Ultimate Guide to Citus Con: An Event for Postgres, 2023 edition

Written by Claire Giordano
March 31, 2023

A developer friend of mine prefers to read about what to expect at upcoming events in the narrative form of a blog, rather than having to click in and out of different abstracts on a schedule page.

So this ultimate guide post is my gift to those of you who want to know more about the 37 talks that will be presented at this year’s 2nd annual Citus Con: An Event for Postgres 2023—and who want to read about it in blog post form.

And yes, Citus Con is virtual again this year! This means you can watch all the livestream & on-demand talks from the comfort of your very own desk—and chit-chat in the virtual hallway track on the #cituscon channel on Discord.

[Update in May 2023]: It’s a wrap! The categories in this ultimate guide will help you find the talks which are most useful to you and your work/interests. Or you can jump straight to the playlist of all 37 Citus Con 2023 talks on YouTube.

So what’s on the schedule at Citus Con: An Event for Postgres 2023, exactly? Be sure to check out both tabs on the Schedule page, both the Live Sessions & the On-Demand Sessions tabs, to learn about the:

  • Americas Livestream on Tue Apr 18 from 9:00am – 12:30pm PDT with 6 unique talks (add to calendar)
  • EMEA livestream on Wed Apr 19 from 9:00am – 12:30pm CEST with 6 unique talks (add to calendar)
  • 25 on-demand talks that publish at the start of the Americas livestream (find the on-demand talks here once they go live)
  • Virtual hallway track in the #cituscon channel on Discord, we hope you will pop in to ask questions and join in the conversation, there will be lots of Postgres and Citus experts in the channel
  • Opportunities for SWAG Yes there will be chances to snag some swag and stickers this year too (cool swag) for those who join for the livestreams

Please be sure to mark your calendar so you can join us for the Americas Livestream or the EMEA Livestream—or both! I’m jazzed to be co-hosting the Americas Livestream with Robert Treat, and the EMEA Livestream with Jelte Fennema. Finally, it’s always a good time to check out some of last year’s marvelous talks from the inaugural Citus Con.

Now let’s walk through the different categories of talks you’ll see at Citus Con: An Event for Postgres 2023!

2 amazing Keynotes, one for each livestream

Each of the 2 livestreams has its own keynote. And we are honored that Simon Willison and Marco Slot will be keynoting Citus Con 2023, to talk about:

  1. Big Opportunities in Small Data, by Simon Willison, creator of Datasette and co-creator of Django. I’ve been a fan of Simon Willison’s work for years and specifically how he does so much work in public, so the rest of us can learn from him. Simon will keynote the Americas livestream at 9:00am PDT on Tue April 18th. (Americas livestream, keynote, civic data, Datasette, SQLite, Postgres futures)
  2. The Distributed PostgreSQL problem & how Citus solves it, by Marco Slot who is the lead architect for the Citus database engine at Microsoft. I’ve known Marco since 2017 and he’s a brilliant speaker, I’m really looking forward to his perspective on distributed PostgreSQL Marco will keynote the EMEA livestream. (EMEA livestream, keynote, distributed PostgreSQL, Citus)

Citus talks, 12 total

It comes as no surprise that there are more than a few talks about Citus at this event. To put a number to it, either 12 (or 13) of the 37 talks—approximately ~32%—are about the Citus extension to Postgres. :)

4 Citus customer talks

  1. Citus for real-time analytics at Vizor Games, by Ivan Vyazmitinov of Vizor Games. (Americas livestream, Citus open source user, real-time analytics, JSONB)
  2. Lessons learned: Migrating from AWS-Hosted PostgreSQL RDS to Self-Hosted Citus, by Matt Klein & Delaney Mackenzie of Jellyfish.co. (on-demand talk, Citus open source user, Django, Python, django-multitenant, pgBackRest)
  3. Practical approach to building real-time analytics for cybersecurity applications, by Slava Moudry. (on-demand talk, Citus, customer, timeseries, cybersecurity, real-time analytics, indexes)
  4. Self Hosted Citus using Cloud Computing, by Paul De Audney of SafetyCulture. (on-demand talk, Citus open source user)

6 Citus engineering talks

  1. Citus & Patroni: The Key to Scalable and Fault-Tolerant PostgreSQL, by Alexander Kukushkin who is a principal engineer at Microsoft and lead engineer for Patroni. (EMEA livestream, Patroni, Citus team, High Availability, HA)
  2. Citus from the Customer eyes by Sai Srirampur, a principal engineering manager on the Citus team at Microsoft. (on-demand talk, Citus team, distributed PostgreSQL)
  3. Citus on Kubernetes by Álvaro Hernández, founder of OnGres. (on-demand talk, Kubernetes, StackGres)
  4. Demystifying Postgres Foreign Key Constraints on Citus, by Onder Kalaci, a principal Citus database engineer at Microsoft. (on-demand talk, Citus team, foreign keys, distributed PostgreSQL)
  5. Postgres without SQL: Natural language queries using GPT-3 & Rust, by Jelte Fennema, senior software engineer on the Citus team at Microsoft. (EMEA livestream, Citus team, GPT-3, PostgreSQL)
  6. What I learned benchmarking Citus & Postgres performance with HammerDB, by Naisila Puka, software engineer on the Citus team at Microsoft. (EMEA livestream, Citus team, Citus performance, benchmarking, HammerDB, PostgreSQL)

2 Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL talks (aka Citus on Azure)

  1. Auto scaling Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL with Citus, Grafana, & Azure Serverless, by Lucas Borges Fernandes, a software engineer at Microsoft. (on-demand talk, Azure, Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL, Citus, Grafana, Azure Serverless)
  2. Multi-tenant SaaS apps made simple on Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL by Alicja Kucharczyk who is a PM on the Azure Database for PostgreSQL team at Microsoft—co-presented with Adam Wołk who is a PM on the Citus open source team at Microsoft. (on-demand talk, Azure, Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL, Citus team, distributed PostgreSQL, multi-tenant SaaS)

2 Ecosystem talks

I suppose every Postgres talk is an ecosystem talk, since no application runs on Postgres alone: there are always other technologies in the mix. Still, I felt these 2 talks—about using Django and PostGIS, and about Marten—warranted their own ecosystem section.

  1. Maps with Django (and PostGIS), by Paolo Melchiorre the CTO of 20tab. (On-demand talks, Django, Python, PostGIS, GeoDjango)
  2. Twisting PostgreSQL into a Document Db and Event Store, by Jeremy Miller who is lead developer of the Marten project. (on-demand talk, Marten, document database)

16 Postgres technology talks

These 16 Postgres technology talks comprise ~43% of the talks in Citus Con 2023. By “technology talks” I mean that these talks are not about a cloud database or a managed service, rather they’re mostly about Postgres open source. And the speakers cover a broad range of interesting topics. Lots to learn from here!

  1. Additional IO Observability in Postgres with pg_stat_io, by Melanie Plageman on the Postgres Open Source team at Microsoft. (Americas livestream, pg_stat_io, IO statistics, PostgreSQL)
  2. Divide and Conquer: Multi-tenancy in Postgres, by Karen Jex, Senior Solutions Architect at Crunchy Data. (on-demand talk, multi-tenant, PostgreSQL)
  3. For Your Eyes Only: Roles, Privileges, and Security in PostgreSQL, by Ryan Booz, a Developer Advocate at Redgate. (on-demand talk, security, roles, privileges, PostgreSQL)
  4. How to copy a Postgres database?, by Dimitri Fontaine a PostgreSQL contributor on the Postgres team at Microsoft—and author of the Art of PostgreSQL book. (on-demand talk, pgcopydb, open source, PostgreSQL)
  5. Implementing Temporal Features in PostgreSQL: SQL Standard and Beyond, by Henrietta Dombrovskaya, a Database Architect at DRW and Organizer of Chicago PostgreSQL User Group. (on-demand talk, SQL standard, temporal features, PostgreSQL)
  6. In depth guide to Postgres’ new CI, by Nazir Bilal Yavuz, a software engineer on the Postgres Open Source team at Microsoft. (on-demand talk, Postgres CI)
  7. On compression of everything in Postgres, by Andrey Borodin who is a Postgres Contributor. (Americas livestream, compression, performance, PostgreSQL)
  8. Optimizing Postgres for write heavy workloads ft. Checkpoint and WAL configs, by Samay Sharma on the Postgres open source team at Microsoft. (on-demand talk, performance, checkpoints, WAL configs, PostgreSQL)
  9. Parallelism in PostgreSQL 15, by Thomas Munro on the Postgres open source team at Microsoft. (EMEA livestream, parallel queries, PostgreSQL)
  10. Postgres and the Artificial Intelligence Landscape, by Bruce Momjian of EDB, a prolific speaker who is speaking again at Citus Con this year. (on-demand talk, artificial intelligence, PostgreSQL)
  11. PostgreSQL performance tips you have never seen before, by Hans-Jürgen Schönig, the CEO of CYBERTEC. (on-demand talk, performance, PostgreSQL)
  12. PostgreSQL Security: Defending Against External Attacks, by Taras Kloba, a big data engineering manager at SoftServe. (on-demand talk, security, authentication, backups, PostgreSQL)
  13. Postgres Storytelling: Support in the Darkest Hour, by Boriss Mejias of EDB. (EMEA livestream, Postgres storytelling, Postgres support story, transaction id wraparound, PostgreSQL)
  14. Troubleshooting High CPU Utilization in PostgreSQL Databases, by Dmitry Romanoff, DevOps Data Tech Lead at JFrog. (on-demand talk, CPU utilization, performance, troubleshooting, PostgreSQL)
  15. Unconventional ways to index UUIDs in PostgreSQL, by Haki Benita a developer & technical lead specializing in databases. (on-demand talk, UUIDs, indexes, PostgreSQL)
  16. Understanding & Managing Postgres Table Bloat, by Chelsea Dole a Senior Software Engineer at Brex. (on-demand talk, Postgres at scale, performance, bloat, autovacuum, PostgreSQL)

5 Azure Database for PostgreSQL talks

If you use Azure Database for PostgreSQL—specifically the Flexible Server option—you will likely appreciate these talks about authentication, Bicep, Oracle to Postgres, and cost—as well as the customer talk from Bob Wuisman and Eleni Siampali about managing bloat.

  1. Azure AD authentication with PostgreSQL Flexible Servers, by Andrey Chudnovskiy, principal engineer at Microsoft on the Azure Database for PostgreSQL team. (on-demand talk, authentication, AAD, cloud, AzureDBPostgres, Flexible Server)
  2. Deploying PostgreSQL to Azure with Bicep, by Pamela Fox, Cloud Advocate in Python at Microsoft. (Americas livestream, Azure, Bicep, AzureDBPostgres, Flexible Server)
  3. Do more with less: How to reduce your PostgreSQL costs on Azure, by Varun Dhawan on the Azure Database for PostgreSQL PM team. (on-demand talk, Azure, AzureDBPostgres, Flexible Server)
  4. Partitioning strategy for Oracle to PostgreSQL migrations on Azure by Adithya Kumaranchath, Engineering Architect in Azure Data. (on-demand talk, Oracle to Postgres, table partitioning, Azure, AzureDBPostgres, Flexible Server)
  5. How we keep Azure Database for PostgreSQL free of bloat to maximize disk space, by Bob Wuisman and Eleni Siampali of Ebiquity. (EMEA livestream, Azure, AzureDBPostgres, Flexible Server, bloat, autovacuum, PostgreSQL)

Bonus! There are 2 pre-events called “Path To Citus Con”

In the drumroll leading up to this year’s Citus Con, we’re also hosting 2 pre-events that are live shows on Discord. I find this type of interactive event to be quite fun—and I can learn from it too. I will definitely be there as a co-host, along with Pino de Candia. (If you haven’t met Pino yet, you’re in for a treat.)

What’s a “live show on Discord”?

You can think of it as a podcast combined with a live text chat. So there’s a voice conversation between the hosts & guests—plus the text chat conversation that includes everyone. It’s quite fun and I’m a big fan of Oxide and Friends, another live show on Discord created by some ex-Sun friends.

  • Add Episode 1 of Path To Citus Con to your calendar, with guests Simon Willison and Marco Slot, who are both keynote speakers at #CitusCon too. Topic = working in public on open source. When = Wed April 5 @ 10:00am PDT. Where = on the #cituscon channel on our Discord (same place where the virtual hallway track will be during Citus Con.)

  • Add Episode 2 of Path To Citus Con to your calendar, with guests Abdullah Ustuner, Burak Yucesoy, Melanie Plageman, and Samay Sharma. When = Wed April 12 @ 10:00am PDT. Where = #cituscon channel on Discord.

Come be part of the very first #PathToCitusCon and help make the conversation even more interesting.

Mark your calendars for Citus Con: An Event for Postgres 2023

If you are into PostgreSQL and are also into continuous learning, join us on April 18-19. No plane tickets required. 😊

Sometimes the hardest part for me in attending a virtual event is blocking my calendar so I don’t get doublebooked.

To help you avoid that impediment, here are links to block your calendar for one or both of the Citus Con livestreams—as well as a link to where the 25 on-demand talks can be found as soon as they are published at the start of Citus Con. The 4th link is to where you’ll find the Q&A and the hallway track on Discord.

Finally, big thanks to everyone involved in organizing Citus Con: An Event for Postgres 2023, especially my co-chair Teresa Giacomini—and the behind-the-scenes producers of the 2 “Path To Citus Con” pre-events, Aaron Wislang and Carol Smith.

P.S. Virtual vs. In-person? 🤔

As co-chair of this event, I have been asked “why virtual?” and “why not in-person?” quite a lot. So much so that I sat down a few weeks ago and recorded this “virtual vs. in-person” video monologue.

Is the monologue funny? You tell me. :) But seriously, it’s certainly possible that we’ll transform Citus Con into an in-person event someday. Is that a good idea? Tell us. In the meantime, there are boatloads of benefits to being virtual, including that you can participate from wherever you are in the world.

video thumbnail for Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL YouTube play icon
YouTube Short: A video monologue about virtual vs. in-person events, inspired by the Citus Con monologue I made last year about how to pronounce PostgreSQL!
Claire Giordano

Written by Claire Giordano

Principal on the Postgres team at Microsoft. Head of open source community efforts for the Citus database extension. Alum of Citus Data, Amazon, Sun Microsystems, and Brown University CS. Conference speaker at PGConf EU, FOSDEM, Nordic PGDay, & Swiss PGDay. Co-chair of Citus Con: An Event for Postgres. Loves sailing in Greece.

@clairegiordano @[email protected]