Amazon AWS Team visit Bega for a very exciting workshop…and Code Night!!!

Amazon AWS Bega Group

A unique day was held in Bega recently – Amazon AWS (‘Cloud hosting’ Division), the global tech giant came to town to work with a number of other companies to promote upskilling in cloud capabilities in regional Australia. It is the first time, that one of the top five global tech companies (the ‘so-called’ FAANG – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) has actually had ‘boots on the ground’ in Bega, so there was much excitement.

And it does not appear to be any kind of token affair. Brian Senior, Public Sector Sales manager with the Canberra AWS team, advised their interest in exploring what can be done in Bega, and if it is successful, replicating in other parts of Australia, and potentially back in the US too.
The workshop was also attended by some of the larger local enterprises – Bega Cheese, Bega Valley Shire Council, Telstra – to talk about how regional companies and organisations can take advantage of their cloud offering. All agreed this was a wonderfully successful get-together.

The day’s programme included the following topics/presentations :-

  • General AWS Demo, Discussion (by Carsten Eckelmann)
  • AWS Automation using Cloud Formation Templates (by Ged Nash)
  • AWS Enterprise Architecture (by Rob Costello)
  • AWS Lambda Demo (by Ged Nash)
  • AWS Security (by Karl Auer/Lachlan Murdoch(CMD)/Rob Costello)
  • AWS Workspaces (by Karl Auer/Lachlan Murdoch)
  • Packaging Amazon AWS for Regional SMEs (by Liam O’Duibhir)

Potential ongoing Amazon AWS links to Bega could encompass the following areas :-

  • Reinforcing the principle that cloud frees you from the tyranny of geography – you can run your operation from anywhere. Canberra-based Agencies can have their management and admin in Canberra, but their systems can be securely in the cloud, and potentially be managed and run from anywhere in Australia by skilled people (e.g. Amazon partner companies like 2pi Software in Bega)

  • Connecting with local organisations to interest them in the platform – cloud-hosted systems have real relevance for regional businesses both large and small – ordering and configuring physical servers is a real challenge for regional businesses

  • Connecting with local techs to grow and strengthen partnerships – AWS operates a comprehensive partnership model.

  • Educational aspect – Amazon is eager to introduce its powerful platform into schools and 3rd level institutes, as well as project based learning initiatives such as hackathons and coding get-togethers.

  • Potentially the beautiful Bega Valley could provide an ‘offsite’ location to take staff for a break/reboot/creative retreat

To cap off a memorable day, the Amazon team met with the local kids at Code Night from 5pm to 8pm that evening.

Put simply, it was the best code night ever. The kids really enjoyed it – they launched servers on the cloud, and then built Minecraft instances on each one, which could be accessed by all their mates – incredible fun.

The Amazon engineer, Rob Costello, spoke and told everyone how much he felt at home in Bega – he himself is from a small town in South Australia and he explained how ‘jealous’ he was that we have Code Night and a growing tech community in Bega – there was nothing comparable in his home town, apparently. Rob got amongst it with everyone, and was really impressed by all our local techs.

During their time in Bega, the Amazon AWS team met with Federal MP, Mike Kelly,  the Principal of Lumen Christi Catholic College, Steve Centra, and University of Wollongong Bega Campus Manager, Sam Avitaia.