Chicago AWS user group 2020 preview

2019 / 2020 will be the third year I've asked the roughly 4,000 Chicago AWS user group members to give feedback on the user group. Each year, I ask - via a 5 minute Google Form survey - to rate their interest in topics the user group may cover.

AWS releases services at a lightning fast pace, but users in Chicago may not use or care about many. I would bet there aren't any space station user just yet. But what about user group members looking to dabble in IoT or the latest networking services AWS announced at re:Invent? What's the best way to get updates? What formats or times work best for attendees?

The feedback was small this year*, not that any year has a statistically significant response rate, but it does confirm what I've heard from chatting with members at events.

2020 will feature more topics and events on:

  • Containers
  • Serverless and Lambda
  • Big Data, Data Lakes, and Analytics
  • Security

I also got some good feedback about daytime events (CoffeeOps, anyone?) and study groups. As always, people want to come to events where they know friends and colleagues will attend and events where they might get something for free. I promise there will be 200% more giveaways in 2020!

2020 will also feature the 3rd year of the AWS Community Day Midwest. This year Midwest ugroup organizers are focusing on Columbus, and it is already shaping up to be a great event. Soon we will have registration and the call for proposals open. I expect Chicago members to make another strong showing!

Register for AWS Community Day 2020
Propose a talk for 2020

2019/ early 2020 also had some huge personal accomplishments for me: I was named an AWS Community Hero, I got a new job (with access to an awesome event space for Chicago ugroup events), and I had a daughter.

I suspect these will impact the ugroup in 2020 quite a bit. On one hand (literally! that's how I am typing this blog post) I suspect I'll have less time to plan and attend events.

On the upside it has already forced me to accept some help. The January event paired AWS up with HashiCorps, and we got help from Alex and Lauren at HashiCorps and my awesome colleagues, Duy and Laris. Abhay, Sivia, and Jackie are doing all of the logistics work for the Feb 25th event. Thank you, all!

*For the survey responses I assume to be Tony: