Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts

Oh my goodness, Data Days!


When we rescheduled PGConf US Local: Seattle from August to November we did so due to attendee feedback. It was amazing - people didn't want to go to a conference on Saturday in August (I wonder why). I know, we should have known but it was a new model and we tried. We are extremely pleased with the results of the shift in schedule. The conference now takes place during "professional hours" on "professional days."

Image result for creative commons professional

Because of the shift and sponsor support we have added three new tracks, reopened the CFP, and created Data Days. The new tracks are: Big Data, AWS/Cloud, and Data Science. As these three Postgres content areas are Postgres independent we are also requesting that all communities within this realm submit to present. Let's turn PGConf US Local: Seattle into not only the best West Coast Postgres Conference but also the most highly integrated, heterogeneous data event in the Pacific Northwest.

CFP Dates:

  • Open until: 10/15/2017
  • Notification:  10/18/2017
  • CFP Link
Joshua D. Drake     September 19, 2017



The following table contains a summary profit and loss statement for PostgresConf US 2018.



In review of these numbers two things will probably jump out at you:
  1. Venue and F&B of 238,000.12
  2. Net Revenue of 202,201.62
Yes, we spent almost 250,000.00 dollars on the venue and food and beverage. In fact, the Food and Beverage alone was over 135,000.00 dollars. 

We were fortunate to have very strong ticket sales as well as partner support through Sponsorships. This support will allow us to not only meet our financial requirements for PostgresConf Silicon Valley 2018 but will help us make our financial requirements for our European, Chinese, and US conferences in 2019. We are also hoping to set aside more money for our popular diversity and professional development initiatives.

The Chairs would like to thank all our organizers, volunteers, partners and attendees for helping us continue advocacy of People, Postgres, Data!


Joshua D. Drake     May 25, 2018

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

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

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

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

    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




    The presentation includes an introduction and setup for consul as the means of providing highly available PostgreSQL in local and geographically disparate data centers or cloud providers. The presentations includes:

    *) Introduction to consul and its architecture
    *) Setup of a single consul cluster
    *) Setup for a few sample database instances (OLAP and OLTP)
    *) Firewall requirements
    *) Integration with bind, djbdns, and dnsmasq
    *) Setup geographic failover to two different data centers and cloud providers
    *) Various Best Practices tips and suggestions
    *) Q&A

    Joshua D. Drake     April 25, 2017

    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

    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.