I was excited when earlier this year I noticed the announcement of AWSome Day coming to Atlanta. We don’t get many events from Amazon in Atlanta…or at least not to my knowledge we haven’t…and so this one was a must attend for me. And I have to say that after attending yesterday, on the 2nd of April, I was definitely not disappointed!
It was a full day of lecture by Nathan Hast (@sagenate), a technical trainer at Amazon, covering all the basics of Amazon Web Services. While I’ve been using Amazon Web Services for storage now for many years and I’ve experimented with EC2, I really didn’t know much about all the other services so hearing them all explained over the course of the day was very helpful and provided me with a much better insight into how both large and small technology solutions can and should be architected on the AWS platform.
The event was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead…starting at 9am and ending at 3:45. Afterwards there were really nice all you could eat hors d’oeuvres and a happy hour with free drinks on the hotel patio. Lunch was also awesome with tomato basil soup and three kinds of gourmet pizza. This was a first class event much appreciated by everyone I talked to.
I’m not sure how many people attended but it looked like hundreds. They were virtually all men by the way. I don’t think I saw more than a dozen women at the event. We’ve really got to get more women into technology!
At the end they announced another AWS event coming to Atlanta on June 9th…AWS Big Data Solutions Day…also being held at the Intercontinental Hotel. I’ve already signed up!
For learning to develop custom controllers using APEX Salesforce offers another 5 day class, Dev-501 – Apex and Visualforce Controllers…which hopefully I’ll get to experience sooner rather than later.
So now I’ve got a week of in depth training…a Salesforce account with 10 seats…a couple of big projects on the horizon at work where I can apply my newly learned Force.com skills…which makes me all set for an interesting Fall I think.
I stayed at the Hampton Magestic 22 West Monroe…a short walk from where my class was held at Microtek. (see photos below). This was an outstanding place to stay…conveniently located in the middle of the Theater and Financial districts and only a couple of blocks away from Grant Park and the lake. Clean, reasonably priced…great breakfasts every morning too! I’m staying here every time I’m in Chicago from now on!
Every day after class I went for a run along the shore of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River (see pics below). Even though it’s August the temp each day was pleasant with a cool breeze blowing in from the lake…pure heaven coming from Hotlanta…especially this Summer one of the hottest on record. And I wasn’t alone there were hundreds of other runners, walkers, and bikers on the same paths with me…very cool!
I tried to sample some traditional Chicago food…a slice of pizza and a hot dog…other than these two “samples” I went with fish and chips every evening. It wasn’t the healthiest week of my diet this year that’s for sure but I survived!
One observation about Chicago I have to mention…NO SMOKING inside any building…not a bar or pub or anywhere! And no smoking within 15 feet of any entrance either so you weren’t forced to hold your breath as you entered buildings. What a great idea! Who knows maybe Atlanta will get up to speed on eliminating this health risk one of these days too! But I doubt it.
Last but not least (well maybe so 🙂 I gained two Foursquare mayor ships in Chicago…Microtek and a small French restaurant along the Chicago river running path. It was a good week!
On May 19th CloudForce 2011 Atlanta was held at the downtown Hyatt. As always this event was outstanding with an informative keynote and interesting breakout sessions throughout the afternoon lasting until 5:30. Registration began at noon and a nice lunch was provided in the exhibitor area up until 1pm when the keynote began. This year I had to come and go as I had meetings back at Georgia Tech I couldn’t miss. Good exercise as I walked the 1.5 miles back and forth to Tech Square several times this day. As you see in the photos I made sure I was there in the afternoon in time for the evening reception!
I just read about a startup company made-up of former Emory students called Cloud Sherpas. Their business is to assist companies in migrating to and maintaining Google Enterprise Apps. They also do Google App Engine development. This is a great service (and a great name) since most small companies don’t realize the value and reduced cost they could achieve by adopting Google Enterprise Applications for email, shared documents, collaboration websites (for employees, customers, and partners), groups, and chat (voice and text) just to name a few of the services available from Google at little or no cost to the business. I’m not sure why a small to mid-size business today would want to do anything else especially given the tight economic times we are in now. And I have to add that whoever thought up the name Cloud Sherpas is a genius.