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


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

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, in partnership with Ohio Linux Fest, is pleased to announce that the call for papers for PGConf Local: Ohio is now open.

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


The Call for Papers for PGConf Ohio can be found here.

Call for papers will be open until Sunday, August 24th, 2017 and speakers will be notified of acceptance/decline no later than Monday, September 1st, 2017.

Conference Schedule:
  • Friday, September 29, 2017: Trainings
Mastering Postgres Administration: Bruce Momjian
Postgres Performance and Maintenance: Joshua D. Drake 
  • Saturday, September 30, 2017: Breakout Sessions (To be announced)

Registration for the
PGConf Ohio trainings is open now.

Conference speakers receive complimentary entry to the breakout sessions on September 30th. 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 15, 2017

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

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

The first ever PGConf US Local: Seattle event is happening in partnership with SEAPUG on August 11th and 12th at the Sheraton Downtown Seattle! On August 11th we have four training options available:
  1. Mastering PostgreSQL Administration by Bruce Momjian
  2. Migrating from Oracle to PostgreSQL by Jim Mlodgenski
  3. Postgres Performance and Maintenance by Joshua (JD) Drake
  4. Database Automation by Robert Bernier 

Tickets are now available!


On August 12th we have 14 break-out sessions between the Development and Operations tracks. A sample of our break-out sessions is available below but please check the full schedule for all of the fantastic content!
We would not be able to produce PGConf Local: Seattle 2017 without the generous support from our sponsors:
    Sponsorship opportunities for the conference are still available. If you use Postgres, support Postgres, or if you are looking to recruit a local Postgres expert, this is a great opportunity. Become a part of our dynamic and growing ecosystem! The prospectus is available at:
    Joshua D. Drake     July 11, 2017

    After National 2017, the PGConf US team decided to take a long hard road to bring the best in educational content and advocacy to the entire Postgres ecosystem. Today, we welcome 2ndQuadrant as a Platinum sponsor and thank them for helping us with our year over year projects.


    2ndq logo color no cross

    It is sponsors like 2ndQuadrant that are allowing us to achieve our goal of having not only our National event but Philly, Seattle, and Austin all within 2017. We also have other education and advocacy initiatives that continue to develop include webinars, community profiles, and e-training. Stay tuned for more information on those!

    Other PGConf US news:


    Joshua D. Drake     June 29, 2017

    The third PGConf US event of the year is happening July 13 - 14th! Tickets are now available!

    This year the event is at Huntsman Hall located at The Wharton School. There will be two days of awesome Postgres content. On July 13th we are pleased to offer two great training sessions by two of the most veteran members of the PostgreSQL community, Bruce Momjian and Joshua Drake. Between them they have well over 40 years of hands-on experience with PostgreSQL. 

    On July 14th we have eight first-rate sessions covering everything from Postgres performance to development. Check out the full schedule here:
    Sponsorship opportunities for the conference are still available. If you use Postgres, support Postgres, or if you are looking to recruit a local Postgres expert, this is a great opportunity. Become a part of our dynamic and growing ecosystem! The prospectus is available at:

    We would not be able to produce PGConf Local: Philly 2017 without the generous support from our sponsors:

    For more information about PGConf US please visit: PGConf US


    PGConf US: People, Postgres, Data



    Joshua D. Drake     June 20, 2017