Yesterday, I had the chance to participate in an AWS GameDay event along with a dozen of my colleagues. It was hands down the most entertaining, informative, and challenging game I played in the past few years and can't recommend it enough for anyone interested in getting more acquainted with various AWS services and how to use them in real world scenarios.
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. (source)
I never participated in one of these before and didn't know what to expect or what level of challenges or experience requirements to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with the balance in challenges. I have been working with various AWS services on a daily basis for over a year which might have helped me a lot during this day.
The game setup is simple, you organize into multiple groups and play as a team who is tasked with resolving multiple issues and failures in an AWS environment. The challenges test your ability to use AWS services to solve certain challenges but also your knowledge of the services and how to configure them correctly as you will need to troubleshoot existing infrastructure to bring it up again.
Troubleshooting, debugging and writing code are fun activities and can eat your time quickly, but the team behind the game day adds another informative level to the challenge by attacking or messing up with your infrastructure after you have fixed it. You will have to fix any problems and rebuild your infrastructure in a more resilient manner if you want to keep your points.
This is a team activity, you can try it on your own, but I would highly recommend playing as a team both, so you all can learn and develop your skills together but also because the challenges can get a bit hectic and would be much easier to tackle as a team.
Between the game story, the information provided, and the smooth operations of the entire game infrastructure for the entire day, this was an impressive feast of a game setup. Things ran really smooth, and we didn't have to spend any time troubleshooting the platform or dealing with unclear instructions. Massive kudos to the team(s) who design, built and operate the game.
During the game, you have access to an amazing support team who can and will help with any questions or issues. They made the experience all the better and allowed us to focus on the challenges without any stress. Massive kudos to them.
This was by all counts a highly informative, enjoyable, and challenging game. I definitely learned a lot and had fun working with my teammates not to mention the joy of technical games. I highly recommend joining one of these game days if you have some experience with AWS, check meetup.com for your local AWS chapter, they will most likely organize one in the near future.
PS: Our team Solid Kolas came second on the scoreboard at the end of the day.