Managing the Pace of Innovation: Behind the Scenes at AWS (SPOT201) | AWS re:Invent 2013

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AWS launched in 2006, and since then we have released more than 530 services, features, and major announcements. Every year, we outpace the previous year in launches and are continuously accelerating …

AWS launched in 2006, and since then we have released more than 530 services, features, and major announcements. Every year, we outpace the previous year in launches and are continuously accelerating the pace of innovation across the organization. Ever wonder how we formulate customer-centric ideas, turn them into features and services, and get them to market quickly? This session dives deep into how an idea becomes a service at AWS and how we continue to evolve the service after release through innovation at every level. We even spill the beans on how we manage operational excellence across our services to ensure the highest possible availability. Come learn about the rapid pace of innovation at AWS, and the culture that formulates magic behind the scenes.

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  • 1. Managing the Pace of Innovation: Behind the Scenes at AWS Charlie Bell and Khawaja Shams November 13, 2013 © 2013, Inc. and its affiliates. All rights reserved. May not be copied, modified, or distributed in whole or in part without the express consent of, Inc.
  • 2. we will share organization and mechanisms used by AWS. do try this at home. @ksshams
  • 3. culture is the principal component in speed of innovation @ksshams
  • 4. amazon leadership principles @ksshams
  • 5. insist on highest standards customer obsession invent and simplify think big bias for action dive deep deliver results ownership have backbone; disagree & commit vocally self critical hire and develop the best earn trust right, a lot frugality @ksshams
  • 6. bias for action insist on highest standards customer obsession think big invent & simplify
  • 7. ownership
  • 8. hire and develop the best have backbone; disagree & commit dive deep deliver results earn trust vocally self critical frugality
  • 9. builder mechanisms @ksshams
  • 10. if you want something done right … create a singlethreaded team @ksshams
  • 11. two pizza teams @ksshams
  • 12. fitness functions @ksshams
  • 13. the Amazon decision making process relies heavily on narratives. @ksshams
  • 14. writing a narrative helps you make best use of time of everyone at the meeting. @ksshams
  • 15. the processing of writing your ideas helps you refine your thoughts and articulate them effectively, while exposing key gaps that you can refine before the meeting. @ksshams
  • 16. presentations are not the best medium for consumption of highly analytical information @ksshams
  • 17. @ksshams
  • 18. @ksshams
  • 19. slides have choppy transitions that make it very difficult to share a continuous stream of thought. @ksshams
  • 20. most interesting details are often hidden in sub-sub-sub bullets. @ksshams
  • 21. slides are open for interpretation, and the same slides can be used to present completely different stories. @ksshams
  • 22. audience is at the mercy of presenter to gloss over details, which is much more difficult to do in a narrative. @ksshams
  • 23. At Amazon, we always work backwards from the customer. @ksshams
  • 24. each new idea, starts with a write-up of a press release / FAQ that helps capture the customer perspective of the problem we are trying to solve. @ksshams
  • 25. this process helps us exercise customer obsession by compelling us to put on the shoes of the customers and see the story from a customer’s perspective. @ksshams
  • 26. It helps us understand the problem we are trying to solving, and if it is worth solving. @ksshams
  • 27. once we have identified the problems we want to solve, we immediately start working on finding the right primitives. notice how we almost missed this key detail We put these primitives behind hardened APIs. @ksshams
  • 28. putting primitives behind hardened APIs helps our teams innovate independently, while reaping benefit from each other’s innovations. @ksshams
  • 29. once we have the right primitives, we ask ourselves “can we simplify?” @ksshams
  • 30. We eat our own dog food, which enables us to put ourselves in the shoes of the customers, and again, compels us to be vocally self-critical to innovate on behalf of our customers. @ksshams
  • 31. Consuming our own APIs allows us to build primitives on top of primitives. @ksshams
  • 32. back to the regularly scheduled programming @ksshams
  • 33. S3 for highly durable object storage. @ksshams
  • 34. EC2 for computing @ksshams
  • 35. EBS for block storage. @ksshams
  • 36. Route53 health checks as a monitoring and failover primitive. @ksshams
  • 37. RDS is a composition of these primitive for managed databases. @ksshams
  • 38. EBS PiOPs: Inheritance @ksshams
  • 39. complete the innovation loop with customers. @ksshams
  • 40. Amazon has a very metrics driven culture. @ksshams
  • 41. operational excellence @ksshams
  • 42. weekly ops metrics meeting. @ksshams
  • 43. A Scorecard for each service team. @ksshams
  • 44. a graph for every metric that customers care about. @ksshams
  • 45. each graph has a line… @ksshams
  • 46. recall the fitness function? @ksshams
  • 47. Any metric going beyond the line is considered a breach worthy of correction. @ksshams
  • 48. Correction of Error (COE) process @ksshams
  • 49. Integration with the Trouble Ticketing System @ksshams
  • 50. discussed at the OPS metrics meetings @ksshams
  • 51. DevOps @ksshams
  • 52. old cycle @ksshams
  • 53. continuous deployments @ksshams
  • 54. new cycle @ksshams
  • 55. deployment once every 12 seconds @ksshams
  • 56. @ksshams
  • 57. (mechanisms * culture) f(innovation) = (org * arch) @ksshams
  • 58. Please give us your feedback on this presentation SPOT 201 As a thank you, we will select prize winners daily for completed surveys! @ksshams