AWS GameDay

Fun, gamified, hands-on learning


About AWS GameDay

GameDay is a collaborative learning exercise that tests skills in implementing AWS solutions to solve real-world problems in a gamified, risk-free environment. This is a completely hands-on opportunity for technical professionals to explore AWS services, architecture patterns, best practices, and group cooperation.

Our approach is unconventional compared to other learning formats. Ambiguity and non-prescriptive guidance allow teams the flexibility to think creatively as they navigate a wide array of technical challenges. There is no one right answer; teams pave their own path based on resources we provide them with in live AWS accounts. If you enjoy open-ended challenges without step-by-step instructions, look no further.

The setting for every GameDay is our famous (fictitious) narrative. Participants are new hires at Unicorn.Rentals and this is their first day on the job.

Unicorn.Rentals New Hires

Congratulations on your new position at Unicorn.Rentals! We are the largest provider of mythical creatures in the world, fulfilling the needs of parents who have caved to their childrens' demands of temporary use of a unicorn.

As part of our dominance of the Legendary Animal Rental Market (LARM), we understand the importance of our human capital and invest heavily in training programs for our growing team of technical experts. This will be a new hire orientation that you will never forget!

Unicorn Rentals

Upcoming Events

re:Invent 2021

This year’s AWS re:Invent will include the most action-packed series of GameDay events ever. Reserved seating is closed, but limited walk-up spaces are still available.

Sessions and Content

We are set to debut 4 new versions of AWS GameDay across 10 total sessions. Each version will run twice from Monday through Thursday, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. In addition, we are hosting a new format of GameDay in the “Quests Game Night” on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. See below for more information on our session content and visit the re:Invent GameDay page for our session schedule. Review the AWS GameDay FAQ for additional details.

1. Infinidash Ride-Hailing: As the latest recruits at our [fictitious] startup Unicorn.Rentals, attendees will improve microservices to tackle problems facing our new ride-hailing service "Infinidash." Be prepared to get hands-on with AWS Step Functions, AWS Lambda, AWS IOT services, and many more!

2. Reuse Recycle Reduce Rearchitect: This GameDay focuses on sustainability best practices and teaches AWS users how to be mindful of energy efficiency in their AWS infrastructure. Attendees can expect to get hands-on with AWS services such as Amazon Athena, Amazon S3, Amazon EC2 Autoscaling, and more.

3. Secure Legends: Secure Legends focuses on security incidents such as ransomware attacks and other breaches, and will introduce participants to conducting forensics to prevent and remediate them. Attendees are provided with a simulated environment containing common vulnerabilities that they will secure using AWS services like IAM, Network Firewall, Backup, Systems Manager and much more.

4. Financial Services: Financial Services GameDay participants implement data analytics solutions using real-time, third-party market data and learn how to build resilient applications while applying chaos engineering techniques. Attendees will get hands-on with AWS services such as Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics Studio, Amazon FinSpace, and many more.

5. Quests Game Night: GameDay Quests are short, standalone technical challenges that individuals can attempt at their own pace. Quests Game Night is a new night activity for customers to experiment with the quests of their choice, network with other attendees, meet the GameDay team, and grab food and drinks.

Unicorn Rentals
Unicorn Rentals
Unicorn Rentals

Stay tuned for future opportunities to participate and follow us on Twitter, Reddit, or Twitch.

GameDay Essentials

Join us for an interactive, six-part series to get hands-on cloud computing experience in the fun, fictitious startup world of Unicorn.Rentals! These videos will help you get up to speed for your first New Hire Orientation.
  • Episode 1: Recon

    When you jump into an AWS account, it’s common to have existing resources in that account, and GameDay is no exception. Finding out what you have is essential to be successful in the game. We’ll talk about how to identify your inventory and assess your configuration. You’ll get some background on logging services, such as Cloudtrail and Cloudwatch. Bring your browser, your questions and your love for unicorns; it’s going to be a blast!

    GameDay Essentials | Episode 1 - Recon (1:01:06)
  • Episode 2: Scaling

    Scaling your application infrastructure is a critical component to being successful in Gameday. It starts with autoscaling groups, but it doesn’t end there. We learn about various scaling techniques, where it makes sense to use them and how to implement with running infrastructure. Of course, we’ll have a few surprises for you. Don’t miss it!

    GameDay Essentials | Episode 2: Scaling (1:00:54)
  • Episode 3: Changes

    Just like in real life™, your Gameday is not static, you’ll have to deal with change; whether that’s more users or new code. We’ll dive into team dynamics, which is a key component to success, as well as show you how to use native AWS security and deployment tools to track and manage change.

    GameDay Essentials | Episode 3: Changes (57:46)
  • Episode 4: Decoupling

    Tightly coupled systems live together and die together. We’ll explore how loosely coupled systems operate, and how to diagnose failures when something goes wrong. A plan for failure outplays a failure to plan every time, so tune in to get the answers you need to win.

    GameDay Essentials | Episode 4: Decoupling (50:54)
  • Episode 5: Security is Job Zero

    At AWS, security is job zero, and it should be for you too. An advantage of the AWS cloud is that you can scale and innovate, all the while maintaining a secure environment. In GameDay, paying attention to security can be the difference between winning and losing. We’ll look at access methods, how to securely access services and unscramble the topic of encryption. As always, there will be fun facts, audience polls and lots of surprises.

    GameDay Essentials | Episode 5 - Security is Job Zero (58:31)
  • Episode 6: Optimizing for Cost

    Frugality is one of our core principles at Amazon, and in GameDay, it’s literally part of the scoring equation. Making smart choices to optimize cost is your key to climbing the scoreboard and taking home the prize. We’ll look at instance optimization, explore cost management tools built into your account and share plenty of tips and tricks along the way. You’re sure to learn new skills that you can take to any AWS environment and be a hero.

    GameDay Essentials | Episode 6: Optimizing for Cost (1:01:15)