Friday, October 27, 2017

Presenter Professionalism at Postgres Conferences

Andreas Scherbaum recently tweeted, “Speakers: it is NOT OK to even consider drinking alcohol during a talk! No matter how complicated your talk topic is.” The tweet has caused an interesting debate on Twitter and Facebook. It also caused me to run a poll via @amplifypostgres on the matter.

At the time of this writing almost 70% of the votes on the poll either don’t care or don’t think it is unprofessional for a presenter to drink alcohol while presenting.

One of the counter arguments to presenters consuming alcohol during presentations is that when you are presenting you are representing the conference. The conference wants you to be professional and create an environment that represents that during your talk. Fair enough, but why is it unprofessional?

This sequence of events has me wondering: what is professionalism in reference to presenting at Postgres Conferences? It is certainly not appropriate to be intoxicated while presenting at a professional conference, but that isn’t the question. The question is: why is it inappropriate for an adult to make a legal choice to take a nip or sip beer (or wine) during a presentation? Why is that more unprofessional than not wearing a tie or button up shirt, or wearing shorts or a kilt?

Professionalism is subjective.

In my opinion, my obligations to the audience are:
  • I must care about the content.
  • I must deliver what I say I will deliver.
  • I must be honest with the audience about my level of experience in the subject.
  • I must be honest about my opinions on the subject.
  • I must be a genuine version of me, minus the swearing.”
I fail at “minus the swearing” but the rest are spot on and should be our focus.

If you do not want presenters to consume alcohol during their presentations, then add it to your Code of Conduct. If it’s not in your Code of Conduct, then let adults take responsibility for themselves and present the best content possible for our community, in whatever way necessary.

Rock on and @amplifypostgres!

Disclaimer: I am writing this opinion as a frequent presenter, not as the Co-Chair of the most electrifying Postgres Conference in the world.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

PGConf Local: Seattle, final program available

Image result for seattle hd wallpaper

It is with great pleasure that we announce the final program for PGConf Local: Seattle. The schedule is still being hammered out but we have finalized the content that will be presented. Please join us in celebrating Postgres in Seattle!

The conference is the first Postgres event to be held in Seattle since 2009 and we have received a lot of positive feedback from the local Postgres and Data communities. Clearly Postgres has been missed in the Emerald City!

Training Options:
Breakout Sessions:

Track: Ops

  • Develop intelligent apps on the Azure platform using the Azure Database for PostgreSQL by Sunil Kamath
  • Tuning PostgreSQL for High Write Workloads by Grant McAlister
  • Enterprise Data Architecture with PostgreSQL by Kevin Kempter
  • All the dirt on Vacuum by Jim Nasby
  • Building a scalable time-series database on PostgreSQL by Matvey Arye

Track: Dev

  • Semantic Search Web System on PostgreSQL by QUAN-HA LE
  • Increase Application Performance with SQL Auto-Caching; No Code Changes by Roland Lee
  • Introduction to JavaScript Stored Procedures by Jim Mlodgenski
  • Under the hood: API integrations and more in an energy efficiency PostgreSQL + Django application by Jennifer Scheuerell
  • Using GIS in PostgreSQL by Lloyd Albin

Tracks: Big Data, Data Science and AWS/Cloud

  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility by Michael Sacks
  • Data Quality Expert Is Not Harvard's Sexiest Job...But... by Ben Rogojan
  • GRAKN.AI: the hyper-relational database for knowledge-oriented systems by Haikal Pribadi
  • Best Practices with Managed PostgreSQL in the Cloud by Jignesh Shah
PGConf Local: Seattle is made possible by the wonderful team of volunteers including the Seattle Postgres User Group and our sponsors:


Platinum: Compose.IO, OpenSCG, 2ndQuadrant, and Microsoft

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Expanding the NYC Conference

We just announced the dates and the CFP for PGConf 2018, our 7th Postgres Conference in the New York City area. We are back at the Westin in Jersey City April 16th-20th again this year just across the river from Manhattan and an easy PATH ride to all things New York. As we learn from year to year, we evolve based on our attendees and sponsors feedback. This biggest change we are doing this year is expanding the program to be a full 5 days. Our attendees have asked for even more training so we are now starting on Monday with several full-day training classes. We will then roll into half-day tutorials on Tuesday and the full conference schedule starting on Wednesday.

Other changes you will see this year is the 4th Annual Regulated Industry Summit will now be part of the main program. A number of people who wanted to attend the RIS also wanted to attend the tutorials so we removed that conflict while opening up the RIS to a wider audience. Along with RIS, we are hosting two additional summits. Thanks to one of our Diamond Sponsors, Pivotal, we will have the inaugural Greenplum Summit to bring together the best in Big Data, Massively Parallel Processing (MPP), Machine Learning, Graph, AI and Spatial Analytics centered around the Open Source, Postgres derived Greenplum database. Finally, we are having the Open Source Summit for our fellow local Open Source communities with data related technologies such as Python, R and Ruby.

All of this wouldn't be possible without our sponsors:



Platinum:        Compose, OpenSCG, 2ndQuadrant, Microsoft
Gold:              JetBrains, Cybertec, Citus, EnterpriseDB
Silver:            Command Prompt

Save the date and submit a talk at:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

PGConf APAC 2018

The International Postgres conference  series continues to grow! PGConf APAC 2018 is the latest PGConf.Org addition.

Following the success of two consecutive pan-Asia Postgres event - pgDay Asia 2016 and pgDay Asia 2017 held along with FOSSASIA, we are pleased to announce PGConf APAC 2018 to be held in Singapore from 22nd to 24th of March, 2018. Once again the conference will be held along with FOSSASIA - one of the largest FOSS conference on the planet. PGConf APAC will be PostgreSQL conference series for all PostgreSQL enthusiasts and users in the Asia Pacific region.
For more details on FOSSASIA -
You will be able to enjoy one of the largest PostgreSQL conference in Asia and one of the largest FOSS conferences to meet like minded individuals in the same week!
pgDay Asia 2016 and pgDay Asia 2017 would not have been possible without your awesome talks and we would like to invite speakers from all over the globe to present at the PGConf APAC 2018. We would like to open Call For Paper for PGConf APAC 2018. Some of the topics which can be used for submitting a talk are-
  1. Migration projects
  2. Performance troubleshooting and tuning
  3. noSQL and geo-spatial features of Postgres
  4. Unique use-case and customer stories
  5. Useful new features in PostgreSQL 10
For more examples you can refer to the papers which were presented at last year's event - 2016 and 2017.
Of course we are happy to accept paper proposals on any other interesting topics as well.
To submit you proposal for presentation please go to this link -
To be Announced
Call for Papers
2017-10-10: Proposals acceptance begins
2017-12-04: Proposals acceptance ends
2017-12-13: Authors of accepted proposals contacted
If you need any additional information please contact our team at pgconfapac(at)googlegroups(dot)com.
This conference is organized by the PostgreSQL people from Asian communities. If you have any question, feel free to contact us on pgconfapac(at)googlegroups(dot)com.
For sponsorship related queries please get in touch with our team at apac-organizer(at)pgconf(dot)org.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

PGConf South Africa

We just finished the first PGConf South Africa and it was a fantastic success. When we first started thinking about the event, we were considering 30 people attending as a good turnout and there were nearly 60 people in attendance. To put that in perspective, the first PGDay New York event in 2012 had 55 people attend. I can honestly say that South Africa and even the whole continent of Africa was craving a PostgreSQL event.

There were some great technical talks on topics like  PL/pgSQL stored procedures, PL/Python stored procedures, replication, and security, but what was truly fascinating was the use cases. PostgreSQL is the key data store behind the MeerKAT telescope handling a massive amount of sensor data, is key to helping South African farmers to know where to plant their crop and is utilized extensively through the medical industry in South Africa. The coolest thing learning how PostgreSQL was used for quality control from a 3D printer. In this one, it was not how PostgreSQL was used, it was that the 3D printer was actually a high powered laser that would melt through titanium powder.

Thank you to the sponsors, Quant Solutions and OfferZen to help to make the event possible. And a special thank you to Kobus Wolvaardt who organized the event.