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In Conversation with Simone Brunozzi about the AWS Re:invent Conference

Thursday September 13, 2012 , 6 min Read

Amazon Web Services is launching their first global conference, called AWS Re:invent, taking place on Nov 27th-29th in Las Vegas, USA. We sat down with Simone Brunozzi, Technology Evangelist for Amazon Web Services (or AWS), to know more about it.

The good news here is that we also have some discount codes for the conference fee for our readers. Read below to know more about it.

Q: Simone, briefly tell us about yourself, your story, and your job at Amazon Web Services.

Simone: Sure. I'm a Technology Evangelist, a title that I like a lot. My main “duties” are to attend and speak at conferences, events, workshops, seminars and the like, and describe the AWS offering from a technical point of view. In fact, I have a technical background, and I’ve been involved in the IT world since an early age. My brother, who is eight years older than me, bought a Commodore Vic-20 when I was five. I started programming in BASIC even before I went to Primary school (in Italy, where I grew up). Isn’t that cool?

Back to my job at Amazon Web Services. One of the aspects that I really love is that it allows me to have a lot of interactions with our customers, and collect feedback from them. We are a customer-centric company, and we take that feedback very seriously.

I was based in Singapore until July 2012, where I was covering the entire APAC region, including India, where I’ve traveled… Let me check my passports… 26 times, in the last three years!

Now I live and work in San Francisco, and I focus on the Bay area, even if I occasionally take a trip to other cities in the US, or abroad.

Q: That’s a nice story. And what about the conference?

Simone: Amazon Web Services has hundreds of thousands of customers, all over the world. In fact, we have customers in more than 190 countries. I like to say that I visited most of these countries, since I'm a frequent traveler.

This year we're launching our first Global conference. It's called AWS Re:invent, and it will be held in Las Vegas from November 27th to the 29th (link)

The conference is divided into different tracks, and of course there is one dedicated to startups. I am going to deliver a presentation on startups, focusing on how they are using AWS to solve typical startup challenges, such as scaling or going global, and of course I’ll be around to meet startups, answer their questions, and try to be as helpful as possible.

I believe this is an amazing opportunity for startups from all over the world to learn about Cloud Computing and how startups can grow even more successfully with Amazon Web Services, as well as meet other startups and learn what they're doing, how they scale, and in general learn the tips and tricks of running a startup. I’m sure that there are many readers right now that are thinking: “Interesting, perhaps I should go as well!”

Also, don’t forget that our CEO, Jeff Bezos, will be there to deliver a keynote. I always love to watch him on stage, as I believe that he’s a very inspiring leader.

Q: Besides people from Amazon, do you also have external presenters?

Simone: Of course! We like to have totally unbiased, external presentations from people that are using AWS and want to share their story. This includes people from cool startups like Pinterest (a wildly popular website that allows you to "pin" interesting pictures and share them with your friends), Smugmug (a photo sharing service aimed at professionals and amateurs), and many more. Some of the startups presenting are not well known yet, but their story is worth checking out. They're going to share technical tricks, architecture designs, scaling strategies, and ways to optimize costs.

Q: Thanks, Simone. Is there anything that you can offer to us? I already know that you can ☺

Simone: Yes. If you are a startup reading this article, if you already use Amazon Web Services, and if you want to attend the AWS Re:invent conference, I can offer you a discount code. Instead of paying the regular 1,099 US$ price, you only pay 899 US$, plus you get 300 US$ in AWS credits.

To take advantage of this, you should email me at [email protected], and mention in the subject line that you are coming from this site (“From” would suffice). I also need to know what's your startup about, and how you're using AWS. It can be just a few lines, but it's important for me to get a sense of these details.

After that, I'll email you with the discount code. Also, let me know how many people from your startup are coming, or how many discount codes you need. I can allocate up to two discount codes per startup.

Unfortunately, I have a limited amount of these codes to give away, therefore I can only offer them to the first 10 readers on a first come, first serve basis.

Q: how long does this offer last for?

Simone: Well, the offer ends Sept 30th, but I suggest you to contact me as soon as possible, and book your flights and accommodation early. This is an event that you shouldn't miss, and by booking hotel and accommodation early, you can save significantly.

Q: Is there any other initiative worth mentioning? Something that our startups should know?

Simone: There is at least one that you shouldn’t miss.

We are organizing a hackathon on the road, called Cloud Riders. It will be a mix of hackathon, having fun, meeting friends, cloud computing and being on the road. If you’re interested in participating, or sponsoring, feel free to visit the website to know more, and in case contact me for more details.

And don’t worry: if you’ve already purchased a ticket for AWS Re:invent, you can still get involved in this initiative.

Q: What’s the best way for people to get in touch with you?

You can follow me on Twitter (@simon), on my blog (, or simply on our AWS Podcast series.

Q: Lovely! Thanks a lot, Simone, and have fun in Las Vegas!

Simone: You bet! (pun intended). Thanks a lot for the opportunity to share this with your readers, and I hope to visit India again soon! As a proper Italian, and a vegetarian, I literally love Indian food.