We believe in sharing information. We are inspired by Peter Sankauskas' "Advanced AWS," but are focused on building competency in each of the 56 services in the AWS Console. We commonly have core sessions for beginners on EC2, S3 and RDS and we have three different types of MeetUps:
Type 1: Sharing what we know
We do this for materials that we completely understand and want to share with others. For example, Glen Jarvis have been using EC2 professionally for over 4 years. He has plenty of experience with EC2. Here is a sample video that shows how to get up and running with EC2 from scratch:
There are often topics that we mostly understand but not polished enough to do as a "Sharing what we know" session. This is perfect for someone who wants to give a talk but doesn't yet understand the materials 100%. When one read/learns to present, the level of learning is much higher than if they were just reading for themselves.
For example, imagine that you you understood S3 fairly well and you knew the theory of how to make CloudFront make a static webpage. But, imagine you didn't quite know how to make it work, but you were really curious and it was a personal challenge. If you volunteered to give the next talk on how to set-up CloudFront and S3 to be a static webpage, it would be a great way to dig deep and share what you learned.
3. Skunk-work Hack-a-thons
These MeetUps are typically a lot longer (most of the day instead of just an hour or so). They are for topics that are not known to the group. There are a LOT of Amazon Web Services after all -- and they keep growing. In these MeetUps we break into teams, try to absorb what we can from the docs and experimentation and then we have 'show-and-tell' for what we learned in the day wrap-up.