What’s in a name? Hello POSETTE: An Event for Postgres 2024

Written by Claire Giordano
March 1, 2024

This post by Claire Giordano was originally published on the Microsoft Tech Community Blog.

When I think about naming something—like a feature or product or even an event—this quote always comes to mind.

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

–William Shakespeare

What’s in a name, after all? I’m no expert on Romeo and Juliet, but friends tell me Shakespeare’s point was that names don’t matter. The thing itself is the thing itself, regardless of the name.

My parents named my sister “Helen” at birth but never actually called her that. They always called her by a nickname, “Lyena”. So my sister’s sense of self became intertwined with her nickname: she “felt” like a Lyena. And the only people that ever called her Helen were officious school principals, gate-check agents looking at her passport—and our paternal grandfather. It made her so mad. Whenever my grandfather insisted on calling her Helen, you could almost see the steam coming out of my sister’s ears.

My husband told me about a thing I’ve unconsciously done for years: whenever we drive through Suisun City en route to the mountains, I say the name of the city out loud to myself. Not just once but several times, like I’m chewing on the word. Turns out I really like the way it feels when I say “Suh-soon-si-tee” out loud.

Names carry meaning. They trigger emotions. The phonetic sound of a word affects whether you can remember it. And some words just “roll off the tongue” in a way that makes it easy to say and easy to remember. Bottom line, names matter.

Which is why we decided to give “Citus Con: An Event for Postgres” a new name. People had told us that when they heard the event’s nickname of “Citus Con” they thought it was only about Citus—and did not realize that over 66% of last year’s Citus Con talks were about Postgres, and not about Citus.

Say hello to POSETTE: An Event for Postgres, now in its 3rd year. A free and virtual developer event brought to you with 🧡 by the Postgres team here at Microsoft.

What does the “POSETTE” in “POSETTE: An Event for Postgres” stand for?

POSETTE: An Event for Postgres is a name inspired by developer acronyms. More specifically, the inspiration for the name POSETTE came from FOSDEM.

FOSDEM is an open source developer conference that happens every year in the deep cold winter in Brussels. But in the developer world, some people don’t realize that FOSDEM was initially OSDEM. And many FOSDEM attendees probably can’t tell you what all the letters in the acronym stand for. I mean, it’s sort of obvious that FOSDEM stands for “Free” and “Open Source” and probably “Developer” too—but after that, who knows what the “E” and the “M” stand for. Am I right?

POSETTE is pronounced /Pō-zet/ and stands for Postgres Open Source Ecosystem Talks Training & Education.

The words behind the acronym are intentional. We aim to have the Talks focus on Postgres and the entire Ecosystem of tooling and extensions and community initiatives—to help Educate and Train the growing numbers of Postgres Open Source users and developers and contributors—and of course Azure Database for PostgreSQL customers too!

The word Ecosystem in the name POSETTE is particularly important: we welcome CFP talk proposals about the entire Postgres ecosystem from the core of the database to tooling to PG extensions. And there are so many useful Postgres extensions (including Citus!)

What is POSETTE (formerly Citus Con)—and why did we create it?

If you’re learning about POSETTE: An Event for Postgres for the first time, the key things to know are:

  • it is a free & virtual developer event
  • in its 3rd year
  • with 4 different & unique livestreams will happen Jun 11-13, 2024
  • livestreams will also have a live, interactive chat where you can connect with speakers and attendees
  • all talks made available on YouTube after the event is over, so you can watch at your convenience later at 2X speed even
  • event is brought to you with 🧡 by the Postgres team at Microsoft
  • the CFP is currently open for talk proposals until Apr 07
  • there is of course a Code of Conduct for POSETTE
  • formerly called Citus Con
  • you can stay connected by following @PosetteConf on X/Twitter, Mastodon, or Threads—or popping into the #posetteconf channel on the Microsoft Open Source Discord

And why did we create this virtual Postgres event? Virtual, free, and global—no matter where you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection, you can participate.

The appeal of a high-quality, INCLUSIVE virtual event is real. I love in-person events and it’s no secret that PGConfEU is my favorite PG event. And I’m so honored to be presenting at Nordic PGDay on March 12, and to be giving a lightning talk at pgDay Paris on March 14. But it’s a fact that many people cannot travel to in-person events, due to lack of travel budget or family responsibilities or a multitude of different reasons. So we are big fans of the accessibility and inclusiveness of virtual events, especially when there are great speakers with high-quality talks and well-produced videos.

We hope you can join us for POSETTE—and please help to spread the word, so more Postgres users and developers discover it!

In the meantime, +1 and gratitude to all the a-ma-zing Postgres speakers who are submitting into the CFP for POSETTE and who believe in the value of giving Postgres conference talks. Also, +1 and thanks to my teammates working hard behind the scenes at Microsoft to make this Postgres event happen, with special thanks to our 2024 POSETTE organizing chair, Teresa Giacomini.

how to pronounce POSETTE
Figure 1: This graphic makes it easy to “see” what the word POSETTE in POSETTE: An Event for Postgres 2024 stands for. The CFP is open until Apr 07 2024—and the free & virtual event will happen on June 11-13, 2024.
Claire Giordano

Written by Claire Giordano

Head of open source community efforts for Postgres at Microsoft. Alum of Citus Data, Amazon, Sun Microsystems, and Brown University CS. Conference speaker at PGConfEU, PGConfdev, FOSDEM, PGConf NYC, Nordic PGDay, pgDay Paris, PGDay Chicago, Swiss PGDay, & Citus Con. Talk Selection Team chair for POSETTE: An Event for Postgres. Loves sailing in Greece.

@clairegiordano @clairegiordano@hachyderm.io clairegiordano