The Blog

The Other Side of Paternity Leave

Calendar Icon 11.04.2020
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I’m back!

I took five weeks of parental leave to welcome my daughter Josephine to the world–and those have now ended. I’ll take the balance of my parental leave a week at a time during the first half of next year–because “parental leave is a benefit, not a stick with which to beat people” is an important philosophy to stick with. I’m digging out with a vengeance; we’re a month out from AWS’s own version of Cloud Next which means that we’re starting to see “service dumps” of features and releases shipping that didn’t fit into the planned three hour keynote.

But you were on Twitter!

Yes, I was active intermittently on Twitter during the past month because (in case you missed it) there’s a pandemic on for most of the world; there are apparently exceptions for places with histories of exceptional governmental responses or extreme levels of denial, like New Zealand and Facebook respectively. That’s the closest thing I have to a social life when trapped at home between feedings, naps, crying, and diaper changes–plus whatever the baby needs. Again, the point of parental leave isn’t to withdraw from the world; it’s to provide space to not think about work while being present for your family. You do your parental leave the way you want to, and leave other people to do theirs. Good lord.

What happened while I was out

Now that I’ve returned, let’s take a look at what happened while I was out of commission on the AWS front. From my perspective there are three major announcements amongst the rest of the filler for the past month.

Timestream went GA

It looks like I went from “content having one kid with no plans for a second” to “warming to the idea” to “actively trying to conceive for months” to “yay we’re expecting” to “welcome to the world, Josephine” in one day less than it took AWS to go from “Timestream is announced in preview” to “Timestream is generally available.” Kids are a lot of work, but apparently that’s nothing compared to a time series database. Another difference is that some people actually like kids.

Nitro Enclaves went GA

It’s pretty clear that AWS Marketing continues to be “willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.” A lot of people have terrible misconceptions about this service (“Does this mean you’re admitting EC2 isn’t secure?!”), and that’s not so much on those people as it is on AWS failing to articulate the value of Nitro Enclaves. Let me give it a whack: “You may want to process highly sensitive data that you don’t want your ops team to be able to access. Nitro Enclaves lets you do precisely that.”

Aurora Storage is finally smarter

Until now you’ve only ever been able to increase Aurora’s disk allocation. Now it dynamically downsizes when you drop tables (intentionally or accidentally), in a feature that people have been asking for since Aurora was in preview. This removes a giant asterisk next to “Aurora can save you money.”

What’s next

We’re a month out from re:Invent (AWS’s own version of Cloud Next) which is now a monstrosity set to last three weeks. I’ll be doing a bunch of things around then. I want to point out that none of them are official this year: I’ve been pointedly not invited to give a talk. What AWS may have forgotten is that it takes remarkably little to record a talk and put the video up on the internet; there’s no “stage” to speak of. More to come on this Next Month in AWS.

And lastly…

It was apparently discovered last week that platypuses can glow in the dark. Billie the Platypus has a whole new (half) life ahead of him!

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