Building community – PostgreSQL edition

Community.

I believe we’re all created for it. I believe most people thrive when they find it. In fact, for many people, community has been their lifeline over the last year.

Truth be told, however, community is hard to build and maintain.

When I jumped onto a new career path in September 2020 as a Developer Advocate with Timescale, I had dreamy ideas about how easy it was going to be to build community within the PostgreSQL world. I’ve been a database user for 20+ years, lead a number of teams, had the fortune to be involved in some excellent tech communities over the years, and was growing in my rekindled fondness for Postgres. (don’t get me wrong, the journey back wasn’t all roses)

What I didn’t anticipate, however, was the lack of a Postgres “owner” to drive some cohesion within the community. Nor did I fully understand how the flexibility of the platform created so much diverse usage. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in traditional database developer/architect patterns to see the bigger opportunities. You know, the old “can’t see the forest for the trees” problem.

With six months under my belt at Timescale, I’m learning… that I have a lot to learn about the Postgres community. 😃

While the umbrella that encompasses “PostgreSQL” is large, I’ve quickly noticed that I have a tendency to focus on one subset of the user base (new to the fold, new to SQL, looking to grow) because it’s where I’m most comfortable. Instead, I’d rather be thinking about it more holistically, working to understand where everyone started, where they are at currently, and where they are headed with Postgres.

That’s why I’m so excited about The State of PostgreSQL 2021 Survey that we just launched for everyone, far and wide, to participate in.

The State of PostgreSQL 2021 Survey

At Timescale, we believe that investing in and building up the Postgres community helps everyone. Understanding how developers and businesses use and interact with Postgres is key to strengthening the community at large.

https://twitter.com/TimescaleDB/status/1372163878516359171

The survey covers four key areas:

  1. Who you are as a developer or user?
  2. How did you start with Postgres?
  3. What tools and features do you use most?
  4. What communities are you a part of and how have they been helpful?

In total, the survey is ~35 questions and should take you about 10 minutes to complete. Most of the questions are multiple choice, while others allow you to provide free form answers. For example:

  • What is the main reason you chose to use Postgres?
  • How easily do you find it to connect with the community?
  • What tools do you use and recommend to other users?
  • What’s the size of your database deployment?
  • What cloud provider have you used Postgres with?
  • Are you in the PostgreSQL or Postgres camp??? (you’ll notice I flow easily between them both! 😉)

Open Source results for everyone!

There’s no agenda here for Timescale. Within the community there are any number of groups or companies that could (or have) done similar things in the past. We love to see the growth and excitement around PostgreSQL and want to understand the community better so that we can find more ways to help.

But… we want to make sure everyone else is empowered to help too!

Once the survey closes, all results will be anomalized and made available for anyone to review and slice as they see fit.

So, what are you waiting for?

Let your voice be heard, helping us to provide valuable insights to the entire community. Let’s make the Postgres community stronger, together!