Check out what the USPA Board is up to!
As one of the founders of United States PostgreSQL, I have always had a vision of where the corporation should go. Our corporation has continued to move forward and we have achieved some great things. Although it has taken longer than I expected and we are still behind from some of my goals, PostgreSQL has become one of the dominant Open Source databases in the market. By sticking to a tried, true and tested model our community has built strongholds in every sector of business from small mom-and-pops to Wall Street to the Military.
Our community is one of the best in the Open Source world. We are inviting, fun and have a brain trust that other database projects dream about. I attribute this to a couple of specific PostgreSQL quirks:
At its heart that is what this post is about. I want us to build a better community. There are always places to improve and like every PostgreSQL release; our community evolves and hopefully becomes better.
I am the director who initiated and championed the Diversity Scholarship program. I would like to see us raise more funds for this program. Our community and brain trust will only be stronger by encouraging all walks of life to integrate with our community.
Our President (Robert Treat) has created the committee required for the Diversity Scholarship program and with time I expect to see a great deal of benefit from this program. We are currently funded for the scholarships at 50% of our initial goal. I am sure that with proper execution we will be able to greatly increase our budget for the these scholarships.
I will be writing more on the subject of community building and vision in the coming months. It is my hope that bringing community building to the same level as software development will increase the penetration of our great software and build an army of advocates for the right way of doing things.
Opinions are my own,
Joshua D. Drake
Founder and Director
United States PostgreSQL
There are many PostgreSQL conference opportunities throughout North America and there are many reasons to attend all of them. There is only one reason you need to attend PgConf.US 2016 and it is not:
No, it is not any of those reasons. Although any of those reasons is reason enough to attend or sponsor PgConf.US, we have a better reason: Helping people. This year PgConf.US has partnered with TechieYouth for the PgConf.US charity auction.
“It has been a great honor for Techie Youth to work with the internationally respected PostgreSQL community in bringing technology to at-risk foster-youth in NYC. While most kids have a parent or two who can help them in their technology endeavors, or at least enroll them in a course, foster kids do not have permanent parents or family involved in their lives, and many have nobody to ask for things other kids take for granted – that is where Techie Youth steps in.” -- Eric David Benari, Founder, Techie Youth
So join us April 18th - 20th and be a part of something truly special. We will be auctioning an array of items at the 20th anniversary party of PostgreSQL (free to attend for all comers) and all proceeds go directly to this worthy organization and its attempts to help the future PostgreSQL developers of the United States!
PostgreSQL loves community and nowhere is that more obvious than PgConf US. This year PgConf US has instituted a fan favorite, the Community Pavilion. When you combine the most advanced database in the world with some of the best open source technology in the world what do you find?
A powerhouse of interest that brings forth every corner of the technological spectrum to collaborate.
Who are a few of these technological marvels attending the largest and most popular PostgreSQL conference in the United States?
If your community would like to attend the best PostgreSQL event of 2016 and receive these fantastic benefits:
Drop a simple email to jd at postgresql.us
PgConf US runs from April 18th-20th, 2016 at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriot. The time to register is now! Find out more and register at http://www.pgconf.us/ .
A conference specifically engineered to bring together community, developers, users, and the companies that support PostgreSQL, PgConf US is the conference for PostgreSQL in North America. When you attend you will be surrounded by the best and brightest that our community has to offer.
Launched in 1997, with decades of history through University of Berkeley Ingres, PostgreSQL is the most advanced database available in the ecosystem. Full Open Source under a liberal BSD style license, PostgreSQL allows an extensible, open, scalable, deployable, and widely used database without the constraints of artificial license requirements.
In 2016 PgConf US is celebrating 20 years of PostgreSQL with topics such as:
“This is the largest PostgreSQL event in North America and I am looking forward to attending PgConf US 2016. The exceptional quality of content rivals that of the sister conference PgConf EU in Europe. Both of these conferences are a perfect chance to meet with core developers, contributors, and users of the most advanced database in the world.”
---- Magnus Hagander, PostgreSQL Core, Committer, PostgreSQL Europe
The content, hallway track, 20th Anniversary party and overall intellectual data download one receives from a conference such as PgConf US brings users from all corners of the globe. We will see attendees not only from North America but also Europe, Russia, and Asia. This combined with an inclusive and diverse community ensures PgConf US’ placement as the PostgreSQL conference within North America.
To register for the conference please visit:
Once again United States PostgreSQL is present at Linux Fest Northwest. We are celebrating Free and Open Source software with 2000 other advocates in what is the second largest Free & Open Source conference on the West cost. We have a great list of talks this year with new speakers, speakers from both SeaPUG, WhatcomPUG and PDXPUG. Will you be joining us? Here is the list of PostgreSQL talks.
Welcome to our annual post on how we put together the schedule for the largest PostgreSQL conference in North America. It is long, thorough, and awesome, so buckle up and enjoy the journey!
For PGConf US 2016, we allowed people to submit for 6 training sessions as well as 44 regular speaking sessions. We had a total of 139 submissions, which meant we had to decline 2 out of every 3 submissions. We don't say this to brag: it's actually very painful to decline talks, especially when we have worked and hang out with some of the submitters for more than a decade.
The training submissions were competitive but were not nearly as daunting as picking the talks. Jim & I researched each training session and hammered out the lineup in under an hour. The rest of the talk submissions went to the full talk committee.
Like last year, we tried to answer the following questions when looking at the talks:
It seemed that people read last year's blog post because the talk submissions seemed to echo the "real-world application" criteria. What made the final selection process very challenging was we had a lot of great examples of people and organizations running PostgreSQL in production that it made it challenging to pick which ones to include.
It was also interesting to see what themes emerged in submissions over the course of the year. Last year, we had a lot of submissions around PostgreSQL deployment strategies and PostGIS. This year, the central theme seemed to be high-availability and distributed PostgreSQL. Personally, I am not quite sure what to make of this, but there is some sort of technology trend here and I at least want to note it!
This was also the first year we included a "hackers" or "PostgreSQL internals" track on the agenda. To our pleasant surprise, we received a lot of high-quality submissions that covered topics on how PostgreSQL is developed and tested to its evolution over the years to what is coming up in the newer PostgreSQL releases!
As you could imagine, as we went through the talks, there were some that were clear winners and clear disappointments, which allowed us to narrow down the list. However, we ended up at a point where we had 40 undecided proposals for 5 slots. This is both a testament to the quality of the talks submitted, but also when putting the schedule together is not as fun for the organizers. To add some levity, I thought at one point it was 40 undecided proposals for 10 slots, but I had an error in my spreadsheet; I should have used PostgreSQL (which ultimately all the data went into our database).
We took a harder look at this 40 proposals and tried to ensure it satisfied the criteria we mentioned above and made our choices. We applied similar methodology to making our decisions as we did last year:
We are very proud of the talks we selected, but we do wish we could have had a few more. We are looking into adding another day to PGConf US 2017, but it will take significantly more fundraising efforts to ensure we keep our ticket prices low. We did say last year we were going to look into adding another day for this year, and we did: however, to run the event the way we like to, it was cost prohibitive at this point, but we will work on it for last year. Your talks actually help us to recruit more sponsors who want to give back to the community, and hopefully this is the year where we have enough momentum to add another day for 2017!
Last year, we offered to give feedback on why certain talks were declined. A few people wrote in for the feedback, which we gladly supplied, and some resubmitted this year to PGConf US 2016. The good news: all of them incorporated feedback from the selection committee and most, if not all, had their submissions accepted. Already several people who did not have their talk selected for PGConf US 2016 have reached out on how to improve their chances of making it next year, and we will do our best to provide constructive feedback.
And now, the final part: making the schedule! As you can see, we decided to group the talks into four different tracks this year:
We tried to match talks in time slots that would not have overlapping audiences, but I've learned through the years that doing that is more of an art than a science. It is cool to hear people say they want to go to all four talks during a session, but it also stinks. As with last year, we are recording the talks, but per certain restrictions on certain speakers we may not be able to release them all.
We could not have done this without our selection committee, which comprised of Mehboob Alam, Joshua D. Drake, Jim Mlodgenski, and Jonathan S. Katz. They reviewed all 139 proposals in less than 5 days during a busy work week, so big kudos to them.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, thoughts, kudos, etc. you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we will try to answer all of your emails and please do not be dismayed if it takes some time.
(Click here for last year's edition: https://www.postgresql.us/node/150)
It is that time of year and once again, PostgreSQL will be at LinuxFest Northwest. LinuxFest Northwest is a high attendance (1500+) conference covering Linux and other Open Source technologies. It is a free event (although there are paid options). The PgDay as part of United States PostgreSQL has the following talks!
* Web-Scale PostgreSQL: The Best of the JSON and Relational Worlds. Speaker: Jonathan Katz
* Shootout at the PAAS Corral. Speaker: Josh Berkus
* Vacuum 101. Speaker: Gabrielle Roth
* PostgreSQL Federation: Joining to Oracle, Mongo and more... Speaker: Jim Mlodgenski
* Start_Date, End_Date: Calculate . Speaker: Eric Worden
* Welcome To Total Security Robert Bernier
* PostgreSQL Performance: 9.5 Devel Edition . Speaker: Mark Wong
* Webscale's dead; long live PostgreSQL! Speaker: Joshua D. Drake
AS you can see we have a lot of long time contributors (and a new one) at this PgDay. Come, enjoy a great conference, great weather, great food, great parties and learn all about PostgreSQL and Linux!
In the spirit of open-source, we would like to share how we handled the talk selection process for PGConf US 2015. This post will discuss the entire process of how a talk ends up in one of our United States PostgreSQL Association conferences; our goal is to help you understand what our conference is looking for in talk proposals and help you decide what you submit for PGConf US 2016!
In the past conferences we organized in New York, we had to do a lot of direct outreach in order to attract speakers, to the point where we would have just enough talks to put on a program. This changed this year; while we did do some direct outreach, we were able to rely more on prior attendee / speaker experience, referrals from the PostgreSQL community, and our marketing efforts, which lead to 107 talk submissions!
At first, we were planning to do 3 conference tracks across 2 days, for a total of 32 speaking slots. After Jim & myself did a first pass on the talks, we decided that the overall quality of the submissions warranted us adding either another day to the speaking sessions, or another track. Because of our contract with the hotel and the fact that we know people already booked their travel, we opted to add a 4th track, and expand to 44 speaking slots.
We assembled a committee with the understanding that it works similar to an operating committee of a business: committee members were given the option to say "Yes" or "No" to talks and provide feedback as to their reasoning. However, Jim & I ultimately make the final decision on all of the talks. Overall, most of the talk selections were in-line with the committee consensus, but there were some exceptions which I will discuss later.
We chose the committee members based on their history with the PostgreSQL, experience in technology, and industry they are representing.
For our part, Jim comes from the enterprise consulting world and has seen PostgreSQL deployed in many different configurations. I consider myself on the app development / startup side of the equation, thus I try to consider talks from that perspective.
Two quick interjections:
When it came to reviewing the talks, we gave the committee very general guidelines, and this was on purpose: We wanted everyone to bring their unique perspectives and analysis to the reviews. However, there were some central preferences that came out of the review process, which were:
There were some cases where Jim & myself reached out to talk submitters to clarify points in the proposals, request changes, or make suggestions. We were pleasantly surprised and glad that everyone we reached out to got back to us almost immediately!
After the group reviews process, there were about 63 talks that met with favorable opinion, and about 55 that were universally favored. This of course makes ita challenge when you only have 44 slots to select, thus we had to make some tough decisions. When it came to make the final cutdown, we considered a few things:
Even with this criteria, on the day we notified speakers, we were still left with 12 talks for 4 slots to fill. In a perfect world, we would have chosen all 12 of those talks, and we had to make some tough choices. There were some talks that the entire group universally voted "Yes" on that we ended up turning down, usually for one of these reasons:
Looking towards PGConf US 2016, we are planning on adding a 3rd day of talks, which will mean we will have anywhere from 48 to 68 slots available based on the number of talk submissions and/or the number of concurrent tracks we want to run. We may consider adding a "PostgreSQL Hackers" track to have some more abstract, forward-looking concepts, though the criteria of having a real-world application will still apply to those talks.
If you have any questions, comments, thoughts, or whatever, you can reach out to us at email@example.com
President Obama recently signed Executive Order: #13685  , in short this Order states:
(a) The following are prohibited:
(i) new investment in the Crimea region of Ukraine by a United States person, wherever located;
(ii) the importation into the United States, directly or indirectly, of any goods, services, or technology from the Crimea region of Ukraine;
(iii) the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any goods, services, or technology to the Crimea region of Ukraine;
(iv) any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by this section if performed by a United States person or within the United States.
I spoke with an attorney about this because it directly affects my other interests. The attorney was apprised of the following:
* PGDG (PostgreSQL Global Development Group) is not a corporate or legal entity
* There are tangibly connected non-profits (SPI, postgresql.us, postgresql.eu etc…)
* That we are an Open Source community
* A detailed description of how Open Source and specifically the PostgreSQL community operates
There were multiple scenarios presented (the non-profits under their current methods of doing business are fine) but there “could” be a problem in the following scenario:
I brought the specific example to the attorney because it is the most likely and even though there are other anomalies, this order currently has:
* No guidance from OFAC 
* The liability would fall personally on the committer
United States PostgreSQL is not offering legal advice but we are suggesting that if you are a United States based committer, you might want to consult your attorney about the implications of this Order.
It is “my” opinion that it is not likely that the justice department will be knocking on your door for committing a patch for a Crimean contributor, but I am not an attorney and stranger things have happened.
A couple of weeks ago I spoke at Bellingham Linux User Group with a talk entitled: An Evening with PostgreSQL. It was an enlightening talk for me because it was the first time, in a long time, that I have spoke to a non-postgresql community. Most of the people in attendance were Linux Users of course but also a few Mongo as well as MySQL users. I was asked questions such as, "Why would I use PostgreSQL over MySQL?". To be honest, I didn't even realize that was still a question but it opens up a huge advocacy opportunity.
PostgreSQL as a community is growing so fast that it seems we forget that there is a whole legacy community out there that is perfectly happy with inferior product. That community is probably our most significant pool of growth available. It is all about the education! I did receive good remarks on the talk and I hope to speak there again. I encourage the rest of our community to start reaching out to communities that we may be neglecting.
The other opportunity that was presented while at BLUG was LinuxFest Northwest. Apparently, BLUG and LFNW are operated by the same community and non-profit. I attended the organizational meeting for LFNW the next week and PgUS has secured a full PostgreSQL track at LFNW. This will be at least one full day (possibly two) PostgreSQL talks held in April after PgConf.US. It is the perfect time for those to get in one last conference before the summer hits and we are all too busy hitting the mountains or "insert recreational activity here". Lastly, the PgUS board has decided to Gold Sponsor this event. It is a reasonably large event (1500 people) and should provide some great exposure for our community.
Lastly, PgUS has also voted to submit a request for designs from 99designs.com. This is in an effort to get a modern website design in place to help further our cause!
The slides can be found here: