Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts

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

PostgresConf, in partnership with Silicon Valley Postgres, is pleased to announce that the call for papers for PostgresConf Silicon Valley is open.


The inaugural PostgresConf Silicon Valley will be held October 15th - 16th, 2018 at the Hilton San Jose (300 Almaden Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95110).


This two day, three track conference is a perfect opportunity for users, developers, business analysts, and enthusiasts from Silicon Valley and San Francisco to amplify Postgres and participate in the Postgres community.

The Call for Papers for PostgresConf Silicon Valley can be found here

Call for papers will be open from
May 23rd until August 15th. Speakers will be notified of acceptance/decline no later than August 20th.


Conference Schedule at a glance:
  • Monday, October 15th: Trainings and Data track
  • Tuesday, October 16th: Keynotes, Dev and Ops tracks

Partner Opportunities
PostgresConf Silicon Valley is supported by its generous sponsors:

  • Conference Sponsors: Amazon Web Services and Pivotal
  • Premiere Sponsors: Compose, 2ndQuadrant, Timescale, and Microsoft 

Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a partner!


About PostgresConf:
PostgresConf is a global nonprofit conference series with a focus on growing community through increased awareness and education of Postgres and related technologies. PostgresConf is known for its highly attended national conference held in Jersey City, New Jersey with the mission of:



Contact: siliconvalley@postgresconf.org

Joshua D. Drake     May 29, 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



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

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


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

People, Postgres, Data,

Due to the health risks and travel restrictions created by the Coronavirus we unfortunately have to cancel Postgres Conference 2020 which was to be held at the Marriott Marquis on March 23rd, 2020 thru March 27th, 2020.

We want to thank all of our attendees, partners and volunteers for all the hard work we all put in to try and pull this event off. Sadly, the stars were not aligned this year. We now focus our efforts on Postgres Conference Silicon Valley 2020 and our Digital Events

Thank you all for your patience and support,

Postgres Conference Chairs

Joshua D. Drake     March 12, 2020

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

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

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