The EDB Blog
June 25, 2019

Tim Berners-Lee Delivers Keynote at Fourth Annual Postgres Vision

The day started with the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, delivering the keynote presentation at the fourth annual Postgres Vision event in Boston. The Turing Prize winner (known as the "Nobel Prize of Computing") described the early days of the web for the 350 attendees right up to the present day. “Keep the web free and open,” was a consistent theme from Berners-Lee who advocates easy accessibility for everyone in a free-form commentary and collaboration. It was an inspiring talk to get things started.

The Distinction Between a Trip and Journey

Next up, Ed Boyajian, CEO of EnterpriseDB, made the distinction between a trip and journey likening those to Postgres and EDB reflecting on his 11 years with the company. A trip is usually short and predictable while a journey is much longer and you may not even know you’re on the journey until you are well into it, he said. On a journey, there will be moments of great success, along with difficulties and uncertainty as you travel to your destination. By comparison, in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for database vendors in 2015 there were about 30 companies included. In the 2018 version there were 14 with EDB among those in both.

Ed painted a picture of sustainability in the journey commenting that “specialty technologies have had their day – they have come and gone.” He talked about meeting the long-term needs of customers with EDB serving 102 of the Fortune 500 among its total 4,000 customers.

This is “our moment to shine” he said citing 6,000 downloads of Postgres per day from all over the world. “Don’t be distracted, separate the facts from feelings,” he urged the audience.

Migrating to Postgres

Then, Ken Rugg, chief product and strategy officer, hosted a panel of five customer representatives who all talked about their journeys with Postgres. Benny Rutten, from a financial services company in Belgium, cited his experience which started with a move to Postgres for negative reasons,  running away from Oracle, turned out to be for positive reasons. “Our developers are very happy with Postgres,” he said. Now, the company has turned to Postgres for positive reasons in the transition to microservices being run with Postgres.

Democracy Can Be Messy

The day ended with Bruce Momjian, co-founder of the PostgreSQL Global Development Group, delivering a thoughtful address comparing the structure of governments with open source projects.

“Democracy can be messy, it’s hard to predict behavior and problems can get stuck,” he said. For example, in an open source project run as a democracy like Postgres there is no roadmap for these reasons.

Bruce noted that in the Postgres project, run as a democracy, “Contributors are valued and honored, which is extremely satisfying for those individuals and, in turn, helps attract more talent to the project.”

After the formal program for the day, there were games of every imaginable type to help the crowd wind down and relax while getting to know one and other.

Day two begins with a keynote presentation from another Turing Prize winner, Michael Stonebraker. Makes you wonder, has there been another conference with back-to-back Turing winners?

We’ll be back tomorrow with another recap.