Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Early bird registration ends today!

If you want to save over 100.00 USD on your ticket to PgConf.US 2017, now is the time to point your browser right here and get that ticket!

Why get an early bird ticket?

  1. Save money. Everybody loves to save money.
  2. Our early bird tickets are being purchased in record numbers this year. That means the sooner you get your ticket the more likely you are going to be able to attend.

Wait, can't I attend anyway?

Of course you can, if we don't sell out. Let's be clear folks, based on early bird ticket sales and sponsor response we are going to sell out this year. How awesome would it be to be able to be part of the only PostgreSQL conference in North America that is able to sell out its attendance?

So let's get moving and sell out those tickets. Imagine all your peers, all your peeps, all your brothers, all your sisters, all your pets and neighbors saying, "Jeez, that person is awful lucky they got to go to the most electrifying PostgreSQL Conference in North America!".

Get your tickets!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A quick thanks to all current sponsors

The team is thankful it is Thursday. We are thankful because we are one week closer to PgConf.US. We are thankful because of the overwhelming support we have received from the community. We are thankful because of the amazing list of sponsors that continue to invest in our community event. Every week we are closer to our goal and every week we are humbled by the response we have received.

We have had people asking us why our conference is successful. It is successful because of the amazing support we have from the community, the volunteers, the organizers and the sponsors. It is successful because we are the conference that brings together the entire community. We have users, developers, and advocates. We actively engage in external communities (more on that soon). We directly apply our expertise to the market with inventive conference-in-conference events such as the widely popular Regulated Industry summit. We provide best in class content from some of the best speakers in the PostgreSQL world. Lastly, and most importantly we are successful because we recognize the importance of our community.

If you are interested in sponsoring, you can pick up our prospectus here. PgConf.US is a community driven, non-profit conference specializing in bringing together the entire PostgreSQL community.

Let's take a moment and recognize the awesome sponsors that are making this event possible:

Amazon web services bxoe3ba fuvsirm

2ndq logo color no crossEdb logo full colorOpenscg logo darm4w3 1frbjse

HerokuCrunchy uwa9srnHome

Cmd logo small kudcnxcCybertec logo 2015 300x120 transOmniti 5233duoCitusdata logo 225x90Datadog um87selCredativ

Covermymeds logo

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

An investment in the future: Why PgConf.US chose OSEM for event management

When we started planning for PgConf US 2017, we knew there would have to be some changes. The conference is the fastest growing and largest PostgreSQL conference in North America. Our requirements have changed, the needs of our attendees have matured, and the overhead in running the conference is growing.

We looked at our infrastructure and the website software used to manage the conference. Like most homegrown community conferences organized by software people, we built our own and it was showing its age. It lacked a lot of essential features (namely scheduling but also others).

Like any good project we started laying down requirements:
  • Must be able to use PostgreSQL as the database
This should be obvious. If it isn't, I am not sure what else to say.
  • Preferably written in Python/Django
This was my personal bent as I am a Python advocate over other scripted languages but there was also the fact that a good deal of the .Org and .EU infrastructure is Python/Django based.
  • Must be Open Source
Again, this should be obvious.
  • Must have a developer community
There is a key difference between the developer community and the user community. It is developers that make software. We needed to make sure that the piece of software we adopted to organize PgConfUS was not developed in a silo.

This is exceedingly important when considering the long term strategic view. The more time we spend updating code, modifying code, pushing patches, agreeing on features, and dealing with all the various adventures of open source development, is more time we spend away from organizing PgConf US for the PostgreSQL community. We do not want to invent another wheel. We want to use an already well manufactured wheel. That is not to say we can't do web application development; it is to say it is not a productive use of our time. In this context, we are conference organizers and we should be focusing on producing the most electrifying PostgreSQL Conference in the PostgreSQL community today. 
  • Must have a user community
The user community is just as important as the developer community. If you have a robust developer community but no users, what is the point?
  • Must have scheduling
One of the hardest parts of running a multi-track conference is scheduling. It takes up a lot of time and coffee. It increases silver hair (I have enough, thank you) and sometimes makes the conference feel like it isn't worth the effort.
  • Must have ticketing/registration
PgConf US uses EventBrite. EventBrite is a fantastic service but it is a dependency that complicates matters. An inclusive system that allows us more flexibility and usability was key. By having integrated ticketing and registration we will be able to reduce costs to our attendees and reduce the overhead incurred by the organizers. 

With the requirements set, we started reviewing a number of open source conference platforms including:
  • Multiple versions of Pinax/Symposion
  • Software used by DjangoCon (various versions)
  • Software used by PostgresOpen and PgConf.EU
  • Indico (IETF)
  • COD (LinuxFestNW)
  • OSEM (OpenSUSE, GNOME, OwnCloud)
The first three are Django/Python based. Indico is Python/Flask, COD is Drupal, and OSEM is Ruby on Rails. It was my absolute hope that one of the first three would qualify for our requirements. They simply did not. As with many open source software projects, they did not meet the usability requirements nor appear to have a user or developer community outside of their respective conferences.

Indico is a fantastic piece of software but it is overkill for what we wanted. In an effort to give a well rounded review we also looked at COD and OSEM. COD in a similar fashion to Indico is overkill for our needs and overly complicated to manage. OSEM was referred to us by OpenSUSE.

In the end we chose OSEM because outside of the language/framework it met our requirements. That isn't to say OSEM is perfect. It isn't. We had to add some functionality and fix bugs but as a whole it provides a much better experience than any other option we reviewed, including:
  • Multiple event management and event within event management
  • Media management (integration with Vimeo/Youtube)
  • Simple sponsor management
  • Awesome scheduling (once we fixed a few bugs)
  • Track management
  • User management
  • Analytics
  • Tickets/Payments
  • Extensibility
Outside of the clear usability advantages that OSEM has, it also has a solid and responsive developer community with standard communication channels (email list, irc channel, public repo etc...). It is also in use by communities that dwarf ours in terms of users, which lends itself to stability and a continued desire to improve!

Before you ask, yes we have pushed or are pushing all of our fixes and enhancements to the OSEM community, with some already accepted (postgresql support etc...).

Friday, January 20, 2017

PgConf US 2017: Changes and stomping our way to a record year

Image result for pgconf us

PgConf US 2017 is just around the corner and getting ready to hit the shores of Jersey City. From March 28th - 31st, let's show the East Coast what PostgreSQL is all about. The following is an update on the progress we have made from last year.

Governance changes

There have been some changes this year in governance. PgConf US started as the New York conference years ago and shortly thereafter the NYC Conference (via NYCPUG) became associated with United States PostgreSQL, the 501c3 for PostgreSQL in the United States.

In 2016, United States PostgreSQL (PgUS) created an "Affiliated Project" association allowing projects who have a specific interest in the success of PostgreSQL to receive 501c3 benefits through affiliation with PgUS. This is very similar to how PostgreSQL.Org is affiliated with Software in the Public Interest.

Celebrating unification 

Due to these changes, PgConf US is now an Affiliated Project of United States PostgreSQL and operates in an autonomous fashion. This opened the doors for the merger of the excellent PostgresOpen and PGconfSV conference. It also allowed the new entity (PostgresOpen Silicon Valley) to become an Affiliated Project of United States PostgreSQL.

What does this mean? It means that the 2 (previously 3) preeminent conferences for PostgreSQL in the United States are now all under the same umbrella. This is excellent news for the United States PostgreSQL community. We expect great things to be achieved through the relationship and autonomy it allows.

PgConf US serves the community

The success of our conference depends on the community in entirety. This includes users, developers, advocates and businesses that rely on PostgreSQL. It is this conference's commitment to the community that continues to drive our success.

Because of the community's commitment to this conference we have been able to:

  1. Add a day to the conference
  2. Continue the Regulated Industry Summit
  3. Continue a tradition of affordable PostgreSQL training
  4. Reduce the costs of our facilities even with the extra day
  5. Reduce the costs of lodging for our attendees
  6. Continue to integrate the community and offer participation opportunities
  7. Upgrade our website and conference system with proper scheduling and of course, PostgreSQL support.
  8. Continue to work toward creating the best PostgreSQL conference experience available!
Thank you for all of your support and we look forward to serving you for years to come! Let's make 2017 the best year ever for PostgreSQL!