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Thanks for all the laughs 2008!

Joshua Drake wrote:

It is now 2009 and time for a, "Thanks for all the laughs 2008!"

2008 was the year that PgUS spent getting its feet under itself. We formed our board, filed all of our legally required paperwork, paid a lot of money to attorneys, held elections and even managed to have some fun by working on parts of our mission. Many goals for 2008 were met.

We have ensured that when the new board was seated the majority of our logistical infrastructure was in place. CPA, Legal, etc...

Our Attorney is:

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
1300 SW Fifth Avenue
Suite 2300
Portland, OR 97201

Our CPA is:

Alten Sakai & Company LLP
1815 SW Marlow Ave., Suite 218
Portland, OR 97225-5187

We have retained Alten Sakai for not only standard CPA activities but also book keeping and general accounting. The goal being that those focusing on the success of PgUS are not book keepers or accountants. PgUS will be able to focus on actually educating people on PostgreSQL in the United States. Through our relationship with Alten Sakai we will be able to provide monthly financial statements to our members in a reliable manner. Expect to see the first detailed statement in March.

PgUS closed out the year with ~ 10k USD. We have no outstanding payables and only one outstanding receivable. This leaves us with enough money to handle any sundry expenses through 2009 including Accounting and Legal fees.

Our community efforts included:

Our strategy with education. Part of that conversation can be found here:

http://archives.postgresql.org/pgus-general/2008-08/msg00036.php

Michael Brewer who is heading up that strategy will be posting an update to the website shortly.

We worked with PostgreSQL Conference, U.S. to hold West:

http://www.postgresqlconference.org/

We presented at Northern Arizona State.

In 2009:

We will seat the four elected members of the board:

  • Richard Broersma, Jr.
  • Andrew Dunstan
  • Greg Sabino Mullane
  • Robert Treat

We will also work with PostgreSQL Conference, U.S. to hold East, West, and LFNW PgDay.

We hope to hold several free classes and seminars on PostgreSQL as well as continue an aggressive move into education. Getting students and professors to start using PostgreSQL is a key to ensuring a strong relationship with potential new community members over the long term.

We want to hear from our members. How is it that PgUS can help our members with their PostgreSQL needs? How would our members like to participate with PgUS? Are there members out there that have just been waiting for an opportunity to participate? What is that opportunity? What talents do you have and how would you like to use them?

For those who want to help but are not sure exactly how, here are some ideas:

* Drupal expertise
The PostgreSQL.US site runs on Drupal + PostgreSQL

* Speakers (PgUS will sponsor as it is able)
We are actively pursuing every speaking engagement possible. We
need more than one person to handle these engagements.

* Tutorial writers
This can be everything from how do I perform a backup with
PostgreSQL to working with Pylons and PostgreSQL.

* Community incursion
We need guerrillas to start educating other communities on a more
aggressive level and helping make sure that their postgresql
support is top knotch. An very simple example is Drupal. They have
an open issue list for Drupal 7 that is explicit to PostgreSQL.
It can be found here:

http://groups.drupal.org/node/17671

Lastly, please make note of our address change. Our new address is:

United States PostgreSQL Association
1767 12th Street
#149
Hood River, OR 97031

PgUS Board Runoff Election now closed

mbrewer wrote:

The runoff has now ended; congratulations to the newly elected 2009-2011 PgUS Board members!

Richard Broersma, Jr.
Andrew Dunstan
Greg Sabino Mullane
Robert Treat

Thanks again to all the nominees and to everyone who voted! :)

PgUS Election Results and Runoff announcement

Congratulations to the following new board members of PgUS!

Andrew Dunstan
Greg Sabino Mullane
Robert Treat

We need to have a runoff election for the fourth and final seat; the candidates for that seat are:

Richard Broersma, Jr.
Ned Lilly

To vote in the runoff, please go to:

https://www.postgresql.us/elections/2008/semi-annual/runoff

If there are no objections, I'll close the elections after 23:59:59 EST on Monday, 17 November (2008). All professional and student members can vote in the runoff, even if you didn't vote in the general.

Thanks to all the nominees! :)

PgUS board elections now closed...

The PgUS board elections have now closed; we'll post the results shortly. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Talking to students at Northern Arizona State ACM

JD Wrote, on Thursday October 16th I flew down to Flagstaff Arizona to give a talk to the local ACM. It was a long talk, including questions lasting about 2 hours and 20 minutes. The talk encompassed Open Source including general governance models and licensing, PostgreSQL including .Org, .US and .EU (with spurious mentions of others such as JPUG) and the Job Market. The talk was attended by about 30 students and at least 2 professors. There were two primary items that struck me about the students. One was the general ignorance about Open Source. The other was the overall tension about the Job Market.

I opened the talk with general questions about the type of Open Source that they had dabbled with. We had one student who had submitted a patch to Wordpress and another who was a developer with/on FLTK. Unfortunately that was about it. Of course the students all had used Linux (although it was by far the minority of Operating system use in the room) and they all knew or used Open Office and FireFox. At least Open Source consumption is rampant.

On the other hand, almost none of them had contributed to Open Source. Not with code, documentation or even advocacy. This was striking to me as I thought by speaking to an ACM group (essentially a group of CS geeks) that I would be walking into a bastion of Open Source. I was doubly surprised when the primary language that the students dabbled in was Java. It makes sense that they used Java quite a bit as t is the language in their curriculum. I mistakenly felt, "Hey, they use Java because they have to, not because the want to.". The students there truly appreciate Java. The downside of this is that the students are learning a single paradigm. I am sure all of them will make astute and qualified Java developers but the limitations they are placing on themselves will likely make them lousy overall hackers. I hope that I at least opened their eyes a little bit about the opportunities that are afforded them by joining a community. As a point of accountability it is blatantly obvious that the FOSS community (at least at this Uni) is not performing their educating and advocacy role up to par.

I spent a good portion of my time speaking with the students about the Job Market. One of the first points I made was, "ignore the press the job market is fine". Yes I think we can all agree that the job market for some is in trouble, but for Open Source we are gang busters. I can barely service the amount of business that is coming through my door over at CMD let alone the popularity of many of the consultants I know. Of the specific points I made were:

  1. Design your resume around the opportunity. This helps avoid the you are over qualified problem and also shows discipline in your expertise.
  2. Your cover letter sells you. I impressed upon the students to take a business communications course (they were not pleased).
  3. Know your platform. Java isn't a platform, its a language. Be competent in the whole stack.
  4. Don't kill yourself. You belong to you, your family and your community. No job is worth 16-20 hours a day.

In all, I truly appreciated my time at NAU and I hope to come back next year. I will be posting my talk and video of the talk shortly.

Board Elections are now open!

JD Wrote:

The Board Elections are now open. Cast your vote!. If you are not yet a member of PgUS, now is the time to join. Any member who joins before the end of the vote, may vote.

PgUS 2008 semi-annual election

Greetings! The United States PostgreSQL Association (PgUS), in accordance with its bylaws, is holding an election at the semi-annual meeting for the remaining four board seats.

Information about the election procedure, timeframe, and links to the nominee platforms are all available at:

https://www.postgresql.us/elections/2008

Best of luck to the excellent nominees!

The election shall begin October 10th 2008 at approximately 10:30AM PDT and shall run until October 31st; any person who is a voting member before October 31st is eligible to vote. The nominees are Richard Broersma, Jr., Andrew Dunstan, Chander Ganesan, Ned Lilly, Greg Sabino Mullane, Gavin Roy, and Robert Treat.

Speaking about PostgreSQL at Northern Arizona State on October 16th

I was invite to speak at Northern Arizona State about PostgreSQL, PostgreSQL.US, Open Source, the job market and how students can become better involved in Open Source (and PostgreSQL) in general. It is actually a long talk, they asked for 2 hours with 30 minutes of question and answer.

Some of the key points in my talk I will address are:

  • Technical Excellence (Using PostgreSQL as an example)
  • Open Source as a whole - with a concentration on how to contribute and why it is better from a social and business aspect.
  • Working within the Meritocracy - How it differs from traditional social models (as it applies to the job market etc...)
  • The Job Market - Don't be fooled, its vibrant!

Are there other items I should discuss? What do members think?

PgUS Memberships and Board Nominations Now Open

Greetings! A couple of related announcements:

- You can now use the following URL to become a member of the United States PostgreSQL Association (PgUS):

https://www.postgresql.us/join

Note the special combo rate for PgUS professional membership and
PostgreSQL Conference West (October 10-12) registration; you can view
a partial list of the West talks here:

http://www.postgresqlconference.org/west08/talks/

- We are now accepting nominations for PgUS board for the October
2008 elections; please submit nominations to:

secretary@postgresql.us

I will contact the nominees (to see if they accept the nomination) and
report weekly to pgus-general the list of current nominees.

Nominations will close on September 30th.

Per our bylaws, you'll need to be a member of PgUS to vote.

Please let me know if you have any questions; get those nominations in ASAP!

Thanks---
---Michael Brewer
Secretary, PgUS
secretary@postgresql.us

1023, banking and membership

Just a quick update for everyone. I received confirmation last Friday that our excellent attorney's at DWT (http://www.dwt.com/) had filed our 1023 with the IRS. I will work on getting that up on the website shortly. Apparently the IRS still requires the 1023 to be filed via dead trees; the document is large and will need to be scanned.

We have finalized our banking situation. Our bank is http://www.sterlingsavingsbank.com/ . This bank was originally chosen because it is the only bank that has branches near my office and in Portland. There services are on par with larger banks without being a huge (such as BoFA) bank (they are not small).

We have also setup accounts with PayPal and Google Checkout. This is a temporary measure while the corporation builds a financial history. I hope to have us set up with a real merchant account shortly after the annual meeting.

As we have been working on the web site, we found a great Drupal Module called Ubercart. This has allowed us to create a very simple donation and membership procedure. It is currently integrated with Paypal (because the google checkout module needs to be ported to PostgreSQL). The integration allows a very cool feature.

UberCart has a module called roles. This module allows us to specify, this member just registered under "Professional + West" their order was successful. Thus they automatically belong to the roles pgconwest and professsional_membership and they expire in 12 months. This will allow us to keep the effort of tracking membership to a relatively low burden.

I expect to open membership sometime this week and will announce here when I do. At the same time people will be able to register for West.

Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone for their patience as we roll through this process. I know a lot of people are anxious for this to be done and I can assure you that I am one of them. The only thing I can offer is; all good things come in time.

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