PostgreSQL Conference West to sponsor PostgreSQL feature development

As the primary organizer of The PostgreSQL Conference series, Command Prompt has been trying to find ways to continue to support the PostgreSQL Community. The Conference is already the highest direct financial contributor but the money isn't always what the community needs. The documentation may need some work (pg_dump section I am looking at you), we might want server to execute performance testing or there are features that the community wants developed.

A recurring question in our community is, "How do I get feature X sponsored?". It is a frustrating question because there are many variables that are at play anytime you do development within an Open Source project. Just because you can develop the feature doesn't mean that the community actually wants the feature. There is also the problem of raising money for a feature, a lot of very skilled hackers do not have the contacts or frankly person skills to "sell" their idea. Once you have the money even more problems arise, what if you underbid the project? What if you can't get everyone to pay that said they would? What if you miss a commit deadline and you have to wait for the next release to start development? The list goes on and on.

The traditional method of getting a feature developed would be to contact a company to do so. There are many people and companies that are used to working in the community, who know how to navigate the shark infested waters and are actively willing to work with you to get whatever feature done. Two of the most well known companies that do this are Command Prompt (duh moment), and 2ndQuadrant. We both have had much of the feature development we do for PostgreSQL sponsored by our customers (some of them, mutual customers). If you have a feature that you wish to get developed I highly recommend contacting one of us.

The traditional method can be too much for a single entity to bare. If you have a feature that is 15,000 USD to develop, that just might be out of the budget of the sponsoring company and it is certainly out of the budget of most individuals. In some communities there is a bounty system where multiple entities can chose to donate to get a bug squashed or a feature developed. Unfortunately, bounties can go on forever and very little money is normally raised. So what do you do?

The PostgreSQL Conference organizers team had an idea. What if, we take one of the resources we are rich in and use that resource in a manner that allows the community as a whole to benefit. What is this resource you might ask? Well people of course. Every 6 months the PostgreSQL Conference pulls more people into a single room than any other PostgreSQL event. What if the PostgreSQL Conference worked out a way to get those people to part with their hard earned dollars to get a feature developed? Imagine, one night instead of pub crawling if we put that 50.00, 100.00 or 250.00 to work for the betterment of PostgreSQL?

If every person that attended #PgEast gave 100.00 to feature development, we would have raised $23,000 dollars. That would have more than paid for the ALTER TABLE ALTER COLUMN work that Command Prompt would like to develop. So that is what we are going to do at #PgWest. This year at #PgWest there will be up to 5 proposals on the table to sponsor. Only one will be from Command Prompt, we would like the others to be from other developers and companies are welcome to submit as well. Further, #PgWest will also be donating a portion of the registration fees to get these features developed.

Stay tuned for how to submit your proposals.

PostgreSQL Conference West Call for Papers