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How we made the PGConf US 2016 Schedule

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:

How We Selected Talks for PGConf US 2015

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!

I Got Into the PostgreSQL Community By Speaking…And You Should Too!

Seriously, you should. You should submit a talk proposal to PGConf US 2015 – the worst thing that will happen is the talk committee will say “no” and offer a bunch of reasons to help you get your talk approved next year! Believe it or not, speaking at a PostgreSQL conference is a great way to help the community at large, and I hope this personal story I am going to share will shed some light as to why.

How PG.US Made PGConf NYC 2014 Possible

When the New York City PostgreSQL User Group (NYCPUG) launched the campaign to create PGDay NYC (now PGConf NYC) back in 2012, our goal was to create a multi-day community PostgreSQL conference in New York City. However, we knew that we had to start small with a one-day two track conference, and even with that, we had many obstacles to overcome: timing, logistics, and of course, securing funding to pay for the event.

NYCPUG + PG.US = Happy PostgreSQL Users

When we restarted the New York City PostgreSQL User Group (NYCPUG) in April 2010, about 15 of us gathered in a conference room that we had rented near Penn Station and talked about what we wanted to get out of the user group. At the time, we had about 40 people on the mailing list and absolutely no momentum behind our user group.

Fast-forward to January 2014, NYCPUG is now the largest PostgreSQL User Group in the United States with almost 850 people (and growing) on the mailing list and a monthly attendance that averages around 50.

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