Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts

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 International Postgres conference  series continues to grow! PGConf APAC 2018 is the latest PGConf.Org addition.

Following the success of two consecutive pan-Asia Postgres event - pgDay Asia 2016 and pgDay Asia 2017 held along with FOSSASIA, we are pleased to announce PGConf APAC 2018 to be held in Singapore from 22nd to 24th of March, 2018. Once again the conference will be held along with FOSSASIA - one of the largest FOSS conference on the planet. PGConf APAC will be PostgreSQL conference series for all PostgreSQL enthusiasts and users in the Asia Pacific region.
For more details on FOSSASIA - http://2018.fossasia.org
You will be able to enjoy one of the largest PostgreSQL conference in Asia and one of the largest FOSS conferences to meet like minded individuals in the same week!
pgDay Asia 2016 and pgDay Asia 2017 would not have been possible without your awesome talks and we would like to invite speakers from all over the globe to present at the PGConf APAC 2018. We would like to open Call For Paper for PGConf APAC 2018. Some of the topics which can be used for submitting a talk are-
  1. Migration projects
  2. Performance troubleshooting and tuning
  3. noSQL and geo-spatial features of Postgres
  4. Unique use-case and customer stories
  5. Useful new features in PostgreSQL 10
For more examples you can refer to the papers which were presented at last year's event - 2016 and 2017.
Of course we are happy to accept paper proposals on any other interesting topics as well.
To submit you proposal for presentation please go to this link - http://2018.pgconfapac.org/cfp
Venue
To be Announced
Call for Papers
2017-10-10: Proposals acceptance begins
2017-12-04: Proposals acceptance ends
2017-12-13: Authors of accepted proposals contacted
If you need any additional information please contact our team at pgconfapac(at)googlegroups(dot)com.
This conference is organized by the PostgreSQL people from Asian communities. If you have any question, feel free to contact us on pgconfapac(at)googlegroups(dot)com.
For sponsorship related queries please get in touch with our team at apac-organizer(at)pgconf(dot)org.
Joshua D. Drake     October 10, 2017

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

Where is your path leading you?

 

At Postgres Conference Silicon Valley I promised during the launch that after the conference was completed PostgresWarrior and I would be taking a freedom tour to various National Parks. 

 

For us, our path is serving the community through education and professional and personal development. This happens in many forms including these newsletters.

 

Recent projects have been coordinating a successful webinar series from Yugabyte, creating  online live Postgres instructor lead training, and launching a new educational series on PostGIS. This is all happening while the Call for Papers for Postgres Conference 2020 now open! The ongoing goal is to allow any person to receive the education they need to be successful with People, Postgres, Data year around.

Training

The current training options from Postgres Conference can be found here:

https://postgresconf.org/conferences/Postgres-Digital-Training-Series/schedule/events

We have two performance trainings coming up in October:

  • PostgreSQL Performance & Maintenance on October 29th
  • Finding and Fixing Slow Queries on October 30th

 

Both of these training opportunities sell out at the physical conferences. They are solid content and at a reasonable price (149.00 USD ) it is hard to say no to a few hours for education in your day!

Software

Are you frustrated with the limitations and fragility of Logical Replication in PostgreSQL Core? There is a new software on the block called pgcat and it has an impressive list of features to allow your Logical Replication experience to be exceptional.

 

Looking for a simple script to help find tuning opportunities for PostgreSQL? The perl script postgresqltuner may just be what you are looking for. Yes, there really is an active developer community for the Perl language still.

 

A HyperLogLog data type for PostgreSQL from our friends at Citus. This Postgres module introduces a new data type hll which is a HyperLogLog data structure. HyperLogLog is a fixed-size, set-like structure used for distinct value counting with tunable precision. For example, in 1280 bytes hll can estimate the count of tens of billions of distinct values with only a few percent error.

 

Our partner Heimdall Data has been creating a new type of connection pool that removes a significant limitation within other software such as PgBouncer and PgPool. If you are looking for Enterprise Authentication (Active Directory/LDAP) as well as intelligent pooling for many users (and connections), it may be worth a look. There is a webinar next week on how it all works!

Does your path allow people to “Come as you are?”

In consideration of all of the great news from our community we can’t help but reflect on the blessings we have in the world of Open Source. Remember that Open Source is about exceptionalism, creativity, and most importantly freedom. When communities start restricting these three tenets of Open Source, they are no longer Open Source communities, even if their software is.

 

The theme for Postgres Conference 2020 in NYC is “come as you are” and we are asserting this mantra throughout our entire community. Over the past few years there has been an influx of toxicity throughout all circles and it is time for civility and grace to return. It is time to remember that we are all human. We all have angels and demons to our personalities. We are all flawed and we are all exceptional in our own way.

 

"But just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them. When I say, 'be kind to one another,' I don't only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone."

 

-- Ellen DeGeneres

 

(Yes, this happened. No, it wasn’t planned.) 

Just outside of Moab Utah.

 

Find YOUR path.



Joshua D. Drake     October 17, 2019

When you are considering a conference about Postgres, one should pick the one that is focused on building the community. PostgresConf is all about building the community and we even captured it on video!
 
 
PostgresConf embraces a holistic view of what community is. We want everyone to feel welcome and encouraged to give back to PostgreSQL.org. However, that is not the only opportunity for you to give back to the Postgres community. We all have different talents and some of those don't extend to writing patches or Docbook XML. 

Giving back

When considering who is part of the community and who is contributing to the community, we want to introduce you to a couple of fantastic organizers of our conference: Debra Cerda and Viral Shah. Some in the community will know Debra. She has been in the community for years and is one of the primary organizers of Austin Postgres.
 
Debra Cerda

Debra is our Attendee and Speaker Liaison as well as our Volunteer Coordinator. She is also a key asset in the development and performance of our Career Fair.

 
Viral Shah

Viral is our on-site logistics lead and is part of the volunteer acquisition team. It is Viral that works with the hotel using a fine tooth comb to make sure everything is on target, on budget, and executed with extreme efficiency.

 
Without her amazing attention to detail and dedication to service we wouldn't be able to deliver the level of conference our community has come to expect from PostgresConf.
 

Building relationships

There a lot of reasons to go to a conference. You may be looking for education on a topic, a sales lead, or possibly just to experience a central location of top talent, products, and services. All of these reasons are awesome but we find that the most important reason is to build relationships. The following are two exceptional examples of community projects.
 
Our first example is ZomboDB. No, they are not a sponsor (yet!) but they have a fantastic Open Source extension to Postgres that integrates Elasticsearch into Postgres. 
 
Our second ecosystem community member is an entity that most have heard of at this point; TimescaleDB. It too is a fantastic showing of what is possible when you combine brilliance with the extensibility of Postgres.
 
What is notable about these two mentions is that they represent what we would call, "Professional Community." Recently ZomboDB wanted to bounce some ideas off of a Postgresql hacker regarding the Index Access Method API. We at PostgresConf were able to facilitate an introduction to Timescale and a couple of amazing minds ended up chewing the fat on their respective projects. It's relationships such as these that enable the community to grow and offer the best opportunities possible.
 
 

Part of the community

Join the Professional user and ecosystem community for Postgres today! You can start by submitting a presentation to the upcoming PostgresConf 2019 being held March 18th - 22nd, 2019 at the Sheraton Times Square.
 
 
 

 
Joshua D. Drake     November 26, 2018

You will want to mark your calendars folks on August 15th the Call for papers for PostgresConf Silicon Valley will close. That is just two weeks away!

So let's point your Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari app to this link right here and get your presentation submitted.

This is the inaugural Silicon Valley conference and from the current submitted papers it is shaping up to be a fantastic event. We can't wait to see everyone and continue our mission of:




Joshua D. Drake     July 31, 2018

Scale, already built

 

We had a call with an ecosystem partner recently about a user that has over 20TB residing in our most beloved database. The response from the partner? “They are going to fall over.” It was an interesting response and also shows a lack of understanding of the absolute power and flexibility of Postgres implementations. This production installation (in the manufacturing industry) does not fall over and it sails over the waves like the 20’ swells don’t exist. The World’s Database is already scale built!

Shoutouts

Postgres Conference Beijing CFP

CFP Closes June 3rd! Submit your presentation now!

Postgres Conference Silicon Valley

Early bird tickets now available! Get your tickets today as we expect this year to sell out!

Postgresql.org, Postgresql v12 Beta 1 released: Test now!

Developer Week New york

  • A fantastic conference that believes in the same ideals as Postgres Conference and People, Postgres, Data. It takes place June 17th - 20th.

The “People” part of People, Postgres, Data

The International Postgres Conference Series known as PostgresConf has the mission of “People, Postgres, Data.” It is based on the belief that taking care of and providing opportunities for people is our core goal.

 

In the coming months Co-Chair Amanda Nystrom will be spearheading a professional development series focused on the People part of the “People, Postgres, Data” mission. It will include articles, workshops, and, if all works out, a track at the event in 2020 at Times Square, New York City. We are excited to be expanding our serving of People through this opportunity.  

Ecosystem Content

Requesting Feedback

We are looking for good dates to host PostgresConf Philly in July/August 2019 and we are actively reviewing new markets for other Postgres Conference events including Texas, Vancouver B.C., and Seattle. If you have feedback on opportunities in these areas including dates, venues, or a desire to join the amazing People, Postgres, Data team, let us know at organizers@postgresconf.org.

 

Join our community

Upcoming Events



People, Postgres, Data and The World’s Database

 

The World’s Database celebrates all of Postgres, including whichever version, fork, or hybrid used to build yourself, your business, or your hobby. We have Open and Closed Source technologies. We have amazing extensions (TimescaleDB), unique implementations (Yugabyte), and respected forks to solve specific problems such as Greenplum, Azure, and Aurora. We have meetups where professionals can gather to collaborate and network in all major U.S. markets. Most importantly we are an inclusive community celebrating everything surrounding the maturity, extensibility, and growth of the Postgres ecosystem.

 

Joshua D. Drake     May 30, 2019

On occasion, professional developers will drop into the Postgresql.org mailing lists, meetups, and conferences to ask the question, “Why isn’t PostgreSQL development on Github?” In an effort to see if the demand was really there and not just anecdotal we ran a poll/survey over several social media platforms that asked a simple question:

 

Should PostgreSQL development move to Github?

    • Yes
    • No
    • No, but to something like Gitlab would be good

 

We received well over 300 responses and the majority (75%+) chose a move to Github or to something like Github. This was an unscientific poll but it does point out a few interesting topics for consideration:

 

  1. We need to recognize that the current contribution model does work for existing contributors. We need to have an honest discussion about what that means for the project as contributors age, change employment, and mature in their skill set, etc..
  2. Of the people that argued in comments against the move to a service, only one is a current contributor to PostgreSQL.org core code. The rest were former code contributors or those who contribute in other ways (Advocacy, System administration, etc.).
  3. Would a move to Github or similar option produce a higher rate of contribution?

 

This poll does not answer point #3; it only provides a data point that people may desire a modern collaboration platform. The key takeaway from the conversation about migrating to Github or similar service is the future generation of developers use technology such as Slack and Microsoft Teams. They expect a bug/issue tracker. They demand simplicity in collaboration and most importantly they will run a cost->benefit analysis to determine if the effort to contribute is a net positive.

 

It should also be considered that this is not just individual potential contributors. There are many corporations big and small that rely on the success of PostgreSQL. Those corporations will not contribute as much directly to PostgreSQL if the cost to benefit analysis is a net negative. They will instead contribute through other more productive means that produce a net positive when the cost->benefit analysis is run. A good example of this analysis is the proliferation of external projects such as pg_auto_failover, patroni and lack of direct contribution from innovative extension based companies.

Do we need a culture shift within PostgreSQL?

There are those within the Postgresql.org community that would suggest that we do not need a culture shift within PostgreSQL but that does not take into account the very clear market dynamics that are driving the growth of PostgreSQL, Postgres, and the global ecosystem. It is true that 20 years of hard work by Postgresql.org started the growth and it is also true that the majority of growth in the ecosystem and community is from products such as Greenplum, Aurora, Azure, and Timescale. The growth in the ecosystem is from the professional community and that ecosystem will always perform a cost to benefit analysis before contributing.

 

It is not that we should create radical rifts or disrupt our culture. It is to say that we must evolve and shift our community thinking. We need to be able to consider the big picture. A discussion should never start as an opposition to change. The idea of change should be an open discussion about possibility and vision. It should always include whether the change is a good idea and it should always avoid visceral reactions of, "works for me,” “no,” or “we tried that 15 years ago." Those reactions are immature and lacking in the very thing the community needs to continue to grow: positivity, inclusion, vision, and inspiration.

Joshua D. Drake     May 13, 2019



Seattle Postgres and People, Postgres, Data were present at the 20th Anniversary Event of LinuxFest Northwest this weekend! The “Fest” is a conference built around Free and Open Source Software, taking place in Bellingham, Washington. It is a true gathering of over 2000 Open Source practitioners. There was also a well attended Postgres Track and an “Ask the experts” panel.

Highlighted Find

Also at LinuxFest Northwest was YottaDB. YottaDB uses the PostgreSQL wire protocol to allow universal driver access to their in-memory transactional database. This has become a popular way to utilize the maturity of the PostgreSQL code base and reduce overhead in having to maintain a protocol and drivers.

Ecosystem Content

Requesting Feedback

We are looking for good dates to host PostgresConf Philly in July/August 2019 and we are actively reviewing new markets for other Postgres Conference events including Texas, Vancouver B.C., and Seattle. If you have feedback on opportunities in these areaa including dates, venues, or a desire to join the amazing People, Postgres, Data team, let us know at organizers@postgresconf.org.

 

Noteworthy Commits & Releases

The PostgreSQL git repo was largely bug fixes and updates the past couple of weeks but we have some great releases including migration tools and Distributed SQL:

 

Join our community

Upcoming Events



People, Postgres, Data and The World’s Database

 

The World’s Database celebrates all of Postgres, including whichever version, fork, or hybrid used to build yourself, your business, or your hobby. We have Open and Closed Source technologies. We have amazing extensions (TimescaleDB), unique implementations (Yugabyte), and respected forks to solve specific problems such as Greenplum, Azure, and Aurora. We have meetups where professionals can gather to collaborate and network in all major U.S. markets. Most importantly we are an inclusive community celebrating everything surrounding the maturity, extensibility, and growth of the Postgres ecosystem.

Joshua D. Drake     April 29, 2019

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