IT develops at the speed of light. Innovations and updates follow each other in rapid succession and one new tooling is presented after another. There is also a lot of movement in the field of open source databases. Staying abreast of all these developments is therefore quite a challenge. In this blog we will give you some tips and valuable resources.
It might look easy for us
As an open source database consultancy organization, it may be easy for us to talk. We are in the middle of the dynamics of new and improved solutions, we work daily with complex systems, large and small, and we learn from both colleagues and customers. We see the pitfalls and know the best approaches to the most common - and sometimes unique - challenges.
Freelancer or DBA loner
But as a freelancer or DBA loner, it can be a challenge to expand your knowledge, gain new knowledge and work on your personal development, especially on a technical knowledge level. What resources will take you further and where will you find these resources. And then perhaps the biggest challenge is the time factor. You are often alone in your field and fully scheduled with work so you lack the time to try new things. And your database environment is in full production continuously, so you can't just implement and try out all kinds of open source tools or other gadgets there either. There are people at your desk with questions every day and before you know it you're sucked in by the delusion of everyday life month in and month out. Still, as an independent or traditional DBA you can gain a lot of knowledge and develop yourself by growing in the rhythm of these waves. If you know the right places where resources are located and where your fellow database experts are.
Doing it yourself
Just do it - you'll learn a lot. The great advantage of most open source products is that you can get started right away. Installation is not complex or extensive and on most laptops you can build all kinds of OS and DBMS environments locally, whether using virtual boxes or vagrant. Also thanks to the cloud it is possible today to spin up some experimental environments at low cost. In fact, nothing can break and if you're not satisfied, you just start over. Simply take a moment every week or every month to familiarize yourself with this. Create your own "lab" to do some hands-on experimentation with new products and solutions.
Don't reinvent the wheel
Thanks to initiatives like Github and Gitlab, you can leverage earlier work from fellow experts. Scripts, dashboards, monitoring set-ups, etc. If you know how to use this well, you can build your own repository of previous experiences. Compare it to a starred restaurant. Most of the time is spent on mise-en-place: the preparatory work for the dishes that will be served in the evening. The basic ingredients and compositions are ready and the cooks can work faster at the moment suprême because the most time-consuming work has already been done.
As already indicated, you can learn the most from fellow experts. Previously, before corona time, we attended the many open source database events and conferences. To meet each other but mostly to attend the unparalleled and inspiring sessions from the gurus and experts in the field. Some of these conferences have gone online this year and are also free. To give you some direction, we have listed some interesting conferences and resources for you.
Percona Live Online 2021
For techies, DBAs, developers and open source enthusiasts, Percona Live Online is a wonderful source of inspiration. On May 12 and 13, interesting products, topics and use cases will pass by, presented by fellow experts. The advantage of the online concept is that you can select interesting sessions and catch an hour here and there during your daily work or tasks. Of course it's a pity that we can't meet each other in person, but we don't have to travel and we can pick out the highlights and combine them with our daily work. Sign up here.
Postgres Vision 2021
Postgres Vision 2021 conference will feature tracks that explore the proliferation of Postgres in the enterprise, open source adoption and real-world stories from customers. Wealth of information - great intensive sessions; a multitude of great suggestions and ideas; very dedicated participants and inspiring speakers. Join us online and learn from some of the world’s leading Postgres leaders, users, and community members. This virtual conference is set to be our best yet, with informative and engaging sessions by the world's top Postgres experts—so mark your calendar and register today.
PostgreSQL Usergroup NL
Of course, we also bring attention to our own initiatives. The PostgreSQL Usergroup NL has now organized more than twelve meet-ups and last week we had the first online meet-up in the history of the Usergroup NL. There are more than five hundred PostgreSQL specialists and enthusiasts active in the Netherlands as members, and the meet-ups bring about sixty to one hundred members who want to meet each other. This year we will probably launch one or more online sessions and we hope to have a real physical meet-up again in the second half of this year. Follow the meetups here and become a member.
Subscribe to parties such as MongoDB, CockroachLabs, Elastic, Crunchy data and Timescale so that you know when new webinars are being organized. Our experience is that these are often very valuable.
A fun and fairly new initiative is Postgres TV on YouTube. A kind of video podcast by two well-known and experienced Postgres community specialists, Nikolay Samokhvalov and Ilya Kosmodemiansky. They publish an hour of Postgres every Thursday on monthly basis with interviews or a breakout session with a fellow PostgreSQL expert.
Severalnines is the creator of ClusterControl. In addition to a free community version, they also provide a comprehensive enterprise variant. The blog section on their website is broad and extremely interesting as they regularly write about all kinds of (open source) DBMS related topics.
As a leading open source database support organization, Percona is very active in sharing its knowledge. Besides an extensive Github repository, they also have an interesting blog section on open source databases and tooling.
Asking is free
We hope this will somewhat stimulate and motivate you to get started. Of course we are open to suggestions and are happy to help you on your way. Want to know more or do you have a concrete open source database challenge or question? Feel free to contact us!