meme: Current state of me

Audrey started a meme that I liked – so here’s my answers:

  • Did I earn a living? Yes, I did. I’ve never been happier with my work, who I work with and who I work for. I surprised myself a little with a job change that has me working at home, and co-working at various places in Portland. I find myself jumping out of bed every morning, excited to start my work day, and attending amazing geek events 2-3 times a week. (shameful Portland tech scene junkie confession!)
  • Was I able to incubate new ideas? Well, I was certainly *exposed* to tons of creative, exciting ideas, and felt energized to participate and organize in ways that I did not in 2007. As far as generating my own ideas, I think I was in the same boat as Audrey — spending a ton of time *doing*, but not as much time reflecting on experiences. The one exception to that was my vacation last August in Mexico. I took nearly three weeks to unwind from work, and I spent that time learning a little Spanish, and taking photographs that I was very proud of. Looking out to next year, I can’t wait to see what happens, and feel like I won’t be able to avoid an explosion of creativity.
  • Did I grow in ways that I wanted? YES. OMG. I had an incredible year, personally and professionally. I organized two PostgreSQL conferences – one in Maryland! – and helped get new user group leaders started with groups in at least five new locations. I’ve seen several long-time community members step up, join boards and become more active in the core community building work I championed. I met Tom Lane. I stood by as close friends, inspired by a growing community, started their own projects. I was inspired over and over again by the humor, grace and intelligence of the people who make PostgreSQL happen. I contributed code, presented nearly a dozen talks and traveled.

So, 2009 will be a lot about co-chairing Open Source Bridge, with a big helping of PostgreSQL community work, primarily speaking about the filesystem performance testing we’re doing here in Portland, and hopefully a bit more about user groups. I’m looking forward to a great work year, with a company that continues to be successful in a difficult time, and with coworkers that make me laugh every day.

I’m looking to Portland to inspire me: with cool ideas, exciting companies and a vibrant tech scene.

Your turn!

A year of PDXPUG

Last year was the third year that PDXPUG has been operating in Portland, and I decided to look back at our year of meetings. Here goes:

January 11 – 10 things you can use in PostgreSQL 8.3
February 26 – Extreme Database Makeover: RT
March 20 – Managing Internet Services: Using the right tool for the job
April 17 – Rails on PostgreSQL
May 15 – PostgreSQL for Pythoneers
June 19 – The relational model
July 20 – PDXPUG DAY!, and the schedule
August 21 – Tsearch2 and Materialized Views (Guest speaker from Seattle!!)
September 18 – The Visual Planner
October 16 – Point In Time Recovery
November 20 – Reviewed 8.4 features with the help of depesz’s blog
December – Coder’s Social

Thanks everyone who gave talks and attended meetings! User groups are only as good as the people who participate in them, and this list shows just how talented, diverse and fun the Postgres community is in Portland. I love you guys!

Looking forward – once again, we’ve already scheduled talks through the next four months! I feel like the group is running on its own momentum, and that is a fabulous feeling. We have a data visualization talk, another Extreme Database Makeover, and hopefully a presentation about teaching database theory with PostgreSQL.

Our next meeting is on January 15, 7pm with Stephen Jazdzewski traveling all the way from Eugene to present SplendidCRM, a formerly Microsoft SQL-only system that is now compatible with PostgreSQL. I am happy to see more of our Microsoft colleagues joining and presenting to the user group communities, as I’ve always felt they are underrepresented in our groups. Also, I’m happy to host another out-of-town presenter here in Portland! Hope to see you on the 15th.