As an AWS Community Builder, I realized that in small countries like Hungary, it’s a challenge to find local AWS events. Most of them are organized by local companies and tailored to their customer base. For someone who is new to AWS or who wants to learn about new technologies, it can be a struggle to find these events because they most likely don’t know that one of the sessions is about AWS. While these events are usually open to everyone, I wanted to find a way to overcome this obstacle.
I was looking for a solution that was open source and that anyone could contribute to it. While discussing this issue with AWS employees, it turned out that other European countries are facing similar problems and there is also a trend on these conference websites.
As far as I could track it down it all started with Android Study Group, which created a GitHub Page for Android conferences. Spain, Portugal, Italy and even Canada soon followed. I realized right away that I am on the right track. The source code is open source, hosted on GitHub and anyone can contribute to it with a simple Pull request. This was a great foundation, but I knew I wanted more. 🏋️♂️
The main problem we face here in Hungary is that while there are a lot of events happening here, some are primarily in English. For someone who is just starting with AWS, this could be an extra challenge that they might not take. That is why my first improvement was to translate the interface into Hungarian. I didn’t want to exclude English speakers as well, so I made the interface bilingual. This way everyone can feel comfortable on the website.
The other improvement I made is that I clearly highlighted the language of the conference. This way I can help people who prefer content in their native language. 🇭🇺
Deployment on AWS
I cannot ignore the fact that I am an AWS Community Builder, so it was a no-brainer that I would implement this on AWS. Registering a domain and setting it up on Route 53 was the first step. Then I looked at the possibilities of hosting. The site is written in Jeklly and each page is generated separately. Using GitHub Actions, I can regenerate the static pages every time there is a new commit.
Hosting a static website on AWS isn’t rocket science. S3 static file hosting is a cheap and easy way. I just needed to find a way how to publish my files to S3. Jake Jarvis created a GitHub Action that can sync your files to S3. All you have to do is to create the appropriate IAM permissions and your files will be pushed to the S3 bucket of your choice. From there, AWS will do the rest. I have created a CloudFront distribution to get HTTPS and fast access from Hungary. Currently, there is no AWS region in Hungary, but there is an edge location in Budapest, so serving the site from there gives fast access to Hungarian users. 🔥🔥🔥
The result is techconf.hu, a community-curated list of tech conferences around Hungary. I sincerely hope that this project will benefit the Hungarian AWS community, and perhaps other countries facing similar issues will follow. Happy Conferencing!