Why, what, and how you can participate

Tue, Jan 9, 2024 5-minute read

When I first began exploring how to get involved in the PostgreSQL community, the first event I heard of was PGCon. I was still in college when PGCon had started(!), and I did have FOMO about not going (that said, I don’t think the phrase “FOMO” existed yet). Through the years, the timing of PGCon became very important: it served as a checkpoint between the in progress PostgreSQL major release (Beta 1 would have launched 1-2 weeks prior) and upcoming work on the new version of PostgreSQL. Additionally, because of the concentration of PostgreSQL contributors, both hackers and community builders, it was a great place to discuss how we can continue to make the PostgreSQL community better.

As PostgreSQL grew, both in functionality and popularity, so did many of the events around PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL events went from being hosted in rented basements and academic spaces to hotels and event spaces. Even through all this, PGCon remained the same: everyone knew that once a year, they’d make the trek to the University of Ottawa to discuss all things PostgreSQL. This is not necessarily a bad thing – after all, PostgreSQL started as an academic project, the community felt that it was time to evolve PGCon for several reasons:

  • While we all grew accustomed to Ottawa, travel to and from Ottawa could be challenging. I spoke to community members who sometimes had to take 4(!) flights to get there. (While my travels were never that bad, I’m happy to tell the tale of how I got lost in rural Quebec without a GPS).
  • Dan Langille had tireless worked on organizing PGCon, mainly by himself, for 15+ years, which was a huge time and energy commitment. We all truly respect Dan’s work, and Dan was ready to expand the efforts to get more people involved in event organizing.
  • PGCon had billed itself as a conference for all things PostgreSQL, but we wanted to ensure we put the emphasize on development, both software and community building, as the theme of the event.

PGCon has been an important part of the PostgreSQL community for nearly two decades. Dan had built a great infrastructure in and around the event, and wanted to work with other members of the community to take PGCon to its next stages. And this is where we got to, the next step in the evolution of PGCon.

What is (“Pee-gee-conf-dot-dev”), or the “PostgreSQL Development Conference,” is an event that focuses on contributing to the PostgreSQL community. While “development” is often thought of “software development,” it also applies to community building too. Building PostgreSQL involves building all aspects of the project: from the core server, to related software (drivers, extensions, etc.), to community infrastructure that lets people contribute in all different ways (governance, event / user group organization, etc.).

On the surface, is similar to PGCon: there will be workshops, breakout sessions, and a day of unconference! That said, there are certain areas that will place heavy emphasis on:

  • “Development” topics: “Development” means building, but it’s not limited to just software. Given the timing in the PostgreSQL release cycle, there will be plenty of content and discussion around forward-looking software development topics: recently committed features, new features to build, etc., but also topics on how we can continue to grow all aspects of the community (advocacy, governance, inclusivity).
  • Mentorship: or helping to encourage new contributors to join and grow existing contributors in all aspects of the project. To this end, is planning to have workshops to provide guidance on different aspects of developing as a contributor.
  • Ease of travel: We aim to keep in a travel accessible city. For now, the organizers decided to stay in Canada, but are focused on hosting the event in cities that have more direct international flights. For 2024, we’ll be in Vancouver, but future years could be in Montreal or Toronto.

While builds on the history of PGCon, this is the first year of running the event with a different theme and in a different city. In paying homage to the origins of PGCon, 2024 is hosted in the downtown Vancouver Simon Fraser University campus (don’t worry – there are no squeaky chairs!). The venue type may change in future years, but we want to keep the academic / collaborative vibe, given the focus of is building PostgreSQL!

How can I participate in

The best way to participate at is to attend and support the event! There are several ways you can do so:

  • Submit a talk! The CFP is open through January 15, 2024 (2024-01-15), and the CFP page provides guidance on the types of talks the program committee is looking for. As mentioned above, we’re looking for “development” talks, whether its software (PostgreSQL, drivers, extensions, utilities, etc!) or community building.
  • Sponsor - we’re only able to host because of the generous support of our sponsors. Sponsoring gives us the opportunity to bring PostgreSQL contributors together in one place to help plan the future of PostgreSQL. Given the nature of this event, we’ve tailored the sponsorship opportunities towards community support.
  • Attend - registration for is open, and attending is a great way to collaborate with the PostgreSQL community and help contribute!
  • Spread the word: Let people know about and how it’s an opportunity to meet PostgreSQL contributors and help directly impact the future of PostgreSQL!

The continued evolution of PGCon

As mentioned earlier, while builds on the history of PGCon, we know there’s more to learn and evolve with We’re excited to have your feedback on the event so we can continue to evolve it and make it the preeminent opportunity for both contributing and learning how to contribute to PostgreSQL. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you in Vancouver in May 2024!