Where to find me at #LCA2012

I’m going to be pretty busy while in Melbourne and Ballarat for the next 10 days.

Here’s my itinerary:

There’s a rumor that Stewart Smith and I might do a Q&A about databases in the cloud. If it happens, it will involve lots of pessimism and swearing.

Drop me an note if you want to meet up! I’ll be in Ballarat until early Friday morning.

Then I fly back to LA to give a keynote at SCaLE that Sunday (blog post about that coming).

Looking toward Chicago: Postgres Open, local user groups, parties and on to October!

I’ve been incredibly busy this past month, and not blogging – being a free agent has possibly made me busier than I was before!

Postgres Open’s schedule is in near-final state. We’ve started adding talks to our Demo room on Thursday, and are looking forward to a keynote from Charles Fan, SVP at VMWare about recent developments in vmware’s cloud offerings for Postgres.

We’ll also be getting a more in-depth look at Heroku’s new postgres.heroku.com on-demand database service, as well as an open source tool they wrote called WAL-E.

Thanks to Heroku, we’ll be streaming much of the content from the conference live, so you’ll be able to catch the keynotes and many of the talks, even if you’re not there. And we’ll be sharing the videos after.

I believe we’re the first Postgres conference to do this! Someone correct me if I’m wrong. 🙂

While I’m in Chicago, I’m planning to drop by the Windy City Perl Mongers for a reprise of my 9.1 talk from OSCON.

We’re also planning a couple parties for Postgres Open, and hopefully inviting a few of the local user groups to join us.

After that, I’m headed in October to PostgreSQL Conference EU, and will be giving a talk about terabyte Postgres databases (and the problems you run into with them), and a database-specific “Mistakes were Made” talk, about operations and the tools we need to use to help us make fewer mistakes.

Announcing Postgres Open

On behalf of the Postgres Open organizing committee, I’m pleased to share this announcement:

Postgres Open 2011, a conference for data innovators focused on disruption of the database industry through PostgreSQL, will take place September 14-16, 2011 at Chicago’s Westin Michigan Avenue hotel.

“PostgreSQL’s consistent addition of new features and enhancements, while remaining focused on reliability and performance, has provided myYearbook a solid foundation to create new and innovative applications,” said Gavin Roy, CTO at myYearbook. “We are looking forward to the Postgres Open Conference as a venue to share, network, and learn innovative ways to leverage Postgres in our environment.”

Postgres Open, a community-organized, non-profit conference, addresses the breadth of PostgreSQL usage, from core database system design to enterprise database use. Inviting entrepreneurs and technologists on the leading edge of data management, the conference will focus on open source database innovation and changes in the database market. Postgres Open includes regular talks, keynotes and hands-on tutorials.

We’re pleased to announce that VMWare and EnterpriseDB are joining the conference as founding sponsors.

The theme of the inaugural conference is “disruption of the database industry”. Topics will include new features in the latest version of PostgreSQL, use cases, product offerings and important announcements. Invited talks and presentations will cover many of the innovations in version 9.1, such as nearest-neighbor indexing, serializable snapshot isolation, and transaction-controlled synchronous replication. Vendors will also be announcing and demonstrating new products and services to enhance and extend PostgreSQL.

Postgres Open 2011’s main program (September 15-16) will be preceded by a day of intensive, half-day tutorials.

The Call For Papers for Postgres Open will open in late May.

Our program committee includes:
Robert Haas, Major Contributor, PostgreSQL committer,
Josh Berkus, Core Team member,
Greg Smith, Major Contributor to PostgreSQL and author of High
Performance PostgreSQL 9.0,
Gavin Roy, CTO of MyYearbook.com and
Selena Deckelmann, Major Contributor to PostgreSQL.

If you’d like to receive announcements as the conference progresses, please visit the website and add your email address to our list.

For information concerning sponsorship, please send email to sponsorship@postgresopen.org for a copy of our prospectus.

At PgCon 2011 – day 0

I wrote my review of synchronous replication over on Emma’s Tech blog (It’ll probably be published mid-day Tuesday). I’m visiting Ottawa this year on behalf of Emma, one of many great sponsors of Postgres’ yearly international developer conference, pgCon.

This week will be packed for me – attending the Clustering summit, the developers meeting, presenting about Emma’s database systems, leading the lightning talks, and of course attending the many parties this week.

Because we are spread so far around the globe, pgCon is often our one chance to get together and really dig into problems in-person.

And, I’m pulling together our first ever Procedural Language summit. With the new extension system, over 30 procedural languages implemented, and a ton of new features being added to existing PLs, I thought it was time PL developers should come together and have a chat. I’ve still got a few details to work out before Saturday (sorry all that RSVP’d – final agenda coming soon!).

I’m hoping to also have another, unrelated, announcement this Wednesday. Hopefully all the details come together!

Anyway, with that cliffhanger, I’m off to get a good night’s rest before the clustering summit tomorrow.

At MySQL Conference: Day 1 preview

Today is the first day of regular sessions at MySQL Users Conference.

I’m particularly excited this year because we have 12 PostgreSQL talks, including a Plenary talk at 9:40am this morning about the state of PostgreSQL.

Today’s talks include Building Data Warehouses, An Introduction to PostGIS, Securing PostgreSQL from external attack, and Introduction to PostgreSQL configuration.

MySQL Users Conference is the largest open source database conference in the world. When so many changes are occurring inside the MySQL database community, our presence is critically important. Particularly that we have Bruce Momjian, Robert Haas, Jeff Davis, Josh Berkus and many others here. Thank you to everyone that’s contributing to the booth, the talks and engaging in conversations here.

We’re also having a PostgreSQL BoF this evening, in Ballroom B at 7pm! Please stop by.

PDX11 Civic Unconference Hacking report

Last weekend we had more than 70 people out for a civic hackathon associated with PDX11, the joint effort between community, the City of Portland and the Portland Development Commission to promote software development in Portland. We kicked things off last Friday with a 30-minute, whirlwind status update since the kickoff of three initiatives in December 2010. Scroll down for a video! The next morning, Saturday April 2, we had another orientation, but focused on people’s hacking projects and an unconference. Many thanks to Kris Wetzel of Emma who organized all our food and drink Friday and Saturday, and to Tropo, who sponsored Saturday’s lunch. A big thanks to the project coordinators who prepared feature lists, wrote out tickets, and mentored others during the event:

  • Aaron Pareki
  • Amber Case
  • Audrey Eschright
  • Igal Koshevoy
  • Kyle Drake
  • Reid Beels
  • Kirsten Commandich
  • Don Park
  • Rafa Gutierrez

There were definitely more folks working on things — sorry I didn’t get all your names. Here are the project reports!

Continue reading

Getting ready for the first PostgreSQL track at MySQL Users Conference!

Back in February, I blogged about all the sessions related to PostgreSQL at MySQL Users Conference this year.

My stickers just arrived:

Stop by the PostgreSQL booth during the MySQL Expo, or come to one of my talks if you’d like one.

I’m giving two – one is about Emma’s database systems and the problems with scaling huge schemas. And the other is a community talk about managing competing business and community interests inside of the Postgres community, and lessons that other open source communities can learn from our successes and failures.

We’re having a free Birds of a Feather session Tuesday, April 12 at 7pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Please stop by!

PostgreSQL at MySQL Users Conference: the sessions!

You’ve probably seen a few posts about this – from the CFP, to Baron’s recent pointer to the release of the schedule. And now Josh Berkus just posted a Meetup for the event, so that spurred me on for this post…

So, just to make things even easier for you, I thought I’d summarize the awesome talks we’re having at the O’Reilly MySQL Users Conference this year related to PostgreSQL.

We’re also having a Birds of a Feather session, and staffing a booth on the exhibit floor!

If you’re planning to attend, you can use my code & save 25% in addition to early registration savings: mys11fsd: http://oreil.ly/goaqst

Hope to see you there!

She’s geeky: day 1 report

Image courtesy of Sarah Novotny

I got in about 1pm to She’s Geeky, an unconference about women who self-identify as geeks.

I’m here on a mission: to find developers who want to move to Portland! Emma, Urban Airship, Puppet Labs, About Us and BankSimple are all hiring (and BankSimple is even interested in remote hires).

My favorite conference session yesterday was about leadership and management, the difference between the two, and how to work with managers. We had an amazing discussion, with @noisegirl, Allison Randal, and Ursula Kallio leading a lot of the discussion. Topics ranged from how to carve out time for individual contribution when you take on a management role, to dealing with insane micromanagement to exploring the limits of change in an organization.

Another discussion I participated in was “Startup. Now what?” We talked about the issues each woman faced in starting her own business, and I asked a lot of questions. 🙂

I also attended a talk about the commerce department’s Privacy Green Paper. I hadn’t heard of it before, but the response being formulated is here: http://wiki.idcommons.net/Privacy_Green_Paper_Response

The main gist of the discussion was about encouraging congress to think carefully about the legislation and the business environment created (or stifled) by new data regulations. The contention is that activity data stored in “personal data stores” (PDS) is inherently of value — we already know this because our data is bought and sold without our consent or knowledge currently. So, why not create a system where businesses can do this, but with the consent and knowledge of consumers? I’d probably say “citizens” there instead of consumers, but you know. Whatever. 🙂

I’m not sure I fully understand the issues yet. I tried at one point to draw a link between PDS and “owning your own logs.“, but that didn’t seem to resonate. Kaliya said something about respecting definitions, so I think that I still don’t quite understand what defines a PDS.

Or, put another way, I am having a hard time understanding the distinction, because the freedom issues seem to be very much the same.

I tweeted a bit about my thoughts on APIs related to PDS, and here’s one conversation that tumbled out of it:

Welcome, Selena! | LinkedIn
Uploaded with Skitch!

Anyway, much to think about from the first day, and I’m excited to see what discussions unfold today!

PostgreSQL at MySQL Users’ Conference 2011

So, I’m on the committee for MySQL Conf this year, and the committee is specifically seeking talks about PostgreSQL. The idea is to broaden the scope of the conference to include a lot of different open source database technology, including a bunch more about Postgres.

The theme of the conference is “the ecosystem and beyond”, which was chosen specifically because the open source database world has exploded and grown so much in the last three years. Below is a slide from a presentation I made last year at LinuxConf AU about the growth in free and open source (FOSS) databases:

We’ve seen a half-dozen forks of MySQL appear, exponential growth among “NoSQL” databases, and now, a powerful release from PostgreSQL. It may seem odd that the name of the conference didn’t change to reflect the change in focus – but this is the largest FOSS database conference I know off – weighing in at over 2000 people last year. Given the community that’s grown around it, I understand why they are keeping the name.

The content will still largely focus on MySQL — the core, the many forks, and the community around it. But we’ll also hear from many new, successful database projects, and definitely hear from PostgreSQL. To do that, though, I need you to submit talks!

The submission deadline for all proposals is October 25, 2010!

Topics for consideration include:

  • Innovative uses of Postgres
  • Data warehousing and BI
  • Architectures based on Postgres
  • PostGIS
  • Government + Postgres
  • [your favorite web framework] + Postgres
  • Performance and optimization
  • Security and database administration
  • “In the cloud”
  • Business and case studies

If you’ve got an idea, submit a proposal today!

Please contact me directly for feedback, help with submissions or help generating ideas. And if you’re submitting, please just drop me a line to let me know! I’d love to hear from all that are interested.