Exploring Why PostgreSQL is Loved by Developers

December 16, 2020

First: A little about me and my journey with PostgreSQL

I now work at EDB after they acquired 2ndQuadrant. For those of you who don’t know me, this is my second time working at EDB. Prior to the acquisition, I was the GM for 2ndQuadrant’s North American business. 2ndQuadrant was a great and special place to work and I think landing at EDB is a great conclusion for it. It will bring great things to PostgreSQL and the industry. I am enjoying being back at EDB.
In my previous run with EDB, I worked in various senior management positions, a time which I consider to be a great chapter in my career and during which I made a lot of great friends. It has been fantastic to connect with people who I worked with previously. In addition, it is exciting to be a part of the vision EDB has as a result of bringing together two extremely talented teams. I will have much more to say about that and how I fit in at a later time. In the meantime, how this blog came about:
One of the first things I was asked to do, by Marc Linster EDB’s CTO,  was to work with Bruce Momjian on a presentation about why Postgres is so loved by developers. This was pretty cool because Bruce effectively introduced me to PostgreSQL and taught me PostgreSQL, along with Robert Haas, Dave Page and many others about ten years ago when I joined EDB. My knowledge of PostgreSQL has grown significantly over the years.  I founded the Boston Postgres users group and have done a variety of other things in the Postgres Community. Sadly, I have yet to write my first patch. However, perhaps in my new role at my old company that will come to pass.


Why do developers love PostgreSQL?

To start, the claim that Postgres is loved by developers is not wishful thinking—there is data behind it. Stackoverflow conducts an annual survey of tens of thousands of developers. Of the tens of thousands of developers who respond, Postgres has come in second place for the past three years when identifying the database that is most loved by developers. In this category, PostgreSQL beats Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, MongoDB, Hadooop and many others by significant margins. The database that has taken first place on this survey over this same time period is Redis. However, Redis is not and does not claim to be a Relational Database. So, according to this survey, I claim PostgreSQL has won as the most loved Relational Database by developers for three years in a row.
So, Bruce and I developed the presentation. After an initial round of reviews, I presented a slimmed down version for a 25 minute speaking slot at an online DevWeek conference (presenting at DevWeek using the hopin platform was an amazing experience worthy of another blog). Bruce and I subsequently did a webinar on the topic for EDB. Then we did the presentation for a customer’s developer audience. In all cases, the presentation was well received. Bruce and I get smoother with each iteration.
I then was asked to consider a blog about this presentation. I quickly realized that a single blog would not suffice. So I will co-author a series of blogs with Bruce on why Postgres is so loved by developers. 
Here are the upcoming topics in the blog series.

  1. The great sources of information for developers
  2. PostgreSQL’s ability to introduce new data types featuring JSON and GeoSpatial
  3. Developer tools for Postgres
  4. Stability and reliability
  5. The beauty of the PostgreSQL query optimizer
  6. PostgreSQL and Business Intelligence.
  7. Using Postgres as a centerpiece of your data center

 To provide visibility into topic number 1 above, I give you all the sources of information I used to build the presentation.

 Although I didn’t directly borrow their materials I had good long watch of these presentations by Simon Riggs, Paul Ramsey and Boriss Mejias:

 Okay, yes I also spent a little bit of money to dive in on a topic:

  • I bought a book called “PostGIS in Action” by Regina O. Obe and Leo S. Hsu
  • Took a course on PostGIS on Udemy 

Developing this presentation was quite enjoyable, and it was fun to find so many wonderful resources on this topic. To leave you with a bit of a fun fact here are all the titles for this presentation that were discussed:
Over the course of developing this talk, it took on many titles, here are just a few:

  • Postgres “The Post Relational Database”
  • Postgres “This is not your Grandfather’s Database”
  • Postgres “It take all Types”
  • Postgres “The database developers love!”

That is it for now. I hope you are able to read the next blog which I co-author with Bruce!

To learn more, you can watch the on-demand webinar, App Dev & Database Choices: Postgres support for non relational data. 


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