Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts

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



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

 
 

As part of the countdown to PostgresConf US 2018, learn more about the engaging content and our Diamond and Platinum sponsors for this year in our Sponsor Spotlight Series.

Jacque Istok, is the Head of Data for Pivotal, one of our Diamond Sponsors for PostgresConf US 2018. Pivotal is hosting the first annual Greenplum Summit at PostgresConf US 2018, with lots of great Greenplum and Postgres-related content. Read what Jacque has to say bout Greenplum and Postgres, as well as why to attend the Greenplum Summit: 

Greenplum is an Open Source variant of Postgres; what benefits do you bring to the table over vanilla Postgres?

Postgres is a powerful ORDBMS, but as your data scales, the only way to keep up is to buy bigger and bigger machines to run on. It suffers from the same problems that all SMP databases do: you can only get as big as the machine you’re running on.

With Greenplum you can put a subset of your data on a Postgres database on one reasonably-sized machine, and another subset on a second machine, and so on. All of your users and applications can then query one of these Postgres databases as if all the data was in a single location - making your data scale limitless. Greenplum manages the distribution, data shuffling, and querying of all of your data across a magically sharded implementation of Postgres databases.

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

The Postgres community represents some of the most passionate and knowledgeable creators, developers, and users of database technology of our time. We believe that the combination of Postgres and Greenplum becomes the software equivalent of what Oracle Exadata purported to be: an all-purpose database that can do both transactional and analytical workloads across multi-structured data. Simply put, the Greenplum community is looking to join with the Postgres community to further the understanding and adoption of these technologies.

Do you have plans for cross pollination of technologies with the two open source projects?

Greenplum forked from Postgres over 10 years, circa Postgres 8.2. Greenplum 5.0 is based off of Postgres 8.3, with our next major release slated for Postgres 9.4 (current open source Greenplum is compatible with 9.0 as of this writing).

Likewise, we have Postgres committers working at Pivotal looking for opportunities to improve the Postgres code specifically for analytics. We are also ensuring that other projects related to Greenplum, like Apache MADLib, continue to be compatible with Postgres.

What challenges do you see working with the Postgres community as an open source fork?

The Postgres community is a long-running and very passionate group, and we want to be both collaborative and respectful in how we continue to grow our participation. We see the products as having synergies which complement each other very well, with some use cases that best fit Postgres, and others that best fit Greenplum. The use of either benefits the other as they both further adoption.

What would you tell a user who has a choice between Postgres and Greenplum about when they should use which system?

Postgres is a great ORDBMS that will scale to the performance of a single server. For analytical needs, being restricted to a small number of terabytes does not allow for the type of exploration that most organizations need. Because Greenplum is a Postgres compatible database, you can start out using Postgres and either convert to Greenplum underneath or leverage Greenplum alongside your Postgres systems (making data ETL a ton easier). This then makes the choice of which product to use for your particular use case clearer and clearer.

What is the number one barrier you see to contributing to the Postgres community?

The number one barrier we will have to contributing is not seeing the corresponding adoption of our technologies. We feel very strongly that both the transparency and removal of vendor lock-in make our open source commitment the only choice for users. I’m here to implore the community to embrace our technology with zeal and help us continue to drive more and more Postgres adoption in the world.

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

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.

Tell us why you believe people should attend PostgresConf 2018 in April.

PostgresConf is going to be awesome - with both Pivotal and Amazon headlining as Diamond sponsors - as well as the quality of speakers and their content. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

We’re thrilled to organize the first annual Greenplum Summit at PostgresConf. Greenplum co-founder, Scott Yara, will give a keynote on April 18th relating to how data tells the story at the organizations that we help enable (#DataTellsTheStory), and his journey from SMP to MPP. Greenplum Summit on April 19th will be a full day packed with with great use case sessions and tech talks for novices and experts alike.

Check out the full schedule for PostgresConf US 2018, and buy your tickets soon!



Joshua D. Drake     March 26, 2018     pivotal Greenplum postgresql postgres

PostgresConf hopes everyone had a great holiday season and we hope everyone has a fantastic 2019.

With January upon us, we start conference season. This year, PostgresConf 2019 will be in NYC at the Sheraton New York Times Square March 18-22, 2019.

If you have a story about lessons learned with Postgres, a cool feature that you've found a creative way of using, or just some practical knowledge you'd like to share with your fellow Postgres users, submit a talk. Remember, there are many people who are new to Postgres, so introduction levels talks are welcome. The CFP ends this Friday so get your talks submitted soon at:
https://postgresconf.org/conferences/2019#callforpapers

Also, the Early Bird window for PostgresConf 2019 will be ending next Friday, January 18. This tickets are pretty substantially discounted if you purchase them early. On top of the Early Bird discount, for being a member of the NYC Postgres User Group, there is a promo code for an additional 15% off. Just use the code 2019_PUG_NYC when buying your tickets.
Lastly, if you are already in the NYC area we look forward to seeing the community at the Winter Party on the 10th!
We hope to see you at PostgresConf 2019 and remember:



Joshua D. Drake     January 09, 2019

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.
 
 
 
 

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

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

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

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