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Andrew May for Leading EDJE

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Jamming with AWS

The upcoming AWS Summit Online (Americas) next week (August 24th-26th) will have the usual Keynotes and Sessions, but the most interesting/fun part of the summit will be the AWS Jam.

An AWS Jam is a "Capture the Flag" style event that runs over two days (on the 25th/26th August) where you complete challenges in AWS to earn points, either competing as an individual or as part of a team. The challenges vary in complexity and difficulty and can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. If you're stuck you can get hints, but these decrease the number of points you get for completing the challenge.

Example challenges from the AWS Jam at the May 2021 summit:

AWS Jam Challenges

At the last summit I wasn't entirely sure what an AWS Jam was, so I took part by myself and didn't have time to organize a team (I was also limited in how much time I could spend on it), but I still managed to reach 38th on the leader board by quickly completing a number of challenges at the last minute!

I found it was a great opportunity to experiment with parts of AWS I'd not used before, in particular some of the Data Science and ML challenges where you're given a pre-configured Notebook and Dataset and they work you through the steps of data analysis.

This time I'm hoping to have a team of EDJErs to compete in the challenge and see how much further we can get up the leaderboard!

Joining the Jam

In order to take part in the AWS Jam you'll need a Jam account (sign up here) and you'll also need to code for the Jam which will be available once the AWS Summit starts (so you'll need at least one person in your team to register with the summit to get the code, create a team, and then you can invite people to the Jam and direct them to your team).

The rest of the summit

There should be an interesting keynote from the VP of Machine Learning at AWS (Swami Sivasubramanian), and possibly a few new announcements, and then there's a selection of interesting sessions in all areas of AWS.

Additionally there are two hour workshops in a range of technologies (e.g. Build and deploy web applications with AWS App Runner) that you need to register for separately. They're great if that particular workshop is something you want to learn about, but won't give you experience with the range of AWS services that the Jam will.

EDJE Articles

Top comments (3)

deezeemee profile image

How did it go?

andrewdmay profile image
Andrew May

Unfortunately the timing turned out to be bad and we didn't have much time to spend on the challenges. Also, it turns out I struggle to debug networking problems (one of the challenges) after a couple of beers.

deezeemee profile image

Ah! I struggled with the OpenCV and Sagemaker problems quite a bit.
Thankfully, I had a team which was quite versatile (pure luck!) and we finished all of the 13 challenges! A first for me :)
Used up some clues which caused us to place 8th, but ready to go for the next one!
Thanks for replying, Andrew! Have a nice day!

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