PostgreSQL Conference Fall 07

When sitting in the booth with the Army of Smurfs (tm) at OSCON 2007, I was struck by the idea that having PostgreSQL Conference(s) (yes plural) could be a great way to insure the growth of our community. Check -- duh! You would think that this is obvious. In fact I would think this is obvious. This is why the community had the Anniversary two years ago and Dan Langille was successful with his PgCon last May. However, I foresaw what I concluded was a fatal flaw in the traditional trade show, in that... only those in the know, actually attend and only those who can expense it, will normally travel for them. In the past this problem could be solved with a user group, but user groups are typically one evening, once a month and only a couple of hours long. A lot of the time, they are just social gatherings which of course is good but is not a way for someone new, learning, or just plain curious about our technology is going to get a solid presentation of what our technology is all about. Thus buds my idea about PostgreSQL Conference Fall 07 (and in fact many more to come). PostgreSQL Conference Fall 07 is a community conference. It is a highly technical conference. It is a geographically strategic conference. It is a conference for and about our community and the incredible software that community produces. It is one day, of technical presentations, specifically on features that everyone wants to know about and only a few actually do. Our topics are ranging from horizontal partitioning, to performance to Geographic information systems using PostGIS. O.k. so what, why is this so cool? I will quote Josh Berkus, "It seems to be the way that PostgreSQL events are growing organically. We seem to be a very decentralized project. Partly it's also timing; in the world of tech conferences, the current trend is for smaller, thriftier, regional conferences (e.g. the growth of "LinuxFest [location]" and the collapse of LinuxWorld)." I would agree 100% with this statement and add to it. Having smaller conferences, and many of them that are settled strategically within a geographic area that incorporates PostgreSQL contributors, allows those who are not contributors who would come to a conference like this, to mingle with contributors, learn from them and thus become contributors themselves. That simple equation equates to: contributor * (5 + new users) = larger community with more contributors So how is one conference going to increase our community. It isn't, but a dozen will. In short (for such as long blog post), we are going to be planning, or help plan and organizing at least a dozen conferences over the next year. In the United States alone we already have the following conferences planned:
  • Fall 07
  • Winter 08 -- Part of SCALE
  • Spring 08 -- East Coast
  • Summer 08 -- OSCON
  • Summer 08 -- LWE
  • Fall 08
Winter 08 and the two summer 08 conferences will be larger as they are attaching to the larger conferences of SCALE, OSCON and LWE. Spring 08 is essentially the east coast version of Fall 07 but focusing on the east coast crowd who doesn't want to fly 6 hours to the west coast for a one day conference (regardless of the great party they are going to miss). Further, there are European conferences happening that PostgreSQLConference.org would like to be a part of, including the upcoming PgDay.It in 08 and EuroPGcon. That is part one. Part two is that the every single conference that PostgreSQLConference.org is organizing is 100% community. All monies from sponsorships, registrations, swag sales etc... go directly back to the community. If in the U.S., it will go directly through the PostgreSQL.org SPI account which is a 501c3 non-profit. Should PostgreSQLConference.Org organize a European conference, then the same will apply with whatever local non-profit exists, for example ffis e.V.. The end result of course, is not only a stronger community but a wider community that allows all users of PostgreSQL to be successful with their deployments.