2014-09-24

I Shall Return... to Postgres Open

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend my first Postgres conference, that being +Postgres Open 2014.  Two days packed with a ridiculous amount of useful information and fantastic Postgres community interaction.  And now that the conference & sponsor t-shirts are washed, many new social media connections have been made, and the backlog of work email has been addressed —

Many Thanks

First off, the program committee deserves a veritable heap of congratulations and gratitude piled upon them from the attendees.  From the quality of the speakers to the well planned (and orchestrated) schedule, and even to the menu — everything was top notch. And therefore, I am calling you out by name, +Kris Pennella, +Gabrielle R, +Cindy Wise, +Stephen Frost, +Jonathan Katz, & +Selena Deckelmann.  Thanks for your time and effort!

The Talks

As with any (great) conference, the difficult part is the inability to attend multiple presentations at the same time, and thus being forced to choose.  The schedule this year offered no shortage of these situations.  But when your choices include community figures of the likes of +Bruce Momjian presenting on "Explaining the Postgres Query Optimizer" and +Simon Riggs with "How VACUUM works, and what to do when it doesn't", you simply can't go wrong.  Nonetheless, I wish I hadn't had to miss out on the talks given by +denish patel , +Álvaro Hernández Tortosa, +Gurjeet Singh, and  +Vibhor Kumar, to name but a few.

Fortunately, the talks were recorded and will be uploaded to the Postgres Open YouTube channel in about a month or so.  In the meantime, the presenters' slides are available on the Postgres Open wiki.


Not Just for DBAs

I particularly want to call +Dimitri Fontaine's talk, "PostgreSQL for developers" to the attention of developer crowd and as being an excellent example of why these conferences are not just for DBAs.  As a consultant, on virtually every job I see examples of poorly written SQL as being the root cause of a poorly performing database (even after proper tuning of config parameters).  And therefore, Dimitri's admonition that you must treat SQL just as you would any other language in which you write code rings particularly true with me.  I tweeted it once, and I'll say it again — this talk could lead to peace and love between developers and DBAs.  (Not to mention that the techniques he teaches in the examples walked through will blow your mind.)

Milwaukee's Best

On a related note, I'd like to point out that +pgMKE, Milwaukee's Postgres User Group, was well represented in Chicago.  +Jeff Amiel's talk on "Row-Estimation Revelation and the Monolithic Query" was described as being worth the cost of attending the conference.  And with myself and +Phil Vacca in attendance, we had a sizable portion of our merry band of less than 10 members present.  Not bad for a user group that's less than a few months old!

Postgres People

As I said at the outset, this was my first Postgres conference.  And I have to add that the people I met were the highlight of the whole affair.  It was a great group, many of whom I'd either never met, or only knew online.  It was readily apparent that the accelerating success of Postgres on many fronts is largely due to the efforts and energy of this community.  It was great to experience it first hand and in action.  It may be stating the obvious, but I'm already looking forward to next year.