Another year in the community – Thank you, AWS community team #thankfulforest2024 #firevalleyrocks

The year 2023 is close to its end and we’re approaching “Holiday Season” – which is one more reason to take a few minutes to say THANKS to the ones that work every single day to empower the AWS Community.

We did this last year, too – so it was about time to try something else – and the community did it again: All the trees of the Community forest

Saying “thanks” with my speciality service

I’ve found a way to make a tree shine in CodeCatalyst using the Workflows – its not as colorful as that Jenn did and not as detailed as Brian’s approach … and it should definately not try to replicate the team structure or org chart, but it shows that all of the work that the AWS Community team does, all of the support, guidance and investments make the AWS Community a strong foundation of everyone that wants to be part of it!

The community is open for everyone, you can even start your own Meetup easily.

Thank you, AWS Community Team

I am really thankful to be part of the AWS Community and it’s energizing to see the ideas, the sessions, the discussions that we all have together. You, Ross & team, make this possible every single day. Thank you for empowering us, for guiding us and for enabling us to be successful.

Here’s the code for my CodeCatalyst workflow:

Name: firevalleyrocks
SchemaVersion: "1.0"
Triggers:
  - Type: Push
    Branches:
      - main
Actions:
  Ross:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Ross!"
        - Run: echo "Thanks for all of your support in 2023!"
  Taylor:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Taylor!"
        - Run: echo "Thank you for making the Heroes a true community!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Ross
  Jason:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Jason!"
        - Run: echo "Thank you for making me start my Community Journey and for making the Community Builders what they are!"
        - Run: echo "Sorry, but you're red!"
        - Run: xxx
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Ross
  Maria:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Maria!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Ross
  Ernesto:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Ernesto!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Taylor
  Farrah:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Farrah!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Taylor
  Lily:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Lily!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Jason
  Thembile:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Thembile!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Maria
  Susan:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Susan!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Maria
  Albert:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Albert!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Ernesto
  Shafraz:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Shafraz!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Ernesto
  Wesley:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Wesley!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Lily
  Ben:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Ben!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Lily
  Will:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Will!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Susan
  Nelly:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Nelly!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Susan
  Community:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Community!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Nelly
      - Will
      - Ben
      - Wesley
      - Shafraz
      - Albert
  COmmunity:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Community!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - Community
  Commonity:
    Identifier: aws/build@v1.0.0
    Inputs:
      Sources:
        - WorkflowSource
    Configuration:
      Steps:
        - Run: echo "Hello, Community!"
    Compute:
      Type: Lambda
    DependsOn:
      - COmmunity

CodeCatalyst at re:Invent 2023, Youtube and a Speakers Directory

In 2023 I’ve become lucky. I’ve started my own YouTube channel, where I present all of the release highlights of re:invent 2023 for CodeCatalyst, I’ve become an AWS Hero but more important than that, I’ve made a lot of friends around the globe. I’ve empowered others to become part of the community and I’ve challenged others with questions, tasks and ideas like the Speakers Direcory.

Thank you for making my year 2023 unforgettable and for making me smile when I think about what we achieved together!

Visits: 535

Application Composer levels up a lot and adds amazing IDE integration capabilities

In this post we’re going to look at the new functionalities that have been added to Application Composer

In this post we’re going to look at the new functionalities that have been added to Application Composer by re:Invent 2023. After announcing the support of all CloudFormation resources earlier in the year, Application Composer now allows editing StepFunctions within the same user interface and – even cooler – announces the integration of an IDE plugin that allows developers to build serverless functions locally.

Application Composer as a serverless, rapid prototyping service adds additional capabilities to empower developers building serverless applications

Application Composer, that was originally announced last year at re:Invent 2022, has gotten a lot of major improvements thoughout 2023. As we are right at re:Invent 2023, its time to look back on which new capabilities have been added and how they influence building serverless applications using AppComposer.

Supporting all CloudFormation resouces

Already a few weeks ago the team announced that all over 1000 CloudFormation resources are now supported by AppComposer. This really gave a big update and make it simpler to build all kind of serverless applications. However, as this only alled AppComposer to expose the resources, this still requires the developer to know all required connections between the different resources. I personally would love to get more “supported” resources (just like L2 resources in CDK) to be made available as part of AppComposer. I would hope that this will be an additional functionality soon.

Integrating additional services

With the integration of the Stepfunctions Workflow Studio within the same interface, developers can now build and end to end application within composer before using the generated SAM or CDK templates to trigger the deployment. As a next step I think it would be great to also be able to define Eventbridge Rules & Pipes within the same interface.

Local development and IDE integration

AppComposer announced a Visual Studio Code integration that makes it possible to build and design serverless applications right from your IDE!

With this feature, you can visualize your serverless applications without being within your browser or the AWS console – start building, whereever you are and whenever you want!

I have not been able to try out this functionality yet, but especially the integration with sam connect that allows to also directly deploy the changes you made to your picture / template will make a big different in building applications using AppComposer.

Also I think we should not underestimate the possibility that this offers to vizualize existing CloudFormation templates through either the IDE plugin or the AWS Console. This will help to explain big and difficult already existing applications and empowers teams to have a fruitful conversation about changes they would like to implement in existing templates, as have a visualization makes the conversation easier.

What’s next for Application Composer? What are my wishes?

Already last year I have asked to integrate AppComposer in CodeCatalyst and I believe that this would be an awesome possibility to quickly start serverless projects. Application Composer today feels like a playground – to make the service more usable, it needs to have a “deployment” component that allows you to automate the lifecycle of your serverless application (including a full CI/CD pipeline).

I also last year asked for creation of CDK out of Application Composer – or even importing it – but instead of investing into that direction AWS recently announced the existance of the CDK Builder Tool – wouldn’t it be better to merge those initiatives together?

As already mentioned above, supporting additional “CDK-L2-like” patterns – or maybe the “Patterns” from serverlessland.com would be amazing – so users do not need to know how to set up IAM roles, connections between API Gateway and Lambda, … manually would make this a much more usable product!

What are your thoughts around the recent announcements of AppComposer? What are your experiences with it?

Visits: 146

re:Capping re:Invent 2023 – Not everything that happens in Vegas should stay there! Let’s go and build!

In this article I will try to re:Cap a few of the announcements at re:Invent 2023 but also share my personal experiences and learnings that covers what I think that should be shared with the world…!

What happens in Vegas…

…should not always stay in Las Vegas! This year’s re:Invent has been another great experience for me and it was amazing to meet AWS enthutiasts from all of the world. I’ve learned a tons of stuff, saw a bunch of cool sessions and also experienced to be part of a big family. All the friendships that have been build in the past few days, the shared knowledge and experiences that have been shared have a big influecnce on myself and shape me.

The technical aspects of re:Invent

This year the technical aspects of re:Invent existed but where not as important to me as they used to be in my previous attendances. Of course AWS hd a bunch of important announcements – some of them bigger, some smaller. Renato has them written up at InfoQ and the AWS Newsblog has them covered too. Luc, the winner of this years “Now, Go Build” award 2023 has created a web application that helps you to read all of them and not miss a single one.

For me, there are a few that stand out:

Of course, there where a bunch of other announcement, minor and smaller ones, but these are the ones that I have remembered and thus they are meaningful to me. Now let’s move over to the more important aspects of re:Invent!

The community aspects of re:Invent

re:Invent 2023 has been once more a gathering of the AWS Community in one place and it has brought a lot of us together to talk, laugh and align. Not everyone was able to join us due to different reasons – but I am sure that you have felt the power of the community throughtout the week by following us on the different social channels.

Being part of the AWS Heros

As I posted last year, going to re:Invent means meeting with friends and getting together. Being an AWS Hero, made it more intense than before: We feel community out of our heart and that’s what makes us strong. Wherever I was in Las Vegas, I saw a fellow Hero.

We all have super powers and our powers are different. One of my super-powers is connecting people – and I hope that I was able to show this in the last few days.

Others have other powers – a few of use were able to present one of their talks – Anahit with her spciality around MSK, Anurag around data patterns and Ran on Lambda Power Tools. Others are great listeners and others have the vision of how things need to or should look in a few years – it was great to see everyones powers in one place and I know that combining them we can incluence to make things better!

Thank you, Taylor and the rest of the team, for creating this group and bringing us together again!

Working with Builders, User Group leaders and others from the community

The AWS Community consists of so much more than the Heros. Thank you, dear Community Builders – lead my Jason and the team – for being an unbelievable source of power throughtout the week. Your entuthiasm, your great ideas and your dedication are what makes us stronger. I’ve been reading a lot of the posts from Builders around the globe that were not able to make it to Las Vegas and it is energizing to see that.

The User Group Leaders that we have world wide on the other side help to thrive the AWS Community across the whole yearand bring us together regularly — to learn, to play or to share knowledge. Thank you all, for helping us to shape where the community goes and for making the community successful. I was glad to be able to meet a lot of you and share my experiences as welll as listening to your experiences.

I had the great pleasure to get the whole team of core contributors of the Speakers Directory together and we were able to present our project as well as take a picture of all of use 🙂

We are going to continue our investment and will help user group leaders to find speakers through our tool!

Working with AWS employees

This year, I’ve joined the club of many other Heros that go to sessions where they can meet AWS service team members that they have worked with before 🙂

I attended a few CodeCatalyst sessions to meet the team that I’ve been working with for more than 12 months “live and in person” and loved to see the energy and innovation live on stage – but I also attended other sessions just to say HI to certain speakers.

Employees at AWS are smart and can often tell you the perspective of WHY something has been build and it’s great to know some more background of a new feature. Thank you all for spending time with me and sharing your thoughts and passion with me!

To those AWS employees in the community and DevRel team – another big THANKS for making the event unforgettable with all of your dedication and support – I love spending time with you and creating new ideas on how to make the AWS community stronger and more engaging than ever before!

A look ahead…

As I try to use my time on the flight to put my head around what I am taking away from the last few days and from re:Invent 2023, I’m still digesting, as many others, what we have all learned and heard.

A few key take-aways:

  • AWS doesn’t feel “secure” anymore to be a market leader
  • innovation at AWS is coming (Q), but it’s still early stages
  • AWS keeps listening to their customers (see the DB2 RDS announcement and the StepFunction HTTP Integration)
  • Community Sessions (COM or DEV track) are the ones to attend at re:invent, or sessions that are AWS + a customer (level 300/400)

What I’m considering to do in the next 3 months

First of all I’m planning to cover the CodeCatalyst announcements at my YouTube channel to explain the impact of the new features to interested enterprise customers.

I’m also looking at trying out a lot of the cool things that have been announced in our AWS Speakers Directory Project, besides hosting multiple User Group meetups of the AWS UserGroup Bergstrasse.

What I’m considering to do in 2024

Of course I will continue my engagement in the AWS Förderverein DACH – we are planning another AWS Community Day in Munich next year!

I also plan to continue my work with the the CodeCatalyst team to shape the product – please let me know if YOU have input on what thte next important steps are.

I would love to work with the AWS team to, for 2024 at re:Invent organize another pre:Invent Community Hike and to talk about the possibility of hosting a complete track at re:Invent where Community Members join forces with AWS employees. I listened to a session (Ran Isenberg and Heitor Lessa) and that was a very powerful message.

Last but not least, I would like to help community members to grow and shape their careers in Cloud – if you need help or have questions, do not hesitate to reach out for questions, I’m happy to help or to connect you with someone that can help!

Thank you for reading until this point, if you have any feedback, let me know!

Visits: 127