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My transition from a single platform DBA to a multi platform DBA (part 2)

Taco Zoetemelk 13-9-2017 12:48
Categorie├źn: BLOG

Part 2 | My first PG day

As you could have read in part 1 (click here if you've missed it) I recently started as a multiplatform DBA. Two weeks before I actually started working at the company where I work now, I already got an invite to go to PG day UK, with a few other DBA's. As I had no prior experience with PostgreSQL, I did not know what to expect. The first few weeks there I've looked into both MongoDB and PostgreSQL, just to get to know the products my colleagues were already supporting. So I started my first PG day with very little knowledge of PostgreSQL.

On July 3rd, we flew from Amsterdam to London with 3 other DBA's. After we landed we headed to the hotel to drop of our bags and we headed out for a bite to eat. The next morning we got up and walked to the venue where PG day was held. A beautiful building at 30 Euston Square. The 5th floor was the location where the conference was held.

It all started with an introduction by Simon Riggs. The program consisted of 11 talks by various people from the PostgreSQL world.

  • A Look At The Elephant's Trunk - PostgreSQL 10 by Magnus Hagander
  • PostgreSQL On OpenStack by Dave Page
  • Hosted PostgreSQL by Mike Fowler
  • Things I Appreciate About PostgreSQL After Using MongoDB For 6 Months by Wei Shan
  • The Ninja Elephant, Scaling The Analytics Database In Transferwise by Federico Campoli
  • Zero-downtime Postgres Upgrades by Chris Sinjakli
  • Parallel Query by Gianni Ciolli
  • Scale Your PostgreSQL by Devrim Gunduz
  • Using PostgreSQL As An RDF Graph Database by Jimmy Angelakos
  • PostgreSQL at Experian by Frederic Vander Elst
  • Replication In PostgreSQL 9.6, 10 And Beyond by Simon Riggs

I was amazed on how little commercial talk there was in these sessions, just passionate people trying to share their ideas, thoughts and love for the product. For me the session by Magnus Hagander was the most interesting, because this allowed me to connect some dots on some of the stuff I had read and learned about PostgreSQL before. Also the sessions by Wei Shan, Chris Sinjakli, Gianni Ciolli and Simon Riggs where very interesting for me as a starting PostgreSQL DBA. Not to say that the rest of the talks were not interesting, each of the speakers did a great job presenting their own subject.

If I look back at PG day UK, I can't help comparing what I've heard to what I know. While Oracle and Microsoft SQL database are great products, PostgreSQL is also a great product. Many features that I thought were only available in closed source databases like partitioning or clustering, are also available (or will soon available) in PostgreSQL and sometimes the implementation is even better than in the closed source databases. What I see is similar to all databases I've encountered so far, they enable clients to store and retrieve data. I've learned that the way the data is stored and retrieved is much more important than what database platform is being used.

Overall the entire day has made me much more aware about the possibilities of the PostgreSQL database, which are enormous! I am already looking forward to the next PG day, where I will start with a lot more knowledge up front and perhaps will even learn more about PostgreSQL and the open source community. I will be investigating PostgreSQL much more, as this day has really triggered my interest in this open source product.

Part 1 | Chose to be a Multiplatform DBA

Part 3 | My first encounter with MongoDB University

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