AWS is canceling its re:Inforce conference in Texas for the third straight year, but the event is shipping up to Boston this time instead.
The conference, which focuses on cloud security, compliance, identity and privacy, now is scheduled for July 26-27 in Boston, the same city where AWS held the inaugural gathering in 2019.
There was no word from the cloud provider on whether Texas’ political and cultural wars were a factor in its decision to bypass the state, which increasingly is becoming a hub for new tech jobs even while its policies seemingly run contrary to tech company values. An AWS spokesperson on Sunday confirmed the conference's new location and date.
Some tech industry workers welcomed AWS’ relocation decision via Twitter, including Corey Quinn, chief technology officer and cloud economist for The Duckbill Group, and a frequent AWS critic.
Quinn tweeted that the move “may well be one of the logistically and morally greatest things I’ve ever seen Amazon achieve.”
“Thank you, Amazon. This one mattered,” he said in another tweet.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has come under fire for a February directive requiring the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate certain gender-affirming treatments for transgender youth as alleged “child abuse” under Texas law. Tech companies are among critics assailing the directive, which has been temporarily blocked pending a court review. Texas’ policy against vaccine mandates, its ban against most abortions and a battle over critical race theory also have been divisive hot-button issues for the state.
AWS had planned to hold re:Inforce in Houston in 2020 and 2021 as well. After calling off the 2020 conference altogether due to the coronavirus pandemic, AWS canceled last year’s in-person event — citing an elevated COVID-19 threat level in Houston — and held a free, virtual version instead.
Registration information for the AWS re:Inforce 2022 conference in Boston is coming soon, according to an AWS web page for the event. The cloud provider also will have a free livestream of the keynote address and leadership sessions, while it will record other sessions for release after the conference.