Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts

Community,


The Chairs of PGConf US have rescheduled the Seattle and Austin Local events. After much deliberation we believe moving the events to a weekday format later in the year will offer a better opportunity for those who wish to attend.

New dates:
  • Seattle: November 13th and 14th, 2017
  • Austin: December 4th and 5th, 2017
The CFP for Seattle is closed but Austin is still open!

People, Postgres, Data

Joshua D. Drake     August 08, 2017



PostgresConf ran its first Silicon Valley conference on October 15th and 16th in conjunction with Silicon Valley Postgres. The two day conference was considered a “local” or development conference where our focus was introducing the PostgresConf experience to new attendees and partners with world class content. We believe we succeeded in that.

We brought new friends to the community with the addition of Yugabyte, Scalegrid, and AgensGraph. We also had old friends return with Pivotal, AWS, Microsoft, 2ndQuadrant, Timescale, Compose, and Nutanix.

This is the first conference we have organized where the attendance went up during the conference. All community conferences know the stress of waiting for people to register. We all register at the last possible moment but for attendance to increase as the conference is running was new for us. It added a new level of legitimacy to our purpose of:

The conference had 139 attendees and as the goal was 100-150, we are quite pleased with the turn out. We will be returning in 2019 and we look forward to continuing to build the Silicon Valley Community.

Thank you to the attendees, supporters, and organizers for helping pull off yet another amazing event!
Joshua D. Drake     October 23, 2018



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

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

Join the fantastic and growing Postgres community in Cape Town, South Africa for a single day event on October 3rd, 2017! The event is being hosted by fellow Postgres advocates who travel from South Africa each year to attend our National Event in order to increase their knowledge of Postgres and be a part of the community. This year they are joining us and making a commitment to build out our International community and conferences!

This single day event takes place at the same venue as PyCon South Africa and is scheduled the day before PyCon to ensure the greatest possible value in attending.

Image result for PGConf US

Local events are designed to bring comprehensive educational content and networking opportunities to the "local" Postgres community where the event is being held. They are perfect opportunities to show support for Postgres, find leads, and build relationships with other professionals and companies using and supporting Postgres.

Joshua D. Drake     August 15, 2017

PGConf US and Austin PUG organized a PGConf Mini last night. It was three presentations over the evening. We had good attendance and excellent community participation. The highlight of the evening was PGConf US Co-Chair Jim Molgendski's presentation, "Top 10 Mistakes When Migrating from Oracle to PostgreSQL".

We tried something new this time around. We utilized Twitter's Periscope capability to live stream his presentation. It wasn't perfect but it was our first time and we are looking forward to utilizing the platform more in the future.

Click here to watch "To Mistakes When Migrating From Oracle to PostgreSQL", and then submit a presentation to one of our upcoming conferences:


PGConf US 2017 - 2018 
  • Diamond Sponsor: Amazon Web Services
  • Platinum Sponsor: OpenSCG

Joshua D. Drake     May 17, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM @ fibercove
1700 S Lamar Blvd, Suite 338, Austin, TX

Join us for a special presentation with PostgreSQL experts who will be in town for DataLayer 2017.

Food and refreshments will be provided, so please be sure to RSVP.

Thank you to OpenSCG for sponsoring our food and soft drinks, and fibercove for hosting us! Beer sponsor TBA.
  • The event starts at: 6 pm 
  • Networking and food/drink : 6:15 pm 
  • Announcements and updates: 6:30 pm   
Presentations:
• "Softlayer vs RDS/AWS: A price to performance perspective" - Joshua D. Drake, Command Prompt, Inc.

• "PostgreSQL on Debian and apt.postgresql.org" - Dr. Michael Meskes, CEO of credativ (http://www.credativ.com/)

• "Top 10 Mistakes When Migrating From Oracle to PostgreSQL" -- Jim Mlodgenski, CTO of OpenSCG
 
About our Speakers: 

Joshua D. Drake of Command Prompt, Inc. (https://www.commandprompt.com/), is a PostgreSQL Consultant who has consulted on PostgreSQL since Postgres95. Throughout his PostgreSQL career he has performed a variety of functions within the community including releasing an O'Reilly book on PostgreSQL, as well as being part of the sysadmins and advocacy teams He ran a biannual conference series dedicated to PostgreSQL from 2007 - 2011. He is a former Director for SPI (the non-profit for PostgreSQL.org). Drake is also a Founder of United States PostgreSQL, as well as a co-organizer and Chair of PGConf US.

Dr. Michael Meskes is President and CEO of the credativ Group, an industry leader in free software services with offices in five countries. Its Open Source Support Centers employ leading members of a number of Open-Source projects. He has been Open-Source developer for twenty years working on different Open-Source projects among which Debian and PostgreSQL are most widely known. He also has done a lot of Open-Source related presentations on all sorts of events doing a lot of Open-Source evangelism.

Jim Mlodgenski is CTO of OpenSCG, a leading enterprise open source services company, with a central focus on PostgreSQL. He has been part of the PostgreSQL community for over a decade, as an architect and sales engineer. He is a Director for the U.S. PostgreSQL Association, as well as an organizer of the Philly PostgreSQL User Group and a Co-organizer of the NYC PostgreSQL User Group. He Is also a co-organizer of PGConf US, the largest PostgreSQL conference in the U.S.
Joshua D. Drake     May 11, 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

Pivotal Sponsor Highlight Blog for PostgresConf 2019

 

Written by:

Jacque Istok, Head of Data, Pivotal

 

1. Greenplum has its own community; what do you hope to achieve by joining the Postgres community and PostgresConf?

Both interest and adoption of Postgres have skyrocketed over the last two years, and we feel fortunate to be a part of the extended community. We have worked very hard to uplevel the base version of Postgres within Greenplum to more current levels and to be active in the Postgres community. We see Greenplum as a parallel (and analytic focused) implementation of Postgres, and we encourage the community to continue to embrace both the technology and the goal of the Greenplum project, which is Postgres at scale.

 

2. Are you planning to provide any new tech (PG features, etc.)?

This year we plan to announce several new things for both Greenplum and Postgres. We’re introducing new innovations in our cloud offerings in the marketplaces of AWS, Azure, and GCP. We also have major news about both our natural language at-scale analytics solution based on Apache Solr, and our multi-purpose machine learning and graph analytics library Apache MADlib. The next major release of Greenplum is a major focus as well, differentiating Greenplum from each of its competitors and bringing us ever closer to the latest versions of Postgres.

 

3. Are there any rising stars in the community you’d like to give props to?

While it seems a little self-serving, I would like to take the opportunity to give props to the Pivotal Data Team. This team is a 300+ worldwide organization that helps our customers, our prospects, and the community to solve real world and really hard data problems—solved in part through Postgres technology. They all attack these use cases with passion and truly make a difference in the lives of the people that their solutions touch. I couldn’t wish to work with a finer group.

 

4. What is the number one benefit you see within Postgres that everyone should be aware of?

The number one benefit of Postgres is really its flexibility. This database chameleon can be used for SQL, NoSQL, Big Data, Microservices, time series data, and much more. In fact, our latest analytic solution, MADLib Flow, leverages Postgres as an operational engine. For example, Machine Learning models created in Greenplum can be pushed into a restful API as part of an agile continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline easily and efficiently—making Postgres the power behind what I still like to think of as #DataOps.

 

5. What is the best thing about working with the Postgres community?

 

I deeply admire the passion and consistency of the community behind Postgres, constantly and incrementally improving this product over decades. And because Greenplum is based on Postgres, we get to interact with this vast community of talent. We are also able to more seamlessly interact with ecosystem products that already work with Postgres, making the adoption of Greenplum that much easier.

 

6. Tell us why you believe people should attend PostgresConf 2019 in March.

 

PostgresConf is going to be awesome, and I can’t wait for it to start! With Pivotal, Amazon, and EnterpriseDB headlining as Diamond sponsors, Greenplum Summit (along with multiple other summits), and high-quality speakers and content across the board, this year’s PostgresConf promises to be bigger and better than ever and surely won’t disappoint.

 

We’re thrilled to be back to present the second annual Greenplum Summit on March 19th at PostgresConf. Our theme this year is “Scale Matters”, and what we’ve seen with our customers is that every year it matters more and more. Our users are part of organizations that are generating tons of data and their need to easily and quickly ingest and interrogate all of it is paramount. This is true even more now than ever before as the insights that can be found not only help differentiate them from their competitors, but are also used to build better products and increase customer loyalty.

 

The day will be filled with real-world case studies from Greenplum users including Morgan Stanley, the European Space Astronomy Centre, Insurance Australia Group, Purdue University, Baker Hughes (a GE company), Conversant, and others, plus presentations and deep-dive tech sessions for novices and experts alike.

Joshua D. Drake     February 14, 2019

Andreas Scherbaum recently tweeted, “Speakers: it is NOT OK to even consider drinking alcohol during a talk! No matter how complicated your talk topic is.” The tweet has caused an interesting debate on Twitter and Facebook. It also caused me to run a poll via @amplifypostgres on the matter.

At the time of this writing almost 70% of the votes on the poll either don’t care or don’t think it is unprofessional for a presenter to drink alcohol while presenting.

One of the counter arguments to presenters consuming alcohol during presentations is that when you are presenting you are representing the conference. The conference wants you to be professional and create an environment that represents that during your talk. Fair enough, but why is it unprofessional?

This sequence of events has me wondering: what is professionalism in reference to presenting at Postgres Conferences? It is certainly not appropriate to be intoxicated while presenting at a professional conference, but that isn’t the question. The question is: why is it inappropriate for an adult to make a legal choice to take a nip or sip beer (or wine) during a presentation? Why is that more unprofessional than not wearing a tie or button up shirt, or wearing shorts or a kilt?

Professionalism is subjective.


In my opinion, my obligations to the audience are:
  • I must care about the content.
  • I must deliver what I say I will deliver.
  • I must be honest with the audience about my level of experience in the subject.
  • I must be honest about my opinions on the subject.
  • I must be a genuine version of me, minus the swearing.”
I fail at “minus the swearing” but the rest are spot on and should be our focus.

If you do not want presenters to consume alcohol during their presentations, then add it to your Code of Conduct. If it’s not in your Code of Conduct, then let adults take responsibility for themselves and present the best content possible for our community, in whatever way necessary.

Rock on and @amplifypostgres!

Disclaimer: I am writing this opinion as a frequent presenter, not as the Co-Chair of the most electrifying Postgres Conference in the world.


Joshua D. Drake     October 27, 2017