from re:Invent to 2018

I am still recovering from a week in Vegas at re:Invent. Seriously, I think all 45,000 of us got a cold at the conference!

It was a busy week in the desert. There is plenty to talk about in 2018! For some refreshers on the product and service announcements, see the highlights from AWS and Day 1 and Day 2 reviews on InfoQ.

Personally, I enjoyed getting to meet fellow user group leaders from around the globe. There are amazing groups all over – Dublin, Munich, JAWS (Japan AWS), and the South American AWS en Español. I’ve got so many great ideas for 2018 user group topics!

2017 lookback

From the puny stats, it looks like the group has grown by over 500% from early 2016! We hit our goal of having regular, monthly events. I’ve been working on getting new speakers, more technical talks, and a diverse lineup of presenters – still a work in progress.

Big things for 2018

Part of my master plan for 2018 is already here. There’s a new website with info for sponsors, speakers, and hosts. Plus, a written code of conduct. Luckily we’ve never had an issue at a user group event, but this is an effort to be welcoming, transparent, and prepared. Also on our website is an invite form to join the AWS Chicago Slack channel.

Up next in 2018, I’ve got plans for a few all-day, hands-on sessions a year. We’ll hear from more AWS solutions architects, and hopefully more user group members. I’ll also send out a survey to get more feedback and ideas from the community.

Stay tuned for dates and announcements in January.


If you’re interested in learning more, join us on or on the socials:

– Meetup:
– linkedin group:
– twitter:
– youtube:
– slideshare: