Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts

What is the future of Postgres?

When you observe the ecosystem you can’t help but ask yourself where the community and software is going next. It is without question that the future of data will reside in something Postgres. It may be PostgreSQL, Cockroach, Yugabyte, Aurora, Azure, or workload specific Postgres such as Greenplum. Based on the sheer number of successful software adventures that are based on Postgres, there is no doubt in our minds that it is the future. 

This is why the inclusivity of People, Postgres, Data is vital to the continued success of the community. It is also why we invite all of Postgres to Come As You Are from March 23rd - 27th, 2020 at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan! 

Isn’t Postgres, PostgreSQL?

Yes, and no. It is true that the term Postgres is sometimes used as a short version of PostgreSQL which allows easier pronunciation of the project and software name. It is also true that PostgreSQL contains a great deal of Postgres code but it is not technically Postgres. In fact, Postgres predates PostgreSQL by quite a few years and had an interim fork called Postgres95 before the PostgreSQL project was founded. That is why we use Postgres as an inclusive term for all software Postgres including many that some would consider forks. Fun fact:  Did you know that Informix is based on Illustra, a commercial Postgres fork from 1997?

Call for Papers

We are actively seeking people to deliver exceptional educational opportunities at Postgres Conference 2020. Postgres Conference is the perfect opportunity for students, hobbyists, and professionals to exhibit their knowledge in solving problems that are People, Postgres, or Data related. Submit your proposal today.

Instructor lead Digital Training

We have the following training opportunities in November and December:

  • November 12th: PostgreSQL Performance and Maintenance
  • November 14th: Finding and Fixing Slow Queries in PostgreSQL
  • November 21st: PostgreSQL and Kubernetes
  • December 10th: PostgreSQL Replication deployment and best practices
  • December 12th: PGPool-II: Performance and best practices

Register here.

Webinars

We have the following webinars in November:

  • Nov 13: Designing a Change Data Capture and Two Data Center Architecture for a Distributed SQL Database
  • Nov 14: Yugabyte DB 2.0 Jepsen Test Results and Distributed Transactions Algorithms in Google Spanner, YugabyteDB and CockroachDB
  • Nov 20: Zero Down-Time Oracle to Cloud-Native PostgreSQL Migrations

Find more information here.

Interesting projects

  • http://postgrest.org/en/v6.0/ PostgREST is a standalone web server that turns your PostgreSQL database directly into a RESTful API. The structural constraints and permissions in the database determine the API endpoints and operations.
  • https://www.haproxy.org/ HAProxy is a free, very fast and reliable solution offering high availability, load balancing, and proxying for TCP and HTTP-based applications. It is particularly suited for very high traffic web sites and powers quite a number of the world's most visited ones. Over the years it has become the de-facto standard opensource load balancer, is now shipped with most mainstream Linux distributions, and is often deployed by default in cloud platforms. Related content.

 

Joshua D. Drake     November 07, 2019

In 2016 we started working with horizontal communities. We wanted to make sure that PgConf US was an inclusive community that advocated not only for the best database in the world but also all the external Open Source technologies that make the best database in the world the best platform in the world. 

This year we wanted to continue building a stronger community through relationships and our efforts are proving successful. We have joined forces with several horizontal communities to bring original and related content to PgConf US. The first is Big Apple Py. They are working with PgConf US to run a full track of Python content as well as a development workshop. 


The workshop is particularly interesting as it will focus on a code sprint to develop a mature and user friendly Python based conference software. I wonder if they know we already use a Ruby on Rails solution...

We also have a great workshop being presented by DockerNYC and Jesse White: Automating production ready databases in Docker
DockerNYC
PgConf US 2017 is less than two weeks away and we continue to work with communities to bring you even more new content! Stay tuned as we expect to announce more workshops in the next few days. If you haven't purchased your tickets, today would be a good day.
Joshua D. Drake     March 15, 2017

Tell us about your commitment and contribution to the Postgres Community

For over 10 years, EnterpriseDB (EDB) has been working with the community and enterprises to drive Postgres forward. EDB is one of the top PostgreSQL community contributors. Two of our team members are part of Postgres Core team, while 4 are committers, and 6 are named contributors. We invest heavily into Postgres performance, scalability, availability, migration, integration and support to make sure that enterprises can take advantage of Postgres' rapid innovation cycle and advanced capabilities.

 

What growth pattern do you expect for yourself as well as Postgres as a whole?

Postgres adoption is exploding and we can see that in our business results. Today, we support 92 of the Fortune 500 and 311 of the Forbes Global 2000. Our customers look to us for a reliable, high-performing, and cost-effective data management platform based on open source PostgreSQL.

 

Our customers are using EDB Postgres for mission critical applications. Their databases range all the way up to 50 TB with some handling over 50K transaction per second in environments that require 99.99%+ availability.

 

Our customers’ confidence in Postgres and EDB is no surprise. Postgres has been the #1 open source relational database in the DB-Engines.com rankings for two years in a row and EnterpriseDB has been chosen for the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems for six years in a row.

 

 

How do you plan to assist Postgres in the future?

EDB continues to invest heavily in Postgres with key projects such as zHeap, Just-in-Time (JIT) compilation, and other efforts focused on performance and scalability.

 

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

EDB Postgres has become the general purpose database of choice for digital transformations, offering JSONB document support, GIS-support, EDB Postgres Oracle® compatibility features, key-value pair data, and increasing capabilities for analytical workloads. It has the fastest innovation cycle, the best deployment models, and the lowest cost of any commercial relational database.

 

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

The best thing about working with the Postgres community is their fast innovation, resulting in extremely reliable code.

 

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

PostgreSQL is one of the oldest and most stable open source projects as a result of the commitment of its members and its independence as a stand-alone community. Over the years, Postgres has achieved parity with proprietary platforms in terms of performance and functionality. It has received a warm welcome from businesses looking to roll back database costs and ease vendor lock-in, and leading companies are adopting it with great success. This is just like it was with Linux 15 years ago. Enterprises understand that they have to adopt Postgres or they will be left behind.

 

Company Description
EnterpriseDB (EDB), the database platform company for digital business, delivers the premier open source-based data platform for new applications, cloud re-platforming, application modernization, and legacy migration. EDB Is the developer of the most complete Postgres-based database platform.

 

Joshua D. Drake     February 12, 2019

Postgres Conference organizers come to us through a variety of channels, but they all have their own unique story and pathways. Unlike many of our organizers, Lindsay Hooper’s background is non-technical and focused on the logistics, partnerships, and outcomes of Postgres Conference. Read on to learn more about her and her non-profit organization of choice

 

What is your background?

I majored in art and film at Bucknell University, and I started my career working in art galleries in Manhattan. I quickly moved to events and marketing, and within a few years I started doing events and marketing for tech companies and startups.

 

What do you do in your full-time job?

I have my own events company called LRH Events, and most of my clients are either in the non-profit or tech worlds. Events are a great tool for gaining brand awareness and for creating community, but getting an event off the ground takes some serious marketing chops, and so I do marketing as well.

 

What’s your favorite part of Postgres Conference?

There’s so much to love about Postgres Conference. When it comes to the conference itself, I love the logistics and planning that goes into what the event actually looks like. I love everything from brainstorming what the conference should look and feel like, to coordinating with speakers, streamlining talks, and coming up with schedules.

 

Beyond the actual events, my favorite part is the People, Postgres, Data community that surrounds the organization. I’ve never experienced such a truly people-first group, and I think that that shows in the fact that this isn’t a twice a year conference - it’s a constant connection that’s focused on people, not just Postgres or open source technology.

 

How do you spend your free time?

I am based in NYC, which affords me the opportunity to spend a lot of my free time exploring the city’s restaurants and museums. I highly recommend an afternoon at The Met, followed by dinner down in the East Village at either Raclette or Dirt Candy

 

Beyond that, I’ve been involved with a non-profit called Mouse for the last five years, so I also spend a few evenings each week working on fundraising and awareness initiatives. Mouse’s mission is to provide vulnerable youth with the computer science skills needed to enter and succeed in higher education and the high tech workforce. We are committed to fostering greater diversity and humanity in STEM and empowering youth - and all those that educate them - to access and amplify technology as a force for good.

 

How did you begin working with Mouse and what’s your role there?

I started working with Mouse five years ago when they launched the Diversity in Tech Awards, which is their annual awards event that honors folks in the tech ecosystem who foster greater diversity and humanity in STEM and empower youth. They needed event support, and I was able to step in to help.

Since then, I joined Mouse’s associate board, became the VP, and am currently the Associate Board President. 

 

What are the biggest challenges facing STEM education right now?

The greatest challenges facing education as a whole have shifted in the last few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In speaking with Mouse students, I’ve learned that a lot of what they’re up against is the variety of platforms that they’re receiving school work on and the lack of collaboration. On the flip side, most teachers are experiencing a learning curve themselves when it comes to remote teaching.

 

During the COVID-19 crisis, Mouse has played a frontline role in meeting the emergency educational needs. Responding to a call from the NYC Department of Education after schools closed, Mouse has:

  • Trained more than 4,000 teachers in online teaching methods so they can reach their students.
  • Helped more than 100,000 NYC students get access to online learning
  • Digitized youth programs like the Emoti-Con Virtual Showcase and Mouse Design League for students to continue their computing projects
  • Made our STEM and computer science learning platform, Mouse Create, free for all users during the crisis

 

How can I get involved in Mouse?

If you’re interested in getting involved with Mouse, please feel free to reach out to me directly at Lindsay@postgresconf.org

Alternatively, Mouse is proud to be able to continue our work with students and educators during the COVID-19 crisis. Please give generously today at www.mouse.org/donate so we can continue to make great strides in finding new ways to help our community in these challenging times. 

Joshua D. Drake     May 28, 2020

PostgresConf Beijing 2019

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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

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

We caught up with Alex Tatiyants after finding out about his Pev project. This is an awesome web based visual explain analyzer that is similar to the awesome explain.depesz . 

Tell us a little bit (one or two paragraphs) about your project or how you use Postgres: 

I created Pev (Postgres EXPLAIN Visualizer) to scratch my own itch. EXPLAIN generates a wealth of information, but isn’t easy to make sense of. I wanted to create a tool that helps me quickly diagnose problems with queries. Apparently, other people found it useful as well.


Pev plan


Why did you chose Postgres for your project? 


Postgres is a fantastic database: performant, mature, feature rich, and of course open source. And in addition to being a first rate relational database, it has very strong document store features as well.


Have you attended a PgConf US event or do you plan to? 

I haven't had a chance to attend PgConf.

Are you interested in contributing to the community further and if so, in what fashion? 

I don’t have any concrete plans at the moment.

Any closing comments? 

Thank you for your interest.
Joshua D. Drake     August 16, 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

Summer is officially over (although the calendar says otherwise), the kids are back in school, the last three-day camping weekend of the season has passed, and we are staring right at PostgresConf Silicon Valley starting September 18th! Registrations for this fantastic event have already exceeded 2018 numbers and our training day is showing great success. 

Conferences

Digital Events

  • YugabyteDB Distributed SQL Webinars
    • A series of free webinars discussing technical opportunities with Distributed SQL. YugabyteDB is an Open Source, Postgres compatible Distributed SQL database.

News

Learn

 

Partner Conferences

Register Today for API World 2019 and Save $200!

The API World team has offered us 25 free OPEN Passes and discounted PRO Passes to API World 2019 so our members can attend the event.

 

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Joshua D. Drake     September 04, 2019


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