Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts

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

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

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

Announcing PostgresConf Silicon Valley 2019, September 18th - 20th at the Hilton San Jose! An absolute perfect pairing of training, breakout sessions, and a fantastic weekend break to enjoy the valley for every speaker, attendee, volunteer, and organizer. 

Didn't you just host the community at PostgresConf Silicon Valley, you ask? Why yes we did! That event was October 15th and 16th of 2018. The event was such an unexpected success that we immediately started working with the hotel to lock in our dates for 2019. We requested mid-October to early November. Unfortunately, the only week they had available was the week of September 15th, 2019. We are again working with the Silicon Valley Postgres Meetup; the fastest growing Postgres meetup in the United States. 

As we continue to be the fastest growing, non-profit, inclusive, and volunteer organized event we are providing you the breakdown of the Silicon Valley 2018 financials:


PostgresConf Silicon Valley is much more cost effective than the "big" conference in Manhattan and that is exactly what we want as a development or "local" conference. We are targeting 50% growth for 2019 and we want do so in a way that is inviting to new community members that won't overwhelm them. We succeeded with that in 2018 and we are going to continue the mission of People, Postgres, Data!

The global non-profit Postgres Conference Series


Joshua D. Drake     November 14, 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

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

Brass tacks

  • Silicon Valley is selling tickets briskly, get yours today and join us at the largest gathering of Postgres leaders on the West Coast.

  • South Africa is set to release their schedule shortly. Watch the site for opportunities in October.

  • We have hinted at digital events in the past and they are in the final planning stages. Digital events will encompass best in class content from our community in the format of Webinars, Q&A sessions and Professional electronic training opportunities. Watch for more news on these unique opportunities as we get closer to Fall 2019.

Seasons

It is the middle of summer, and as Glenn Frey would say, “The Heat is on!” Summer is the time when everyone is busy, yet nobody is busy. You have a contract to execute but the signer is on vacation. You have a project to complete but your digital nomad developer took off for the beach. Suddenly even checks may be delayed because of a long weekend up in the mountains. It is also a time to catch up on the things that may have been overlooked. When the person driving your priorities is on vacation it is easier to step back and observe your purpose.

 

Introduction

At PostgresConf 2019 in Manhattan we organized a Diversity and Inclusion panel with the help of Plato. The panel was well attended, but not as much as we had hoped. This fact outlined that we had more work to do on expanding our leadership position within Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Professional Postgres community.

We take this topic very seriously and we would consider PostgresConf and our focus on People, Postgres, Data a success if the only outcome was for all to feel welcome and supported within our community. Thankfully we have organizers and volunteers who are passionate about this very topic.

We would like to introduce the PostgresConf and PgCentral Foundation DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Work Group:

  • Debra Cerda: DEI Organizer

  • Henrietta Dombrovskaya: Contributor

  • Ryan Lambert: Contributor

  • Mara Lemagie: Contributor

  • Vikki McCormick: Contributor

  • Amanda Nystrom: Co-Chair Sponsor

Over the coming months we will be continuing to communicate our passion, our purpose, our action and our accomplishments in bringing true Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to our community.

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus” -- Martin Luther King

 

PostgresConf Philly which is organized in conjunction with Philly Postgres sold out in July! A packed room, great content and glorious collaboration was available to all for free due to the generous support of the Wharton School for Business!

As we continue to build our professional relationships, connections with academia are going to be vital. Academia is one of the few spaces that Postgres has not been able to make assertive gains in adoption and it crucial to the long term vision of our community that Academia recognize and adopt Postgres as the World’s Database and a viable option for teaching the next generation of data experts.

 

International communication

As our community grows Internationally with strong ties to Asia, and countries in the Southern Hemisphere it becomes difficult to connect with those cultures using our normal nomenclature. In our last newsletter we used a quote meant to be a compliment and challenge to the Western communities to try new things. The quote was about pigs ears and how they are delicious. The quote was interpreted by some in the Asia community as negative.

While writing this newsletter, we had used a spelling variation for the term “Wowzers” which in American pop culture is meant to be an exclamation of amazement. However in other cultures it maintains a negative connotation causing us to change the term to Kapow. These communication challenges show us that we must be open and without pride in our communication. We must show patience and understanding with cultures that are not like ours and that the communities that are able to achieve this will lead the future of Open Source and Postgres.

“Every human is like all other humans, some other humans, and no other human” — Clyde Kluckhon

Joshua D. Drake     July 31, 2019

2ndQuadrant Sponsor Highlight Blog for PostgresConf 2019

 As part of the countdown to PostgresConf US 2019, learn more about about featured Platinum Sponsor 2ndQuadrant, including their commitment to partnering with and contributing to the Postgres community.

 

Tell us about the recent uptick in Oracle to Postgres migrations.

Licensing costs of Oracle is a significant factor for businesses looking to migrate towards PostgreSQL. Not only is PostgreSQL a more cost effective solution, but it provides enterprise-level capabilities and customization options. The increasing demand for migration services from Oracle to PostgreSQL can also be attributed to the availability of PostgreSQL in the cloud.

 

Where do you see the Postgres market going?

PostgreSQL has been gaining traction with every release; interest and usage by large enterprises worldwide is growing exponentially due to the robust capabilities it provides. 2ndQuadrant intends to continue their active contributions in development and supports the overall growth of PostgreSQL.

 

 Do you have any big wins this year?

2Q PGConf 2018 had a successful second year bringing together PostgreSQL developers and users. Both speakers and attendees enjoyed the combination of technical and use case topics as well as the diverse range of networking opportunities. 

Sri Rangarajan, Lead Software Engineer at Enova International, commented saying he appreciates 2ndQuadrant’s hard work in “promoting and fostering a savvy, healthy and helpful community to welcome newcomers just like [it] did for [him] 5 years ago!”

For the second year in a row, PostgreSQL has been named DBMS of the Year by DB-Engines. This shows that developers and users alike are acknowledging the robust and versatile capabilities that it has to offer.

 

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

PostgreSQL's advanced features cater to a broad range of use cases all within the same DBMS. Rather than going for edge case solutions, developers are relying on the absolute reliability of the hyperconverged database to simplify their production deployments.

 

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

The Postgres community is one of the easiest global communities to work with. There is an open mindset all around and a common goal of growing the Postgres ecosystem as a whole. 

 

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

Conferences are a great way for people in the PostgreSQL community to come together and share knowledge and ideas, which is the true spirit of open source. It is very exciting to see into the future developments of the project from the people who contribute so much to its growth.

It is a great way for members of the community to come together in person to share knowledge in different areas of the technology, describe practical use cases, and give sneak previews into cutting edge technologies for future versions of PostgreSQL.

 

About 2ndQuadrant:

2ndQuadrant provides PostgreSQL Solutions for the Enterprise - reliably deploying them on the platform of your choice and providing 24/7 Production Support. Our solutions address all aspects of your database ecosystem, ensuring high availability, disaster recovery, backup & failover management, and much more. 

Moreover, we provide tools to make your deployment process simple and reliable. With over 100 years of combined code contributions to the PostgreSQL project, our engineers ensure that your PostgreSQL solutions are fully supported in your production environment.

Visit the 2ndQuadrant team in the Exhibit Hall in the Metropolitan Ballroom on Wednesday, March 20, and Thursday, March 21.  

Check out the full schedule for PostgresConf US 2019, and buy your tickets soon!

PostgresConf Beijing 2019

Join our Mailing List | Attend one of our events |

Last week was PostgresConf Beijing 2019. This event was an exercise in people understanding what it truly takes to run a conference. It was a standalone event unlike PostgresOpen China in 2018 which always takes a lot more work. We had generous sponsor support with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, IBM, Pivotal, Inspur, HighGo, Credativ, and Command Prompt.

The overarching theme of the conference was of course People, Postgres, Data and we had many (translated) conversations about how Postgres can be the center of your Data Universe and how the ecosystem thrives with not only PostgreSQL but also technology such as TimescaleDB and Yugabyte. All of which are Open Source and enable People to use Postgres to manage their Data. In 2020, the plan is to have PostgresConf China in October or November. The timing will allow for a more moderate climate as well as have more time to generate international content.

English As A Second Language

As we continue to work with English-as-a-second-language communities we continue to find opportunities for them to grow and contribute. Of course the most common (and possibly difficult) opportunity is that in order to contribute code to PostgreSQL.Org, you must speak English. This is not an unreasonable requirement as English is the language of Computer Science.

A common piece of feedback we received was not that English was the consideration but the “level” of English proficiency was high. Unfortunately, verbosity is not always productive and it is certainly counterproductive when the vocabulary doesn’t take into account the non-native speaker. It would be a boost to productivity if we as a community tried to be succinct and as uncomplicated as reasonable in our communication. To put this another way and from a far more qualified source than us:

“Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”

-- Mark Twain

Contribution Opportunities

While encouraging the Chinese community to contribute we continued to look for the low barrier of entry tasks. The obvious opportunity is translation of various project documentation. That is not the only prospect as PostgreSQL has fantastic extensibility and suggestions of developing new extensions. Contributing directly to PostgreSQL code has a high barrier of entry between English as a second language and overall overhead in building comprehensive knowledge of the core code. Extensions in contrast generally require needing to understand narrow areas of code to build a feature that is user-need specific. We are still exploring these opportunities but one option would be to invite extension authors to work with regional communities for translation or feature work.

Software You Weren’t Aware Of

Oleg from PostgresPro and PGConf.Russia was present and we were able to have some great conversations about the work they are doing, most of which can be found on Github. Although there is a lot of great software in that repository, the one that grabbed my eye as immediately useful was Zson. Zson is an extension that allows native compression of JSON/JSONB documents, greatly reducing disk space usage and increasing query speed of documents.

Please Replace IRC and Slack

Further conversations were had on how we can build a modern collaboration community that is internationally inviting, supports all languages, and is built on Open Source technologies. Initially it seems that Mattermost is a good contender but after further research it seems that we should also consider Matrix.org. The idea has barriers as the Chinese are partial to WeChat and the Professional U.S. community has left IRC for Slack, whereas other communities such as Brazil and Russia have settled on Telegram. We have a community member based working group determining next steps.

You may say that I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will be as one

-- John Lennon

Looking Forward

As People, Postgres, Data and PostgresConf continues to move forward we are looking forward to building on existing initiatives and events. We have PostgresConf Philly next week, PostgresConf Silicon Valley in September, and our next International event in October with PostgresConf South Africa. We are also continuing to work on our Inclusivity, Equit,y and Diversity initiative and launching Digital Events! This doesn’t include the growing number of meetups joining the idea of People, Postgres, Data including NYC Postgres, Silicon Valley Postgres, Philly Postgres, Seattle Postgres, and Montreal Postgres!

Quote of the week

“Those pig ears are really good.” -- Michael Meskes, Credativ and Postgresql.org committer.

Joshua D. Drake     July 11, 2019     #postgres #postgresconf

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