Wave Commerce Takes Home 1st Place at AWS GameDay 2018

Event recap for the AWS GameDay 2018 hosted in Hong Kong before the AWS Summit 2018, complete with twists and turns!

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Congrats to our engineering team members Patrick, Michael, Juno and Peter for taking home first prize at AWS GameDay this year! AWS GameDay is a 4-hour event held just the day before the annual AWS Summit in Hong Kong. Competing against some 80 other players in the AWS GameDay conference hall, teams raced to complete 5 secret tasks with the most optimal AWS architecture. So secret, our winning team still won’t divulge what services they built, but suffice to say, our four engineering members sure impressed all of us at Wave Commerce. Thanks guys for representing!

What is AWS GameDay and Why is it Held?

AWS GameDay was open to the first 80 participants applying in teams of 1-4 people.

AWS GameDay is an event that gives developers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the AWS environment as they solve problems where competing teams simulate being part of “the DevOps team of the popular startup Unicorn Rentals shortly before the public release of its latest version”. The solutions for incorporating AWS resources are open-ended, but the event checks the progress at designated times to score teams based through criteria such as whether a server is setup and whether it serves the desired purpose. Teams tumbled up and down the live scoreboard as servers went live and crashed and as teams worked away to optimize their AWS architecture for each task.

What We Learned

The AWS GameDay attracted a ranged of participants from computer science students to engineers who used AWS services. Of course, engineers with experience in cloud computing and the AWS environment had a slight advantage. However, participants only needed to bring their machines with a web browser, AWS Command Line Tools, and SSH client pre-installed (an AWS account was not required) to get started.

The challenges provided guidelines and pre-configured non-AWS components such as datasets to help participants focus on deployment and production. Since points were given for the number of mentioned AWS tools used, the Wave team could recount the supersuite of AWS tools they incorporated: Cloudwatch, S3, Glue, Athena, EC2, Rekognition, Lambda, Systems Manager, Codecommit, Codedeploy, and ELB. Our engineers also recalled the two mentioned tools they didn’t use: EMR and Cloudtrail.

As AWS staff wandered around to provide direction and assistance, it was a great opportunity for participants to ask questions and experiment. Successful completion of a task, such as deploying a web game, meant that the team could also play with the deployed product.

Overall, the Wave team enjoyed the assigned tasks and would recommend AWS GameDay as a way for engineers to sample AWS products and solutions for free in a fun, competitive setting. They also mentioned that the event was suitable for engineers with basic AWS experience to familiarize themselves with every step of production.

At End of the Day

The final scores at AWS GameDay 2018.

As the seconds ticked away and the Wave Commerce team worked to assemble an elegant solution, their score remained red, in the negatives. In the final moments of the competition, the ecosystem fell into place and our team surged to snag first place with a total score of 391,184.59.

Congrats again team!