Thursday 4 November 2010

PGWest: Day 1 and 2

So my blogging of PGWest was a FAIL on the first day, as I never got around to following up my Day 0 post with anything, so with apologies, here's a quick roundup of day 1 and day 2.

Day 1 

Started with breakfast with Magnus, Devrim and Guillaume before heading up to register on the mezzanine. The first half of the day was a number of three hour tutorials which were on some interesting topics, but none which particularly interested me, so I spent the time catching up with a number of colleagues who I haven't seen in a few months.

After lunch, my talk on "Securing your web application" was one of the first 'normal' talks to be given. It was intended as a wide but shallow look at some of the security issues to consider when building a web app - a completely new talk which unfortunately didn't work as well as I'd hoped and needs some tweaking should I give it again; trimming the length a little, and focusing a little more on the database end of the stack. Still, I think it covered most of the important points for new developers to consider.

After my talk, I spent more time with colleagues, including $BOSS who had arrived. I completely failed to see any more talks unfortunately.

In the evening, we had a quick drink (thanks SFPUG!) before heading off for dinner at an Irish pub, and then to the Starlight Room at the top of the hotel for a couple of drinks and dessert, coupled with lots of discussion on covering indexes (aka index-only scans), managing community workload and more.

Day 2

Day 2 started with JD herding a handful of us together at breakfast to go and give Josh Berkus some encouragement in his talk on the PostgreSQL Community. An excellent talk for the newcomers in the room, though a little wasted on those of us who have been around the community for 10+ years.

Highlight of the day was Scott McNealy's keynote, introduced by Ed Boyajian ($BIG_BOSS at EnterpriseDB). In case you've been living under a rock, you'll doubtless know that Scott was the founder and boss of Sun Microsystems until the Oracle takeover. The talk style was a little deadpan, but with a good stream of jokes that went down well with the audience. Interesting to hear Scott note that he was considered a good capitalist, whilst Larry Ellison is a great capitalist (who doesn't like to share)!

Scott's talk was followed up with JD's introduction to the conference (yeah, halfway through the schedule - really Josh?), and then lunch. After a quick EnterpriseDB training meeting, I caught Jimbo's talk on GridSQL, Magnus' on database driven cache invalidation with Varnish (which we'll be using with the new PostgreSQL website backend, so I figured I should learn how it works), and then finally Bruce's new talk, MVCC Unmasked. Pretty complex for the newbie I suspect, but a very well presented topic.

And on that note it's just about time to go back up to the Starlight Room, where the EnterpriseDB party is about to kick off with an open bar. I'll try not to get too hungover so I can write about day 3 tomorrow....

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