AWS Game Day
AWS GameDay at tombola
We had the pleasure of hosting an AWS Game Day for our techies within tombola. For me it was a chance to get more hands-on experience with some AWS tech and learn something new whilst working with a different group of people.
What is it?
"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.
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." - Amazon Web Services
Who’s it for?
Anyone with some knowledge of AWS services or keen to learn more about them. For this one you definitely needed some level of hands-on experience with AWS. We sent round a self-assessment for people to rate themselves so we could pick levelled teams with a good mix of experience.
Why do it?
Put yourself out of your comfort zone, work with new people who you don't work with day-to-day, learn something new and have fun!
The day was co-ordinated by someone internally with our AWS account manager. It was held in-person at our tombola house office in Sunderland. We assembled on the bleachers for 10am where we were introduced to the day by a representative from AWS. The introduction was done remotely on a big screen however AWS had sent us a group of Solutions Architects to assist with the day, if we had and questions or issues along the way.
The day begins and we are now new employees of Unicorn Rentals. Their DevOps team all left and we are dropped in to save the day!
The 8 Teams were announced in the morning and after the kick-off we got together in our teams to start setting up. All infrastructure is within an AWS owned environment so very little is required in terms of configuration before the day. Once you're over the difficult decision of a team name its onto the Readme instructions. This describes the structure of the environment you'll be working in and each section has a subsequent readme detailing the service and how it should be deployed. They detailed a few helpful little hints and tips for debugging some issues that you might experience during the day, after that, it’s down to you!
As you start deploying services and get them working, your team will start to collect points on the leader board, it feels great, 30 mins in and you’re loving life, how hard can it be? Everything’s done, what next?....CHAOS!
At certain points levels your seemingly happy services start catching fire and you need to diagnose and extinguish those fires. That’s where the pain fun begins. The whole day lasted about 4/5 hours and we had some solid scores at the end of the day. It was close at the top and Uniquecorn were our winners on the day!
As part of the day we'd organised some swag bags for those who took part. A special thanks needs to go to our fab catering team who produced a huge amount of homemade stone baked style pizzas to keep everyone fuelled to focus on the day!
We had prizes for the best teams on the day and a few drinks in our on-site bar afterwards to celebrate victory or in my case, drown my sorrows!
All in all, a pretty fun day at work and excited to learn more to be better prepared for the next one we host.