There are other, more creative ways AWS can help its ecosystem thrive if what it’s after is developer mindshare. First of all, it can increase its contribution to open source (and actually showcase the work it does, something it hasn’t be very good at doing so far). Secondly, it can invest in open source communities, by sponsoring events, providing infrastructure, funding travel, creating a diversity funds, etc.
The @AWSopen team has been working on ways to help open source communities thrive for a few years now. We’ve created opensource.amazon.com and have well over 100 blog posts showcasing the work we do. We sponsor most of the open source events worldwide and provide AWS credits to some key projects. We are members of several open source related foundations. We’ve also been increasing the amount of code contributions from Amazon across a wide variety of projects, and hiring more developers focused on open source contributions. Amazon also has several diversity programs that aren’t focused exclusively on open source, but do help developer communities. The web site has a lot more detail and will be updated as we expand our work.