Lambda at AWS-Loft & VR and AR at Runway

Microservices at AWS Loft

Today was my second time going to the Amazon Web Services Loft. The classes this afternoon were centered around microservices. The idea behind microservices is the ability to scale by separating applications into smaller independent microservices that each have a different function. Amazon has a few different ways of implementing microservices, but the focus was on using Lambda and API Gateway, along with DynamoDB.

Essentially, each microservice has its own API, and the microservices make API calls to one another. The speaker made a point of mentioning that data can be duplicated between the microservices, and that each microservice does not have the same schema for the database it uses. The example that he gave was that one microservice could have a relational database and another could have a NoSQL. He also said that microservices can use different languages; one can utilize Java and another Ruby.

My favorite part was the building of the example web app, because it all started to make a lot more since once I saw it in action. The sample web app showed markers on a map (using Mapbox) of various San Francisco restaurants. The reason I enjoyed the example is that it took about 10 minutes from no web app to deployed web app!

Setting up the Dynamo database ooked remarkably easy. Then my favorite part: it was serverless! The example used Amazon Lambda, which allows you to run your app, without worrying about servers and scaling – it scales automatically and you only pay for what you use! The configuration seemed straight-forward (and there is an SDK in Python). Then, the speaker had a JavaScript file and an index file at the ready for the UI. Voila – a live web app! He also ran some tests and spoke about security and logging.

I signed up for an AWS account on Monday — without really knowing what I could do with it. Now, I have a much better understanding. While I may not ever work in Dev Ops, I still feel like I will be better at my future job if I have some understanding of it. Here is a link to the slides from the first presentation and the third presentation.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality at Runway

Tonight, I went to Runway for the first time. The speakers were all-in on various VR and AR products and projects that were fascinating. One of the speakers was from Discovr Labs, which is using VR for educational purposes. The next speaker was from Meta, which is focused on an augmented reality headset and is using neuroscience to make design decisions. I am really excited about the possibilities of what can be made with it. The SDK uses unity – something else to put on list of fun things to play with!

Glam Street is after my wallet and heart…. It is a B2B company that was founded by a woman from Uruguary, which allows a woman to see how make up will look – virtually. There are kiosks in stores and it can also be embedded in a web app or used on a tablet in a store. Realescape makes virtual tours (including 3D) of homes, museums and other places. It could really change the market, for good in the case of a buyer being able to see exactly what the home is like, an event planner or a vacationer, but, as a former lawyer, I can see the risk: I picture bad guys showing up at a house with nice “stuff” discovered during a virtual tour….

Lastly, an artist named Luska spoke. She was inspiring too – but in a different way, as artists often are. She has made films, graffiti, paintings, and now, she is creating art for AR. The demos she showed were nothing short of amazing in terms of what the future could look like very soon.

Remember that feeling as a kid when you were so tired and knew you needed to sleep but you fought sleep every step of the way because you were so excited about all the cool stuff you were learning and doing?

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