Meet Up Recap: The 4th AWS User Group in Bosnia

The 4th AWS User Group in Bosnia took place on December 15, 2016, on the campus of the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT) in Mostar. As the founder and co-organizer of this local group, I was there, along with Cloud Academy’s Alex Casalboni, and in this post, we’ll give a short recap of the day.

4th AWS User Group in Bosnia: a recap

AWS user groups are a great opportunity for developers, start-ups and really anyone who is interested in technology to come together and learn from others’ experiences, ask questions and share ideas. Our local group, AWS User Group BiH, was founded in February this year. Our goal is to promote Cloud computing and Amazon Web Services in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to help build up the community to increase sharing of knowledge and skills among members.

The December event was the largest meet-up this year. We had over 50 attendees, including FIT students and others from the tech community. It’s worth noting that FIT is one of the leading educational institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina in terms of IT technologies.

FIT’s Denis Mušić, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Information Technologies kicked off the day by welcoming attendees to the event and introduced the speakers.
AWS User Group
As the founder and co-organizer of the AWS User Group BiH, I had a chance to talk to the crowd about our reasons for founding the group. In addition to our primary goal of sharing and spreading knowledge, AWS User Group in Bosnia also wants to help develop the IT community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
AWS User Group
Representatives from Sarajevo-based software development firm Atlantbh shared their experience with Amazon Web Services. Lead Engineer Dario Duvnjak talked about how migrating to the cloud has resulted in big savings for the company in terms of time and resources and described how AWS has positively impacted development, testing, and their overall working processes.

Next up, Alex Casalboni, Cloud Evangelist @CloudAcademy, talked about Serverless Computing for Machine Learning applications.

Serverless Computing for Machine Learning applications

An overview of AWS

Alex started his presentation with a short overview of Amazon Web Services and the AWS cloud platform.
Next, he talked about what it takes to be a good Data Scientist, which will most likely be a vocation for many of the FIT students attending the event. In addition to valuable information about the essential skills that a Data Scientist should have, Alex also advised students on how they can use the potential of their data to get the best results, even without those skills.
Overview of AWS
This is where Amazon Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) comes into play. Amazon Machine Learning makes it easy for developers at most any level to use machine learning technology. Alex showed how AWS machine learning can be used in a demo session. And, he talked about the advantages and disadvantages of this approach, as well as how to use AWS tools and services to get the best out of your data.

Of course, one lecture isn’t enough to cover this topic, but it was enough to explain the basics to students and inspire them to go deeper into this interesting topic. (To go a deeper into Machine Learning, check out our resources at the end of this post.)
All attendees received vouchers for “Amazon Web Services in Action” by Michael Wittig and Andreas Wittig, and free courses for AWS user groups from the CloudAcademy e-learning platform.

In addition to these great learning resources, students received Cloud Academy t-shirts and laptop stickers.
Cloud Academy swag

Everyone likes free stickers, right?

In the end, the meet up was a great opportunity to learn something new and for the larger Bosnia IT community to connect. We’re already looking forward to the next event.

Resources for Machine Learning and more

If you’d like to learn more about AWS Machine Learning or any of the topics discussed at the AWS User Group BiH meet-up, here is a list of resources:

  • What is Machine Learning? This post from Alex Casalboni includes a real use case using open data and lots of tips.
  • Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Amazon Machine Learning: This Cloud Academy course is an in-depth introduction to the principles and practice of Amazon Machine Learning. If you need to apply predictive analysis to large data sources (such as for fraud detection or customer churn analysis), this course has everything you’ll need to know to get you going.
  • Cloud Academy for AWS User Groups: Cloud Academy offers a variety of free material designed for user groups, including courses and labs.
Cloud Academy