There is still space available: Ben’s recommendations for re:Invent 2023

06/11/2023 Ben Bridts

Getting a reserved seat at re:Invent is always a bit of a challenge. Luckily, not all sessions are announced at the same time, and some sessions get repeats announced later. Combining those sessions with a few hidden gems, I was able to create a list of 10 sessions (5 chalk talks and 5 breakout sessions) for which – at the time of writing – there were still seats available to be reserved (and for all of them, walk-up will be possible too).

You can find them below, with a short explanation of why I think you should consider attending them.

Breakout sessions

SEC209 | Modernize authorization: Lessons from cryptography and authentication

Speakers: Eric Brandwine, Neha Rungta
Hurry level: There is still space.

You might have heard the phrase “there is no compressions algorithm for experience” and with a combined 23 years at AWS/Amazon between Eric Brandwine and Neha Rungta, this is absolutely true here. I have no doubt that they’ll be able to talk about some of my favorite topics (cryptography, authentication, authorization, the Cedar language, …) in a way that’s useful and understandable.

SEC236 | The AWS data-driven perspective on threat landscape trends

Speaker: Paul Bodmer
Hurry level: You’ll probably have to sit in the front row. There will be a recording

The description mentions “data-driven”, “real-world examples”, and “unique perspective”. AWS has been recently more open about the kind of threads they see, and this session will hopefully follow that trend.

SVS323 | I didn’t know Amazon API Gateway did that

Speakers: Eric Johnson
Hurry level: You’ll probably have to sit in the front row. There will be a recording

I have never regretted seeing a talk by Eric Johnson, and I love this title. Finding interesting ways to use AWS services is very helpful, and allows you to make more informed trade-offs when designing an application.

DOP209 | Governance and security with infrastructure as code

Speakers: Damian Silbergleith Cunniff (GoDaddy), Eric Beard, Kevin DeJong
Hurry level: You’ll probably have to sit in the front row.

I like the way cfn-guard approaches governance a lot, and it’s integrated in more services than you might expect. I also believe that having guardrails is operationally a better choice than building your own company-specific constructs, so I’m happy that they’ll also talk about the CDK.

STG315 | Amazon S3 security and access control best practices

Speakers: Meg Rose, Becky Weiss
Hurry level: You’ll probably have to sit in the front row. There will be a recording

Meg Rose and Becky Weiss gave one of my favorite sessions of re:Invent 2021 (STG315: Deep dive on Amazon S3 security and access management), and this year they’re back for another joint session. This will be a great way to get to know all the S3 security features, and how they work together.

Chalk Talks

SEC316-R1 | All things in life are temporary: An IAM credential journey [REPEAT]

Speakers: Meg Peddada, Alex Waddell
Hurry level: There is still space.

I saw a great chalk talk at re:Inforce about how IAM and STS work. In the meantime, more official documentation about concepts discussed during that talk, like “forward access sessions (FAS)”, has appeared. Getting an end-to-end look at what happens when you use an IAM credential will always be interesting, and helpful when writing policies.

NET316-R1 | Networking ask-me-anything talk [REPEAT]

Speakers: Jamie Wenzel, Andrew Gray
Hurry level: There is still space.

Doing an “ask-me-anything” is always a bit of a risk, but if we bring interesting questions, we should get interesting answers. Networking also lends itself very well to whiteboarding, so I expect a very interactive session, which is where chalk talks shine.

SUP201 | Get the most out of AWS Support to achieve your business outcomes

Speakers: Peter Dachnowicz, Donald Quindardo
Hurry level: Don’t wait too long.

Knowing how to effectively engage AWS Support is one of the “secrets” that can make you solve problems a lot faster. The topics listed in the description sound very interesting, but I would also use this opportunity to ask things like “What is the fastest way to get a quota increase?”, “What’s the smartest way to engage a Technical Account Manager?”, and “What kind of artifacts should I include when I open a support case?”.

SEC217 | Explore the AWS sovereign-by-design approach

Speakers: Alex Meek-Holmes, Kathy Liu
Hurry-level: Don’t wait too long.

By the time this session happens, it will be a little over a month since AWS announced the “AWS European Sovereign Cloud”. There are a few details in the announcement post that give us a little insight into how it will work. Hearing things directly from AWS-people, and being able to ask questions should teach us even more about what is coming.

SVS203-R1 | Thinking serverless [REPEAT]

Speakers: James Beswick
Hurry-Level: Don’t wait too long.

Framing serverless as an approach to a business problem is super helpful, and this one has all the things you want in a serverless-related session: different services, customer focus, distributed systems, event-based architecture, …

This blog has been updated:

  • Monday 6 November 2023: SVS323, DOP209, and STG315 have no more reservations available.
  • Wednesday 8 November 2023: crossed out SEC236, un-crossed DOP209


Need a hand? Or a high five?
Feel free to visit our offices and come say hi
… or just drop us a message

We are ready when you are

Cloudar NV – Operations

Veldkant 7
2550 Kontich (Antwerp)

info @

+32 3 450 67 18

Cloudar NV – HQ

Veldkant 33A
2550 Kontich (Antwerp)

VAT BE0564 763 890

    This contact form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    • SHARE