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

 

It is late August, 2019. This is the time where we are usually prepping for the very busy fall season and not much else. However, this is the Year of Postgres and everyone is driving 200MPH down the ecosystem highway (321.8688/KPH). We are going to kick off this newsletter with some exciting information about the community.

Events

PostgresConf has launched Digital Events! The goal of Digital Events is to open our education platform year round to all members of the community. Our first series of events will be held with our ecosystem partner YugabyteDB and their “Distributed SQL Webinar Series.” This is a series of free-to-attend Webinars exploring Distributed SQL from leaders in the field.

 

PostgreConf Silicon Valley tickets are going at a brisk pace and half day trainings are almost sold out. Register today to reserve your seat before prices go up on September 1st!

 

Right after Silicon Valley, PostgresConf South Africa is kicking off. This conference has grown by leaps and bounds over the last two years. We highly recommend attending for anyone who can!

 

PGConf.IN (India) has announced that their conference will be held in February 2020!

Meetups

We have seen the launch of three new meetups this month:

  • Los Angeles Postgres The first meetup is planned for late October or early November as we continue to build the Silicon Beach community.
  • Toronto Postgres Similar to Los Angeles, the first meetup is planned for late October or early November.
  • Charm City Postgres This meetup was formed by long time community member Robert Treat.

 

Several other meetups are growing quickly: 

 

Interested in speaking or hosting a meetup? Contact us and we’ll connect you with the right people! 

Learn

Here is a short, great introduction tutorial on running PostgreSQL in Docker by Igal Sapir, Los Angeles Postgres organizer. Everybody has 13 minutes.

 

Shawn Wang from our friends at High Go has provided an insightful write-up on AES Performance.

Ecosystem

TimescaleDB is running a “State of Postgres” survey. Please take five minutes and help them out! They have also announced a new Distributed Timeseries product.

 

VMWare has just acquired Greenplum and PostgreSQL supporting company Pivotal.

Postgresql.org

PostgreSQL versions 11.5, 10.10, 9.6.15, 9.5.19, 9.4.24, and 12 Beta 3 are now out in the wild and addressing several important security concerns and bug fixes.

 

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Have news you’d like included in future newsletters? Contact us.

Joshua D. Drake     August 23, 2019

We are having yet another PGConf Mini in NYC. The event is scheduled for December 14th, 2017 and Work Bench is hosting:

 
 
The event is part of the PGConf Mini series and is free to attend. The PGConf Mini series works directly with user groups and external communities to organize events for the local community. The events are held as a larger meetup style event with networking opportunities and up to 4 presentations. The current agenda for the latest PGConf Mini: NYC is:
 
Agenda: 
 
• 6:30 - 7:00: Jonathan Katz, (TBD), Postgresql Contributor and PGConf Chair Emeritus

Efficiently and Safely Propagate Data Changes Without Triggers!

 

Prior to PostgreSQL 9.4, the primary way to distribute data-driven changes across multiple tables was to use triggers. While triggers guarantee that these changes will be propagated, they can have a significant impact application performance, both technically and with development time (see: "debugging"). PostgreSQL 9.4 introduced logical decoding, which provides a way to stream all changes in a database to a consumer. Using a logical decoder, you can read all changes that are made in a table into your programming language of choice to perform many tasks: cache invalidation, data propagation, submitting changes to remote services, and more. Many PostgreSQL drivers, such as psycopg2 and JDBC support the logical replication protocol, which lets you easily stream your database changes to be manipulated using your favorite programming language. This talk will demonstrate how you can setup logical decoding for your application, look at architecture strategies for working with a logical decoder, and look at a case-study that shows how using logical decoding led to a big performance boost over a similar trigger-based system.
 
• 7:00 - 7:30:  Kevin Jernigan, Senior Product Manager, Amazon
Technical Architecture of Postgres Aurora 
 
Amazon Aurora is a cloud-optimized relational database that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. The recently announced PostgreSQL-compatibility, together with the original MySQL compatibility, are perfect for new application development and for migrations from overpriced, restrictive commercial databases. In this session, we’ll do a deep dive into the new architectural model and distributed systems techniques behind Amazon Aurora, discuss best practices and configurations, look at migration options and share customer experience from the field. 
 
• 7:30 - 8:20: Joshua (JD) Drake POSTPONED due to flight cancellation)
The Power of Postgres Replication, Postgres Expert - Lead Consultant Command Prompt, Inc and Co-Chair PGConf!
 
With PostgreSQL v10 a new replication engine has come to town. Let's explore Postgres Logical Replication, how to use it, optimize it and let it best fit in with your organization. We will also discuss its interactions with external tools as well as Binary Replication and features such as Hot Standby. 
 
 
 
 
Joshua D. Drake     November 20, 2017

PostgresConf US 2018 is in 9 days. Here is the obligatory "Buy your tickets" reminder! If you look around (a Google search of Gold sponsor Google Cloud is a good place to start) you will find a lot of discount codes.

In 2017 we launched a community wide effort to better recognize contributors for not only the conference but the wider Postgres Community. We continued this effort in 2018 and are pleased to have many speaker profiles available, with more being published every day:

As one of the Chairs of PostgresConf, I am honored by the resounding support from sponsors, speakers, and volunteers to help create a fantastic event for all attendees. It has been a pleasure working toward the common goal of creating a global, non-profit, Postgres Conference series.
 
 
 
 


People, Postgres, Data is not just an advocacy term. It is the mission of PostgresConf.Org. It is our rule of thumb, our mantra, and our purpose. When we determine which presentations to approve, which workshops to support, which individuals to receive scholarships, which events to organize, and any task big or small, it must follow: People, Postgres, Data. It is our belief that this mantra allows us to maintain our growth and continue to advocate for the Postgres community and ecosystem in a positive and productive way.

When you attend PostgresConf the first thing you will notice is the diversity of the supported ecosystem; whether you want to discuss the finer points of contribution with the major PostgreSQL.Org sponsors such as 2ndQuadrant or EnterpriseDB, or you want to embrace the Postgres ecosystem with the Greenplum Summit or TimeScaleDB.

The following is a small sampling of content that will be presented April 16 - 20 at the Westin Jersey City Newport:

Learn to Administer Postgres with this comprehensive training opportunity:

Understand the risks of securing your data during this Regulated Industry Summit presentation:

Struggle with time management? We have professional development training such as:

Educate yourself on how to contribute back to the PostgreSQL community:

We are a community driven and volunteer organized ecosystem conference. We want to help the community become stronger, increase education about Postgres, and offer career opportunities and knowledge about the entire ecosystem. Please join us in April!

Joshua D. Drake     February 27, 2018


How do you use Postgres?

I work Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and within Fred Hutch, I work for the largest group called SCHARP, Statistical Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Prevention. We use Postgres to monitor the AIDS drug trials real time to see if the trials are working or not. This means we collect the data from doctors and labs around the world, and analyzing the data. We also have servers where we receive data from other research institutes and share our randomized data, de-personalized, with other research institutes.


What community contributions have you provided?

In 2010 I started SeaPUG, Seattle Postgres Users Group, at the request of Josh Drake. I have at least have the presentations there every year. I have also discovered several PostgreSQL: bugs which have been fixed. Some of them affected every version of PostgreSQL. Bug numbers: 7553, 8173, 8257, 8291. I also found 8545, which has not been fixed but Core has acknowledge needs to be fixed but they are not sure where it should be fixed, pg_dump or pg_dumpall. I started the PostgreSQL track at LinuxFest Northwest in 2014 after my GIS presentation in 2013 was standing room only. This year I got a booth at the SeaGL, Seattle GNU Linux, conference with the idea of having a booth there next year along with also doing a PostgreSQL presentation next year at the conference.


You recently took a renewed interest in speaking at Postgres Conferences, why?

I have been giving presentations locally now for the last 7 years and so I am now ready to move on to the next step, doing presentations at the Local and National conferences around the United States.


What is the #1 barrier you see to Postgres adoption?

People not knowing about PostgreSQL, most people know about MYSQL, MSSQL and Oracle, but do not know about PostgreSQL. This is changing, some, with the Cloud providers now offering PostgreSQL, but I go to these conferences, LinuxFest Northwest and SeaGL, and people all the time are asking me, "What is Postgres and why should I use it over MYSQL, MSSQL or Oracle", because they have never heard of PostgreSQL.


What is something you feel the wider Postgres community could be better at?

We need to promote PostgreSQL so that new people starting personal projects and starting at companies, will think about PostgreSQL before other databases. This starts with getting the younger generation interested in PostgreSQL and that also means that we need to get the college professors willing to talk about PostgreSQL in their curriculums instead of ignoring PostgreSQL for all the other competing databases. Some of this means that at all the other conferences, we need to have a PostgreSQL presence, aka booth and presentations. We should also come up with a certification method for PostgreSQL DBA's, User's, Engineer's, etc so that prospective employers will have an idea of the prospective employees skill set.

Joshua D. Drake     December 12, 2017

We are pleased to announce that Early Bird tickets to Postgres Conference 2019 are now available. Whether you are seeking a world class big data and analytics learning opportunity from the Greenplum Summit, a deep dive from the Google Cloud Summit, Regulated Industry Information from the Regulated Industry track, or a dizzying amount of learning opportunities from over 100 breakout sessions, PostgresConf 2019 is the show not to miss! Oh, and did we mention there will be training options as well?

Register here:

https://postgresconf.org/conferences/2019

Call For Papers is still open! Submit your presentation at the above link.
 
 Postgres Conference 2019

PostgresConf would be impossible without the generous support of our sponsors including:
EnterpriseDB, Pivotal, Google, Microsoft and 2ndQuadrant.

Thanks for all of the support and we look forward to seeing you in March!

The Postgres Conference Organizer Team

Joshua D. Drake     December 11, 2018

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



PGConf US in conjunction with NYCPUG is pleased to present PGConf US Mini: NYC on September 14th, 2017. The doors open at 6:30PM and there will be three presentations as well as food, beverages and networking opportunities. Join the community in supporting this great no cost for attendance opportunity.



The following is a list of the Postgres content that will be presented:
  • Partitioning in Postgres v10 by Corey Huinker
  • Building a scalable time-series database on PostgreSQL by Mike Freedman
  • Major Features: Postgres 10 by Bruce Momjian
You can find full details at the PGConf US Mini: NYC website.
These events wouldn't be possible without the great support from our sponsors:

PGConf US Mini events are designed to bring an evening of high quality presentations to the local user groups. They are great opportunities to learn, network and socialize. If your community would like to join us in bringing a mini to your local community get in touch!

Joshua D. Drake     August 24, 2017

 

At Postgres Conference we are always optimizing our People, Postgres, Data experience, and as more events move to Digital,  we have worked hard to perfect that collaborative experience for our community. The hard work of our volunteers has paid off, our content is top notch, and our participant account is consistently high.

 

With a now-proven track record, we are pleased to announce that we are accepting Community and Commercial presentations via the Postgres Webinar Series Call for Presentations through the end of 2020. If your presentation is accepted we will contact you directly to arrange an appropriate time to deliver your content.

Recent awesome news

KDE, arguably the most complete desktop experience for Linux, is now hosted on a private instance of Gitlab. As is proper, Gitlab only supports Postgres as the backend database.

For those who who love #FarmFresh or #farmtotable, there is a new website that showcases Farms that are delivering. It was developed using React, Rails, and Postgres. 

Upcoming Digital Events

  • July 7, 10am PT: Deep Dive into PostgreSQL Indexing

A Deep Dive into PostgreSQL Indexing

  • July 15, 10AM PT: Working with JSON Data in PostgreSQL vs. MongoDB

Working with JSON Data in PostgreSQL vs. MongoDB

Previous Digital Events: