Building the PgConf.Dev Programme

Update: The programme is now public.

The programme for in Vancouver (May 28-31) has been selected, the speakers have been notified, and the whole thing should be posted on the web site relatively soon.

Vancouver, Canada

I have been on programme committees a number of times, but for regional and international FOSS4G events, never for a PostgreSQL event, and the parameters were notably different.

The parameter that was most important for selecting a programme this year was the over 180 submissions, versus the 33 available speaking slots. For FOSS4G conferences, it has been normal to have between two- and three-times as many submissions as slots. To have almost six-times as many made the process very difficult indeed.

Why only 33 speaking slots? Well, that’s a result of two things:

The content of those 33 talks falls out from being the successor to PgCon. PgCon has historically been the event attended by all major contributors. There is an invitation-only contributors round-table on the pre-event day, specifically for the valuable face-to-face synch-up.

Seminary Room

Given only 33 slots, and a unique audience that contains so many contributors, the question of what should “be” ends up focussed around making the best use of that audience. should be a place where users, developers, and community organizers come together to focus on Postgres development and community growth.

That’s why in addition to talks about future development directions there are talks about PostgreSQL coding concepts, and patch review, and extensions. High throughput memory algorithms are good, but so is the best way to write a technical blog entry.

Getting from 180+ submissions to 33 selections (plus some stand-by talks in case of cancellations) was a process that consumed three calls of over 2 hours each and several hours of reading every submitted abstract.

The process was shepherded by the inimitable Jonathan Katz.

The programme committee was great to work with, willing to speak up about their opinions, disagree amicably, and come to a consensus.


Since we had to leave 150 talks behind, there’s no doubt lots of speakers who are sad they weren’t selected, and there’s lots of talks that we would have taken if we had more slots.

If you read all the way to here, you must be serious about coming, so you need to register and book your hotel right away. Spaces are, really, no kidding, very limited.