LINKBYNET Mauritius and Amazon Web Services organized a conference on digital transformation today at Voilà Hotel, Bagatelle. I attended the conference with my developer colleagues from LSL Digital. As we reached and took seats in the conference room, Jean-Michel Chaleon was giving a brief about managed services by LINKBYNET.

I've often had to explain to university students the difference between system administration and software/web development. System administrators are the people behind managed services. They are the people that stitch together the different services on the cloud, on physical systems or hybrid environments that provide the platform to run business applications.

Jean-Michel explained how in the race towards digitization some companies were left behind and ultimately died, e.g Kodak.

Then Julien Simon, Principal Technology Evangelist at Amazon Web Services (AWS), presented "Digital Transformation" by AWS. The first part of the presentation was a lengthy talk (for non-techies) about what's digital, the tools & processes in system/software development and about big dogs & fat dogs. I'm going to skip the dog thing here, but basically it was all about how companies chose to evolve with time & technology; while those that didn't, faced the brutal end.

Digital Transformation Conference

In the second part of the presentation, Julien Simon spawned an EC2 instance with Amazon Linux AMI and ran a funny application called "simple mustache service".

Simple Mustache Service

You drag and drop a person's photo in the application and a mustache is served to the person. Julien tried with the photos of François Hollande, Nikolas Sarkozy and Vladimir Putin. All of them were served great mustaches. He refrained from doing the same with the Mauritian prime minister for obvious reasons. Oh, maybe Mauritius gained some points in freedom-of-expression intolerance after the recent incident in the parliament.

Julien Simon then explained and demoed how he could run the same JavaScript application using AWS Lambda, thus eliminating the application server management part. He showed how he'd only need to specify a "Lambda" function in his application source code and get the app running. In fact, he even hosted the HTML and asset files on a S3 bucket and served the same as a hosting platform to show the simplicity of things.

The conference ended around 16h45 after a question & answer session. Thank you to LINKBYNET and AWS for organizing the conference and I hope we could get more of such sysadmin-related events in future.