box DevOps features for any development project
    • Provide Solid and highly scalable container based platform
    • Provide built-in application integration capability with efficient data mapping tool
    • Provide out-of-the box B2B capability.
    • Managed Services with free upgrade

    I was interested in knowing more about the DevOps solutions they provide and what I learned is that through the platform you can get help on setting up the CI/CD pipelines of your project.

  • AWS Community Builders: Being a member of the GitLab Heroes, GitKraken Ambassadors and HashiCorp Ambassadors programs let me learn more about DevOps and know some tools I use regularly, as well as improving my writing and public speaking skills. Knowing that there’s a AWS Community Builders program where you can be recognized for your contributions to the community, and know more about AWS, the tools and services you have access to when registering on the platform, is an opportunity for anyone looking to be an expert on AWS and expand their network. Applications are not open right now.

Not only was so informative to visit the booths, but allowed me to introduce myself as a Technical Evangelist and be aware of what people know about Percona.

Attending Talks

AWS Summit Mexico City - Kevin Miller

These are the talks I attended during AWS Summit Mexico City:

  • Keynote - Kevin Miller / AWS VP - Simple Storage Service
  • Should I use Serverles? Myths and realities for developers (Spanish) - David Victoria / Emite - Director of Operations
  • Learn about AWS Global Infrastructure extended to the border - Leonardo Solano / AWS Senior Hybrid Cloud Solutions Architect
  • How to accelerate containers creation process on AWS with AWS App2Container (A2C) - Oscar Ramírez Vital / AWS Solutions Architect
  • Accelerating IT modernization in government agencies - Rosendo Martinez, José Luis Vallín
  • Introduction to security in the cloud with IAM - Uriel Enrique Arellano / Cloud Engineer - Bootcamp Institute
  • Modernization of education at various levels - Alex Luna / AWS Sr. Solutions Architect, Juan Manuel Zenil / Escuela Bancaria y Comercial - CIO

During the past weeks I’ve been using AWS, had to remember how to create and launch an EC2 instance, I’m learning how to create Kubernetes clusters (with no previous knowledge on k8s) on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, I’ve had to read about AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), and I’m also learning about eksctl and Terraform.

What I got after attending these talks is having a better understanding of the services and tools available on AWS, knowing about the global infrastructure of the platform, learning about what Serverless is and getting an overview of IAM.

AWS Summit Mexico City - Global Infrastructure

Containerizing applications is one of the topics I’ve been learning about, but never heard of AWS App2Container, that is a command line tool for containerizing Java and .NET applications. While I don’t use any of those technologies, it was interesting to know this tool.

AWS Summit Mexico City - Nu

It was also good to hear testimonials of companies and government agencies on how they use AWS, including Nu, CONTPAQi and the government of Querétaro who shared their experience.

AWS Summit Mexico City - CONTPAQi

Back in March, it was announced that new AWS Local Zones would be launched across Latin America. The new locations included Bogotá, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru; Queretaro, Mexico; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Santiago, Chile. This was one of the announcements made in the talks presented by AWS.

While the recordings are not available on Amazon Web Services YouTube channel, here’s a list of videos I recommend to watch:

Networking

Attending AWS Summit Mexico City was also an opportunity for meeting people I hadn’t seen in a long time, like a friend that works at Accenture who I saw the last time back in 2013 at the Firefox OS launch event in Mexico City, and another friend that is also a GitLab Hero who now works at Dynatrace, and I never met in person before.

Having conversations with sponsors and some attendees gave me an overview of what people know about Percona. Most of the people I talked to never heard of Percona before and some were interested to know more about what we do.

And I also was able to meet and spend time with Edith and Donnie, Perconians who were also attending the event.

AWS Summit Mexico City - Perconians

How Was the Whole Experience?

The good:

  • Getting an overview of AWS: Services and tools, and global infrastructure
  • Understanding serverless
  • Learning about AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Hearing testimonials of how AWS is being used
  • Simultaneous sessions
  • Live translation for talks in English

Expectations for future AWS events:

  • More technical sessions, especially workshops.
  • Different networking and after-event activities (by organizers and sponsors, and local AWS communities).
  • A venue with Internet connection

In general, attending AWS Summit Mexico City or any AWS event in the future is something I would recommend to anyone who is starting to use AWS or already have some experience, as this is a place to learn from experts and practitioners, get a better understanding of important concepts, an overview of the platform and the services and tools available, as well as expand the network of contacts and meet local community members, and AWS users.

After the Event

After two days at AWS Summit Mexico City, Edith and I traveled to Querétaro, a city located two and a half hours from Mexico City, for meeting other Perconians. Once there we gathered together for having breakfast and later worked at a local coworking space. We met Mauricio, Eduardo, and David from the Managed Services team.

Perconians at Querétaro

Resources

Some good resources that were shared during the event:

Mario García

Mario has been an active Open Source contributor for more than 15 years. Technical Evangelist @ Percona. Python developer with experience automating stuff and web development. Speaker at tech and innovation events since 2008. DevOps enthusiast. Member of GitLab Heroes, GitKraken Ambassadors and HashiCorp Ambassadors.

See all posts by Mario García »

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