Thursday, 1 November 2018

My experience at PGConf Europe 2018

It was my first time at PGConf Europe this year, like many other firsts it was special, hence the blog.

Let's start with some of the basics, PostgreSQL conferences are held in a somewhat regional basis. There are many of them like,  PGConf India, PGConf USA, PGConf Europe, PGConf Asia, and then there are other one day events called PgDays. Coming back to PGConf Europe 2018,  it was organised from 23-26 October in Lisbon Marriott, Lisbon.

My talk 'Parallel Query in PG: how not to (mis)use it?' was scheduled on the first slot of last day. So, I had enough time to analyse and study the audience and prepare accordingly. But, first things first...

The conference started with a one day training session on 22 Oct, one has to buy different tickets for training and conference. You get a free registration for the conference only if you're the speaker. I wasn't part of the training session, hence will not be discussing anything about it. This was my day to rest and try the Portugal cuisine.

The next day was the start of the conference. It was opened by Magnus Hagander covering the logistics and introducing us to the conference halls, etc., must say it was one entertaining start. The next was the keynote by Paul Ramsey. The keynote was my first comprehensive introduction to PostGIS. Further, there was a nice snack buffet arranged in the lobby, and this was my time to know more people, the most exciting part of any conference. I happened to catch Tom Lane!

Henceforth, I was forced to take some difficult decisions like which talk to attend, since there were three parallel sessions going on. There was such a variety of areas covered in the conference and most of them have amazing presentations, that it made me greedy and hate the idea of parallel sessions.

To keep the discussion short, I enjoyed being exposed to some of the new areas and uses of postgres like, challenges of using postgres on cloud, multi-column indexes, pluggable storage, benchmarking,  efficient query planning in latest PG, new and old features of postgres. Cannot go ahead without mentioning a couple of sentences about zheap -- the current project I am part of it. People were excited about it and there were all sorts of curiosities around it.

The conference ended with a set of sponsor talks, I liked the one by Marc Linster. No, not because it was the sponsored talk of EDB but it was truly an awesome talk covering the journey of Postgres in the last two decades. The final closing talk was yet another entertainment by Magnus and Dave Page, and Tomas Vondra in special appearance as Slony, but I could not help seeing him just as one GIANT BLUE elephant. It was really scary! Finally speakers were given a gift and there was one big group selfie.

To end the blog, I must say it was a great experience to find the faces behind those names you see every now and then on hackers-list. The amazing food and nice weather of Lisbon added to the overall fun.

P.S. Here are the slides of my talk.

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