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AWS Summit Auckland 2014 | Managing the Pace of Innovation: Behind the Scenes at AWS


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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 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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AWS Summit Auckland 2014 | Managing the Pace of Innovation: Behind the Scenes at AWS

  1. 1. © 2014, 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. Managing the Pace of Innovation Glenn Gore Sr Manager, Solutions Architecture Amazon Web Services
  2. 2. we will share organization and mechanisms used by AWS. do try this at home.
  3. 3. culture is the principal component in speed of innovation
  4. 4. amazon leadership principles
  5. 5. customer obsession ownership invent and simplify right, a lot hire and develop the best insist on highest standards think big bias for action frugality vocally self critical earn trust dive deep have backbone; disagree & commit deliver results
  6. 6. customer obsession invent & simplify insist on highest standards think big bias for action
  7. 7. ownership
  8. 8. deliver results have backbone; disagree & commit dive deep vocally self criticalearn trust frugality hire and develop the best
  9. 9. builder mechanisms
  10. 10. if you want something done right … create a single-threaded team
  11. 11. two pizza teams
  12. 12. fitness functions
  13. 13. the Amazon decision making process relies heavily on narratives.
  14. 14. writing a narrative helps you make best use of time of everyone at the meeting.
  15. 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.
  16. 16. presentations are not the best medium for consumption of highly analytical information
  17. 17. slides have choppy transitions that make it very difficult to share a continuous stream of thought.
  18. 18. most interesting details are often hidden in sub-sub-sub bullets.
  19. 19. slides are open for interpretation, and the same slides can be used to present completely different stories.
  20. 20. audience is at the mercy of presenter to gloss over details, which is much more difficult to do in a narrative.
  21. 21. At Amazon, we always work backwards from the customer.
  22. 22. 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.
  23. 23. 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.a
  24. 24. It helps us understand the problem we are trying to solve, and if it is worth solving.
  25. 25. once we have identified the problems we want to solve, we immediately start working on finding the right primitives. We put these primitives behind hardened APIs. notice how we almost missed this key detail
  26. 26. putting primitives behind hardened APIs helps our teams innovate independently, while reaping benefit from each other’s innovations.
  27. 27. once we have the right primitives, we ask ourselves “can we simplify?”
  28. 28. 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.
  29. 29. Consuming our own APIs allows us to build primitives on top of primitives.
  30. 30. back to the regularly scheduled programming
  31. 31. S3 for highly durable object storage.
  32. 32. EC2 for computing
  33. 33. EBS for block storage.
  34. 34. Route53 health checks as a monitoring and failover primitive.
  35. 35. RDS is a composition of these primitive for managed databases.
  36. 36. EBS PiOPs: Inheritence
  37. 37. complete the innovation loop with customers.
  38. 38. Amazon has a very metrics driven culture.
  39. 39. operational excellence
  40. 40. weekly ops metrics meeting.
  41. 41. A Scorecard for each service team.
  42. 42. a graph for every metric that customers care about.
  43. 43. each graph has a line…
  44. 44. recall the fitness function?
  45. 45. Any metric going beyond the line is considered a breach worthy of correction.
  46. 46. Correction of Error (COE) process
  47. 47. Integration with the Trouble Ticketing System
  48. 48. discussed at the OPS metrics meetings
  49. 49. DevOps
  50. 50. old cycle
  51. 51. continuous deployments
  52. 52. new cycle
  53. 53. deployment once every 12 seconds
  54. 54. Automated Rollbacks and Health Checks
  55. 55. f(innovation) = (org * arch) (mechanisms * culture)