Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts

The PostgresConf team wanted to provide some information on the performance of PostgresConf US 2018 and events over the past year, as well as potentially answer some pending questions. Ultimately our goals are about people, which is why our motto is, "People, Postgres, Data." With each event we hold, each talk we accept, and how we train our volunteers, we make sure people (the benefit for and to), postgres, and data are considered and included. If there is no benefit or consideration to the growth of people, it is not an option.


With that in mind, please read on to see how our focus on people, Postgres, and data had an impact on the community over the last year.

Since PostgresConf US 2017 we have had events in:
  • Philadelphia 
  • Ohio (in combination with Ohio Linux Fest) 
  • South Africa 
  • Seattle 
  • Austin 
  • Jersey City (PostgresConf US 2018) 
  • Nepal 
All of these events are non-profit and volunteer organized.





PostgresConf US 2018


Logistics


  • Days: 5, 2 for training, 3 for Breakout sessions and summits
  • Official Attendance #: 601
  • Content: Over 207 sessions submitted
  • Sessions: Over 108 sessions provided 


Partner Support (Sponsors): 28


We had a record level of support from partners this year and due to this support we are going to be forced to find a new venue for next year. Our Jersey city location no longer has the capacity to hold us. This will increase costs but initial indications are that our partners understand this and are willing to support us financially to help continue the success of our efforts and keep costs reasonable for attendees.


Diversity


This year we were able to work with Women Who Code NYC. They provided many volunteers and we provided them with the ability to experience some of the best Postgres based content available, at no charge. We expect great things from this budding relationship in the future.


Professional Growth


We held a Career and Talent Fair. A dozen companies were present to connect with potential employees.

We also held a surprisingly well attended speed mentoring session for potential employees (Especially helpful for many of the WWC) on resumes and interview practices.

Leadership


This year saw the continued elevation of our primary leadership: Viral Shah, Lloyd Albin, Amanda Nystrom, and Debra Cerda. They continued to increase their presence and responsibility within the conference and dedicated hundreds of hours voluntarily to the growth of people. Our international members have also increased their leadership roles with our on-the-ground teams in South Africa and China.


Summits



We had our standard Regulated Industry Summit but also a Greenplum Summit. As I am sure you are aware Greenplum is an Open Source, Postgres based MPP database. They were by far the most popular booth in the entire conference and their summit was very well attended. The relationship with Pivotal and the success of the Greenplum Summit allowed us to learn new ways to bring together the entire Postgres Ecosystem. We expect to run a minimum of 3 more summits at PostgresConf US 2019.



Contribution


We were able to have several excellent (and long) meetings with leaders of Pivotal, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon on how they can begin contributing more back to Postgresql.org. All of them expressed a deep drive to contribute and a desire to learn more about the core community. Of particular note is Google, who would like to contribute the following back to the community:

https://github.com/google/pg_page_verification

We discussed with them the process and various changes they would need to make (license and code style, etc.). We also educated them on the PostgreSQL.Org rigorous review process.

Microsoft is reviewing how they can contribute but they showed an interest in build farm nodes, professional technical writers to help with docs, and potentially code contribution to our Windows port.

International Collaboration

The Chinese Open Source Promotion Union launched the Chinese Postgres Association. We invited them to PostgresConf US and introduced them to the United States Community. We expect great things from the Chinese community in the future.

Future


As we continue to build up our on-the-ground teams, we will likely hold less events in the U.S. this year. We will instead be focused on a smaller number of events in the U.S. and adding events in China and Europe. We have had an amazing amount of support from the Chinese community and the current goal is 1000 attendees for that conference.

Our current plan of events for the U.S. are


  • San Jose (October 2018) 
  • Philadelphia 
  • PostgresConf US (Manhattan) 

Future International Events


  • October 2018. 
  • Spring of 2019. 
  • Spring of 2019. 

This may change as we are actively recruiting on-the-ground teams to help us grow the community.

Collaboration


Our goal is collaboration and growth with other PostgreSQL community and Ecosystem efforts. We want to allow each potential community member to find a home. A place that they feel positive about contributing to the community as a whole. As we continue to grow as a community, it is vital to recognize that each member has their own needs, desires, and return on investment requirement (professional or personal) that they are seeking.

Tidbits of note



On DBEngines PostgreSQL is the 4th most popular database but the significance is that of the other 3, we are the only ones that are growing in popularity. 
Joshua D. Drake     May 07, 2018

Image result for hyatt regency columbus ohio

PGConf US, in partnership with Ohio Linux Fest, is pleased to announce the schedule PGConf Local: Ohio is now available.

The inaugural PGConf US Local: Ohio Conference (PGConf Ohio) will be held September 29th - 30th at the Hyatt Regency Columbus Ohio (350 North High Street Columbus, Ohio, USA43215).

This two day, single track conference is a perfect opportunity for users, developers, business analysts, and enthusiasts from Ohio to amplify Postgres and participate in the Postgres community.


Conference Schedule:


Image result for bruce momjian
Mastering Postgres Administration: Bruce Momjian

Image result for Joshua D. Drake postgres

Conference speakers receive complimentary entry to the breakout sessions on September 30th as well as attendance to Ohio Linux Fest as well. The half-day training options on September 29th are separately priced sessions. As a nonprofit event series, funding is currently not available for speaker travel and lodging accommodations.


Sponsorship Opportunities
The PGConf US Local series is supported by its generous sponsors: Diamond Sponsor Amazon Web Services and Platinum Sponsors Compose, 2ndQuadrant, and OpenSCG. Please contact us if you are interested in joining our wonderful sponsors for Ohio or National!

About PGConf US:
PGConf US is a nonprofit conference series with a focus on growing the community through increased awareness and education of Postgres. PGConf US is known for its highly attended national conference held in Jersey City, New Jersey, and has expanded to a local series for 2017.

The PGConf Local series partners with regional Postgres and open source groups to bring dynamic and engaging Postgres related content and professional training experiences to local communities. Host cities of 2017 include Philadelphia, Ohio, Seattle, Austin, and Cape Town, South Africa, with more locations to follow.

Contact: organizers@pgconf.us
Joshua D. Drake     August 30, 2017


On August 15th, Silicon Valley Postgres held their first Postgresql.org Patch Review workshop. The workshop was hosted by PostgresConf partner Pivotal. Attendees’ feedback indicate that we have found a great way to show how companies within the community can benefit Postgresql.org, Postgres User groups, and help us fulfill our mission:


There were 20 attendees, including Melanie Plageman of Pivotal presenting/coordinating “Postgres Patch Review,” and Postgresql.org -Hacker Jeff Davis as hands on help. This was the first workshop of its kind for Silicon Valley Postgres and with the feedback received, we are planning to plan similar events at least twice a year to provide an opportunity that is currently not available elsewhere. (Sneak peek: there may be one at PostgresConf Silicon Valley on October 15th and 16th, which is right around the corner!)

Eight patches were reviewed, with three including specific feedback to the patch authors:
We’re excited to be a part of this path of Postgres contributor building. Hopefully it will be a model for other meetups and community partners to follow in continuing to contribute to the Most Advanced Open Source Database ecosystem.

Silicon Valley Postgres is the fastest growing Postgres user group within North America. It was initiated just 12 months ago and will reach 700 members likely before Monday. The group exists to help all facets of Postgres users and the Postgres ecosystem, including, but not limited to, PostgreSQL, Greenplum, Aurora Postgres, AgensGraph, Yugabyte, ZomboDB, TimescaleDB.


Silicon Valley Postgres is also working with PostgresConf Silicon Valley to bring a high quality and cost effective education solution to the users of Postgres within the Silicon Valley. Early Bird tickets are now on sale and available. You will want to hurry as the Early Bird price ends on September 1st, 2018.
Joshua D. Drake     August 16, 2018

Why did you attend PgConf US?

We have been looking for high quality, experienced, professional support for our application’s database for some time. We have found it difficult to find help online… seemingly every phone number we called was just an answering service. When we heard that the companies offering the level of service we were looking for were all available in the same place, we couldn’t resist.

Tell us a little bit (one or two paragraphs) about your project:

Our project (VX and VO collectively named Victor) is a SaaS solution for 911 emergency response systems. Victor provides analytics and quality assurance tools and services, enabling agencies to assess performance, measure resource & deployment activity, model demand, optimize workload, and even generate financial estimates. For more information see our website.

Why did you chose PostgreSQL for your project?

Victor requires both time and spacial awareness, along with all the other things that are expected from an RDBMS. PostgreSQL is stable, secure, mature, well documented, open source, actively developed, community supported, and generally bad ass. The choice was easy.

As I understand it, attending PgConf US was a last minute decision. Do you think it was worth it? If so, why?

Absolutely! Our objective was to meet with vendors who were able to provide high quality support and we were successful. Additionally, we met a ton of super geniuses (Paragon, TimescaleDB, I’m talking about you) and learned more then expected. For example, we had no idea we could put raster images in PostgreSQL and process them with PostGIS… amazing!

Would you attend PgConf US again?

Yes… see above. Unrelated, but unbelievably cool, we met a guy named Solar… a PhD (from MIT!) passionate about carbon nanotubes.

Are you interested in contributing to the community and if so, in what fashion?

Yes! …and here is our biggest piece of feedback.

It would be great if there was a clear point of entry for people like us… we have been using PostgreSQL for several years, have been through several upgrade cycles (we started on 9.0) and have no idea how our skills could be of use. We make SaaS applications, but make nothing in C. What else does the community need? How can we help?
Joshua D. Drake     April 19, 2017




The presentation includes an introduction and setup for consul as the means of providing highly available PostgreSQL in local and geographically disparate data centers or cloud providers. The presentations includes:

*) Introduction to consul and its architecture
*) Setup of a single consul cluster
*) Setup for a few sample database instances (OLAP and OLTP)
*) Firewall requirements
*) Integration with bind, djbdns, and dnsmasq
*) Setup geographic failover to two different data centers and cloud providers
*) Various Best Practices tips and suggestions
*) Q&A

Joshua D. Drake     April 25, 2017

PGConf US in partnership with the Austin PostgreSQL User Group (AUSPUG) is pleased to announce that the call for papers for PGConf Local: Austin is now open.


AUSTIN, June 28, 2017 -- The inaugural PGConf US Local: Austin Conference (PGConf Austin) will be held November 3 - 4, 2017, at the Norris Conference and Event Center (2525 W. Anderson Ln #365, Austin, TX 78757) located in northwest Austin.


This two day, multi track conference is a perfect opportunity for users, developers, business analysts and enthusiasts from the Southwest to amplify Postgres and participate with the Postgres community.
The Call for Papers for PGConf Austin is now open, and presentation proposals can be submitted at https://pgconf.us/conferences/Austin2017

The call for papers for PGConf Austin will be open until Sunday, August 20, 2017, and speakers will be notified of acceptance/decline no later than Monday, August 28, 2017. Registration for PGConf Austin will also open August 28.

Conference Schedule:
  • Friday, November 3, 2017: Half-day Trainings with Postgres experts
  • Saturday, November 4, 2017: Breakout Sessions (lunch and coffee break provided)


Conference speakers receive complimentary entry to the breakout sessions on November 4 -- the half-day trainings are separately priced sessions. As a nonprofit event series, funding is currently not available for speaker travel and lodging accommodations. Everyone is encouraged to submit a talk or training to the first PGConf supported nonprofit educational events in Texas, and join the growing PostgreSQL community.
Sponsorship Opportunities
PGConf Local series is supported by its generous sponsors, including Diamond Sponsor Amazon Web Services and Platinum Sponsors 2ndQuadrant, Compose, and OpenSCG, as well as Media Sponsor AmplifyPostgres. Business leaders and companies interested in sponsoring PGConf US nonprofit events can view the Conference Prospectus .


About PGConf US:
PGConf US is a nonprofit conference series with a focus on growing the Postgres community through increased awareness and education of Postgres. PGConf US is known for its highly attended national conference held in Jersey City, New Jersey, each year, and has expanded to a local series for 2017.


The PGConf Local series partners with local Postgres and open source groups to bring dynamic and engaging Postgres related content and professional training experience to their local communities in major metroplexes. 2017 host cities include Philadelphia, Seattle, and Austin, as well as Internationally in South Africa with more locations to follow.


Media Contact: organizers@pgconf.us

Joshua D. Drake     June 28, 2017

People and Postgres: April 17th, 2019

Welcome to the first of what we hope will be a thriving and productive way to interact with the People, Postgres, Data community!

The goal of this newsletter is to let our community know the ins-and-outs of what is happening in the world of Postgres and the Postgres ecosystem. Let's start from the top: 

  • Ecosystem news

    • JD, Co-Chair of PostgresConf, was recently part of the Inside Analysis podcast: The Evolving Enterprise. This podcast is not only available on the Internet but was live on 20 radio markets. 
    • Crunchy Data Collaborates With Center for Internet Security® To Continue Advancing PostgreSQL Security For Enterprise
    • The Distributed SQL Summit is being held at PostgresConf Silicon Valley on September 20th, 2019.
      • This unique "event within an event" strategy was spearheaded by PostgresConf with the Regulated Industry summit years ago and it continues to grow with events such as the AWS Migration Day and the Pivotal Greenplum Summit. The Distributed SQL Summit is a vendor neutral single day event specializing in providing high quality Developer, Architect and other Practitioner content on deploying and developing production quality products and services over Distributed SQL. It is sponsored by:
Joshua D. Drake     April 17, 2019

PgConf US 2017 has now completed. We had a record number of attendees, a record number of sponsors and a record number of talks. The conference rocked. It was only made possible by a team of highly talented and dedicated volunteers. Thank you to those volunteers.



As of this writing, we are no longer the largest PostgreSQL Conference in North America. We are the largest PostgreSQL Conference. mic drop

Members of the South African Community










We attribute our growth directly to our community. We believe that there is no better community than the PostgreSQL community. A welcoming, inclusive community that shares knowledge and a common goal: Make PostgreSQL the database you use. It is because of this common goal that not only does our conference succeed, but the majority of PostgreSQL events across the globe succeed as well. It is why over 60% of our attendees have been using PostgreSQL for less than 3 years. It is why sponsors such as Amazon Web Services, EnterpriseDB, OpenSCG, and 2ndQuadrant consistently support the conference. It is why a brand new community member flew last minute from Texas the night before the conference (more on this new community member later). It is why the South African community shows up, every year.

Thank you to our speakers
There are quite a few knobs that get turned to run a conference and although it is an amazing experience to be a part of, it takes an enormous amount of resources (financially and physically) to execute it in a manner that is beneficial to all parties.

We think we did a pretty good job this year. This is not a pat on the back; we have more work to do. We want speakers to have everything they need including scheduled mentor times for first time speakers. We want speaking at PgConf US to be a pleasant, fun, and growth opportunity.

Thank you to our sponsors

We want sponsors to get better visibility. This was the first time at our current location and the layout wasn't perfect. We want to have "sponsor training." The PostgreSQL community is different than many, and sponsors (especially those that are relatively new to the community) should be able to leverage the expertise of the organizers to learn how best to work within the community. This would allow them to generate the business that makes it worth it for them to continue to sponsor.

We want coffee in the morning. Yes, the Chairs felt that coffee in the morning wasn't a requirement. Yes, the Chairs failed in a glorious fashion. We listen, we learn. There will be coffee in the morning at the next PgConf National.

There is more but that will wait for another day.

tl;dr; It is with sincerest hearts that the Chairs, Organizers, and Volunteers thank the community for supporting our efforts to bring the best PostgreSQL Conference experience possible.

Joshua D. Drake     April 04, 2017

In 2016 we started working with horizontal communities. We wanted to make sure that PgConf US was an inclusive community that advocated not only for the best database in the world but also all the external Open Source technologies that make the best database in the world the best platform in the world. 

This year we wanted to continue building a stronger community through relationships and our efforts are proving successful. We have joined forces with several horizontal communities to bring original and related content to PgConf US. The first is Big Apple Py. They are working with PgConf US to run a full track of Python content as well as a development workshop. 


The workshop is particularly interesting as it will focus on a code sprint to develop a mature and user friendly Python based conference software. I wonder if they know we already use a Ruby on Rails solution...

We also have a great workshop being presented by DockerNYC and Jesse White: Automating production ready databases in Docker
DockerNYC
PgConf US 2017 is less than two weeks away and we continue to work with communities to bring you even more new content! Stay tuned as we expect to announce more workshops in the next few days. If you haven't purchased your tickets, today would be a good day.
Joshua D. Drake     March 15, 2017