Hey party people!

Hello There! My name is Courtney Wilburn, and I’m filling in for Corey this week, who is away enjoying the company of his family’s newest arrival. I’m an engineering manager at Elastic Cloud where I do my best to enable engineers to build tools that help keep things running smoothly for our cloud developers and SREs. When I’m not annoying my wife and dog with the sound of my mechanical keyboards, I’m either doomscrolling on Twitter, listening to Prince, working on one of my many in progress projects, or thinking about all of the travel plans I’ve had to cancel this year.

From the Community

Stupendous news folks! My friends at ChaosSearch – the same ones who have cracked the code to efficient log analysis at massive scale (terabytes of daily ingest? No problem!), are launching a new 3 part webinar series on Nov 12th: “From Log Data to Visionary Clarity.” They’ll be diving head-first into how you can easily derive critical business intel from your raw CloudTrail data (Nov 12), ELB data (Nov 19) & VPC Flow Logs data (Dec 3). Register today, and see exactly how easy it is to make transformative changes to your current approach, and elevate your company’s decision-making capabilities overnight! I’ve been a huge fan of ChaosSearch – even before they started sponsoring my newsletter – join this 3-Part webinar series to see why! Sponsored

If you care deeply about the intersection of data science and social justice, take a look at Data for Black Lives, and figure out how to help advance the country a bit.

Representation matters. I’d love to no longer be the only person who looks like me at tech conferences in the future. If you’ve got skills or extra money to share, consider putting a portion of both or either toward Black Girls Code.

I love to give the occasional conference talk, and BarCamp Philly was where I built up the skills and confidence to share what I’ve learned with others. If you’re around on Saturday, December 5, 2020, check it out!

If you’re in the United States and looking for a way to get more civically engaged, see if there’s a local chapter of Code for America nearby. The virtual hackathons are great ways to meet like-minded folks, too.


If you’ve got an interesting job for this newsletter’s eminently employable subscribers, get in touch!

If you’ve been working on infrastructure for a while (OK more than a week maybe) you’re sure to have Opinions on how our industry could improve the workflows we put in place to keep systems secure. Come work at Sym to help us build the platform to solve this! We’re looking for a Security & Infrastructure Engineer to lead our security program and improve the safety and reliability of our environment.

Do you hold a US Security Clearance? Do you want to build exciting things? Protect exciting secrets? Make big trouble for Moose and Squirrel? Check out the AWS Cleared Jobs and see if AWS might have a role that’s up your alley. Many restrictions apply; see page for details.

Chime is a challenger bank providing free banking & credit services – our mission is to give people financial peace of mind, we’re tangibly helping people in the real world, and we were recently valued as the #1 most valuable FinTech company in the US (with a $14B valuation). We’re looking for AWS/Terraform experts who can help us secure our cloud infrastructure – if you’d like to learn more about it then we’d love to hear from you (for “How did you hear about this job?” please enter “LastWeekInAWS”).

Choice Cuts

Ready to lower your AWS bill?

Now might be the perfect time for an AWS Cost Optimization project from my (that is, Corey) company, The Duckbill Group. When I’m not snarking up a storm, I’m helping companies knock their bill down–we aim for a 15-20% cost reduction in identified savings opportunities in a way that accounts for both the technical and financial perspectives. Sponsored

Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) adds support for increased change stream retention and ability to watch change stream events on a database or the entire cluster – Somehow left out of this press release is that DocumentDB will spin your straw into gold for the price of your first born child. If the NoSQL data you’re migrating is less than 1TB use DynamoDB.

Amazon Kendra adds Confluence Server connector – For the love, if you are using Confluence and haven’t added a plugin to assist in searching it, please do that now. Also, this the first time I have no objection to an AWS product name that still fails to make clear what it does exactly.

Amazon SNS now supports selecting the origination number when sending SMS messages – This is huge. Now we’ll know exactly what number we can put on our “Do Not Disturb” lists.

EC2 Image Builder now supports AMI distribution across AWS accounts – Where has this been all of my life?! As soon as I’m no longer on the ground building some janky tool that moves AMIs between accounts and regions, this comes along. Thanks a lot.

Now use AWS Systems Manager to view vulnerability identifiers for missing patches on your Linux instances – Shout out to all my SysAdmins out there. They’ve got the CVE IDs in Patch Manager now. The smaller the list of things you have to keep track of, the better.

Transforming Eat-In Restaurant Margarita’s to a Successful Delivery, Carry-Out Business Using Amazon Connect – If you guessed what attracted me to this post was the hope of seeing pictures of food, you’re correct. What made me stay to read the whole thing was a story about a small business leveraging cloud services to stay afloat that warmed my cold dead heart just a little bit.

AWS Nitro Enclaves – Isolated EC2 Environments to Process Confidential Data – Don’t get it twisted: I’m all about protection of sensitive information, but the name “enclave” conjures up images of people who measure the height of their neighbors fences or get into a lather about Halloween decorations.

How the ZS COVID-19 Intelligence Engine helps Pharma & Med device manufacturers understand local healthcare needs & gaps at scale – YES. Let’s work together to beat this thing.

Choosing between AWS Lambda data storage options in web apps – AKA Choosy cloud engineers don’t choose /tmp.

Announcing the end of support for Python 3.4 and 3.5 in the AWS SDK for Python and AWS CLI v1 – Please don’t tell me you’re still using Python < 3.4 in a production, um, anything really. If you tell me, give me a chance to plug my ears and hum for a moment.

Using machine learning to understand a user community – Managing online communities is difficult and largely thankless. It’s pretty cool to see that folks are committed to making that a better experience for community managers and members alike. And with machine learning, no less.

DRAGEN reanalysis of the 1000 Genomes Dataset now available on the Registry of Open Data – I am neither Oprah nor Julie Andrews, but one of my favorite things is when the benefits of using cloud computing to advance scientific discovery are this clear.

Bringing real-time machine learning-powered insights to rugby using Amazon SageMaker – Finally, some relatable content! I love rugby (union, not league) almost as much as I love machine learning. I feel pandered to by this, and I’m kind of okay with that. Not sure about how much more crossover content I can expect from AWS with regards to rugby in the future, but I am crossing my fingers that it involves the New Zealand All Blacks.

zomato digitizes menus using Amazon Textract and Amazon SageMaker – Consider this a content warning. Do not read this machine learning case study while hungry. Even the name SageMaker has me wanting to make some butternut squash gnocchi with brown butter.

Building a live streaming app for all-hands meetings and more on ScreenCloud with Amazon IVS – Imagine a future so bleak, that one must get excited about innovative ways to deliver content for virtual company-wide meetings. In that same world, you’re actually dreaming of the heady, halcyon days when you were eating stale croissants, chasing your coffee with your 4th flavored sparkling water of the day, and meeting colleagues face-to-face for the first time. Oh wait…

Announcing the speakers at AWS IMAGINE Nonprofit Online 2020 – I can’t even be snarky about this one. Leaders of Nonprofits talked about how they use the cloud to better assist the communities they serve. You love to see it!

Arizona schools enable cloud-ready workforce of the future with plan to train and certify 5000 by June 2022 – OK, so hear me out. I’m not intentionally looking for upbeat stories to highlight, they’re finding me. I sincerely hope that the resources made available to these young people in Arizona are made just as available to people in the rest of the country very soon.

Building business resiliency, upskilling, and ML in sports: What you missed last month on the AWS Public Sector Blog – Before reading the “ML in Sports” post in the AWS Publics Sector Blog, I had my fingers crossed that it had something to do with the Phillies or Sixers using machine learning to try to advance in the playoffs next season, but that’s not the case.

Now access the Health and Human Services Cloud Pavilion: An online, interactive learning environment – Yes, public health practitioners, share all the best practices. Learn from each other. I’d love to be able to move freely about the world and visit loved ones before the rest of my hair turns gray.

Escape from the maze by training a Reinforcement Learning model on AWS RoboMaker – If, like me you were hoping that “the maze” being referred to here was a reference to, oh, the entirety of the year 2020, you will also be sorely disappointed. I will also accept corn maze escape algorithms. It was missing both, but pretty cool, nonetheless.

Testing map generation at scale with 3D worlds from AWS WorldForge – This highlights the super cool way that people have trained a robot vacuum algorithm to understand the boundaries of a home. No snark on this one, folks: I love a clean home, especially when there’s less effort involved on my part. If we could incorporate the presence of constantly-moving vacuum averse dogs into the map, that would be great.

How to configure Duo multi-factor authentication with Amazon Cognito – MFA all the things. ALL OF THEM.

Learn database basics in episode three of AWS Power Hour: Cloud Practitioner – In my day, power hours had nothing to do with databases. Does this have anything to do with the consumption of adult beverages to music? Unclear. I refuse to look this up, even though I carry around a small computer in my sweatpants every day.


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I don’t get to touch code very often anymore, but when I do (mostly for side projects), I use TabNine for completions. Imagine standing on the shoulders of giants in real time. Or StackOverflow without the shame.

… and that’s what happened Last Week in AWS.

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