Establishing a strong culture of innovation goes a long way when it comes to testing your team’s preparedness to managing the cloud.

Fun, gamified, hands-on learning is a great way to ensure your team is ready to hit the ground running. AWS GameDay is one such collaborative learning exercise that tests the skills needed to implement AWS solutions and solve real-world problems in a gamified, risk-free environment.

In this blog, we discuss how Game Day events prepare your team for the unexpected and how Accolite does it differently.

Ready, Set, Go

Game Days provide a safe yet competitive environment for teams to test their cloud knowledge, collaborative skills and crisis management abilities. They provide a hands-on opportunity for technical professionals to explore AWS services, architecture patterns, best practices and group collaboration.

While the key to successful Game Days is having fun, retrospective debriefs are equally important to discuss learnings and identify areas for improvement. Capturing learnings can help your team feed that information into their agile backlog to become more operationally resilient, efficient and secure.

Here’s how to get started:

  • First, you will need a game host, who has already spun up and prepared the environment to facilitate the experience.
  • Next, the game host should set up exciting prizes that encourage participation and boost healthy competition.
  • Then, the game host gets to cause problems in the cloud environment which the participating teams are required to solve efficiently and innovatively.
  • Finally, the teams engage in a retrospective discussion of what was done well and what could have been done differently. This is an important step to ensure that the learnings from the experience are incorporated. You can do this by referring to the six pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework and comparing how your team fared on each of them.

Game Day: The Accolite Way

Game Days are a big part of the Accolite cloud capability model. They get the innovation flywheel spinning faster and put into action the philosophy of “failing forward”. While we understand that you can’t always be prepared for everything, Accolite takes the AWS GameDay philosophy and makes it unique to you. Game Days with Accolite are specifically designed to meet your business needs depending on where you are in your migration and modernization journey.

We make sure to create a fun and competitive environment where teams can participate in a healthy and safe way for a chance to win exciting prizes and gain enlightening learning opportunities. A typical Game Day with Accolite looks a bit like this: teams are required to respond to a simulated failure in a hypothetical situation, may the best team win!

We know that even if things go sideways, the teams come out more prepared than before and take back a lot that they can learn from. Having previously won prizes at AWS GameDays, we’ve observed that it is beneficial to bring in an outside expert as a game host. We’ve also found that Game Days often help improve Observability, no matter what the root cause of the simulated failure was. This gets everyone into the mindset of automation and re-usable infrastructure as code which helps plug up holes in the existing setup.

Ultimately, Game Days are about having fun. Here are  some songs you can use to get into the groove at your next Game Day:

Whether you choose to compete in AWS GameDays or run one yourself, you are bound to have fun and learn a lot. Want to run a Game Day the Accolite way? Let’s get started!