Report from SCaLE 7x

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Awesome booth volunteers Noel and Erez!

In the elevator this morning, a person asked me if I was with the SCaLE conference. He started by saying that he was really happy that we (the people attending the conference) were there, and that he hoped for Linux to be successful. And then he said, “I’m a linux supporter, but I’m a windows captive.”

Because I work every day with free software, I lose touch with people who feel trapped by their operating system. That moment in the elevator reminded me that not everyone is as lucky as I am!

This is my second year attending SCaLE. I’m just as excited as I was last year about the number of end users, systems administrators, and enthusiastic supporters of free and open source software. During Joe Brockmeier’s keynote, he asked the crowd to raise their hands if they were already contributing to an open source project, and less than 1/3 of the crowd raised their hands. Other conferences I attend seem to attract mostly people who are already contributors. I’m very happy to see SCaLE having a wider reach.

My favorite event was definitely the PostgreSQL LAPUG birds of a feather session on Saturday evening. We filled the room and had to fetch chairs from outside! Josh Berkus and Magnus Hagander provided some great slides that I used for a quick tour through new SQL programming, administrative and security features in the upcoming release of 8.4. This presentation was basically a tag team effort between myself and Josh.

More than 3/4 of the people had never attended a PostgreSQL user group meeting before, and I hope to hear that they all subscribe to the mailing list and attend some meetings!

We had great traffic at the Postgres booth. There were a surprising number of people who asked about migrating from MSSQL to Postgres. Fortunately, we had at least one person with a fair amount of Windows experience at the booth (Thanks, John!). I also was grateful that many people stopped by with follow up questions about the filesystems I/O talk I gave. I really felt like it was well received, and I hope that we end up with a few new recruits to our testing.

Great show! And now I’m off to relax downstairs before I work a downtime this evening :)