Feb 21, 2024

Highlighting Serverless Smarts at re:Invent 2023

Dana Larson
Dana Larson

Quiz-Takers Return Again and Again to Prove Their Serverless Knowledge

This past November, the Cloudtech team attended AWS re:Invent, the premier AWS customer event held in Las Vegas every year. Along with meeting customers and connecting with AWS teams, Cloudtech also sponsored the event with a booth at the re:Invent expo. 

With a goal of engaging our re:Invent booth visitors and educating them on our mission to solve data problems with serverless technologies, we created our Serverless Smarts quiz. The quiz, powered by AWS, asked users to answer five questions about AWS serverless technologies, and scored quiz-takers based on accuracy and speed at which they answered the questions. Paired with a claw machine to award quiz-takers with a chance to win prizes, we saw increased interest in our booth from technical attendees ranging from CTOs to DevOps engineers.

But how did we do it? Read more below to see how we developed the quiz, the data we gathered, and key takeaways we’ll build on for re:Invent next year.

What We Built

Designed by our Principal Cloud Solutions Architect, the Serverless Smarts quiz was populated with 250 questions with four possible answers each, ranging in difficulty to assess the quiz-taker’s knowledge of AWS serverless technologies and related solutions. When a user would take the quiz, they would be presented with five questions from the database randomly, given 30 seconds to answer each, and the speed and accuracy of their answers would determine their overall score. This quiz was built in a way that could be adjusted in real-time, meaning we could react to customer feedback and outcomes if the quiz was too difficult or we weren’t seeing enough variance on the leaderboard. Our goal was to continually make improvements to give the quiz-taker the best experience possible.

The quiz application's architecture leveraged serverless technologies for efficiency and scalability. The backend consisted of AWS Lambda functions, orchestrated behind an API Gateway and further secured by CloudFront. The frontend utilized static web pages hosted on S3, also behind CloudFront. DynamoDB served as the serverless database, enabling real-time updates to the leaderboard through WebSocket APIs triggered by DynamoDB streams. The deployment was streamlined using the SAM template.

Please see the Quiz Architecture below: 

What We Saw in the Data

As soon as re:Invent wrapped, we dived right into the data to extract insights. Our findings are summarized below: 

  • Quiz and Quiz Again: The quiz was popular with repeat quiz-takers! With a total number of 1,298 unique quiz-takers and 3,627 quizzes completed, we saw an average of 2.75 quiz completions per user. Quiz-takers were intent on beating their score and showing up on the leaderboard, and we often had people at our booth taking the quiz multiple times in one day to try to out-do their past scores. It was so fun to cheer them on throughout the week. 
  • Everyone's a Winner: Serverless experts battled it out on the leaderboard. After just one day, our leaderboard was full of scores over 1,000, with the highest score at the end of the week being 1,050. We saw an average quiz score of 610, higher than the required 600 score to receive our Serverless Smarts credential badge. And even though we had a handful of quiz-takers score 0, everyone who took the quiz got to play our claw machine, so it was a win all around! 
  • Speed Matters: We saw quiz-takers soar above the pressure of answering our quiz questions quickly, knowing answers were scored on speed as well as accuracy. The average amount of time it took to complete the quiz was 1-2 minutes. We saw this time speed up as quiz-takers were working hard and fast to make it to the leaderboard, too. 
  • AWS Proved their Serverless Chops: As leaders in serverless computing and data management, AWS team members showed up in a big way. We had 118 people from AWS take our quiz, with an average score of 636 - 26 points above the average - truly showcasing their knowledge and expertise for their customers. 
  • We Made A Lot of New Friends: We had quiz-takers representing 794 businesses and organizations - a truly wide-ranging activity connecting with so many re:Invent attendees. Deloitte and IBM showed the most participation outside of AWS - I sure hope you all went back home and compared scores to showcase who reigns serverless supreme in your organizations! 

Please see our Serverless Smarts Leaderboard below

What We Learned 

Over the course of re:Invent, and our four days at our booth in the expo hall, our team gathered a variety of learnings. We proved (to ourselves) that we can create engaging and fun applications to give customers an experience they want to take with them. 

We also learned that challenging our technology team to work together and injecting some fun and creativity into their building process combined with the power of AWS serverless products can deliver results for our customers.  

Finally, we learned the value of thinking outside the box to deliver for customers is the key to long term success.


re:Invent 2023 was a success, not only in connecting directly with AWS customers, but also in learning how others in the industry are leveraging serverless technologies. All of this information helps Cloudtech solidify its approach as an exclusive AWS Partner and serverless implementation provider. 

If you want to hear more about how Cloudtech helps businesses solve data problems with AWS serverless technologies, please connect with us - we would love to talk with you!

And we can’t wait until re:Invent 2024. See you there!