For those who are considering attending PG Conf NYC 2020: the last Day of the EarlyBird discount is January 31! The program (or at least most of it:)) is up, so you can decided which day(s) you want to attend in can’t make it for the whole week. There will be tons of interesting talks, I am already upset I won’t be able to be it three different rooms at the same time 🙂
For those who is interested in my presentations, here is the most complete information so far:
Boris and I will be doing the same Ultimate Optimization Training as we presented in Chicago in December. The even was sold out than, but it is not sold out yet in NYC :). Our training will be on the last day of the conference, Friday March 27
I will be presenting the talk about building local communities (specifically, how to build a Postgers User Group) on the second day of the conference
I won’t be presenting neither bitemporal library, nor NORM, but I was invited to talk at another event during the same week, where I will present the NORM talk (extended from my Cyprus presentation). I will publish all the details as soon as it will be finalized
Once again – there will be an amazing number of interesting presentations, and many experienced people to talk to (I already have a list of twenty:)), so please consider attending!
Before I went to this conference, I was resentful regarding the fact that the gap between applications and databases will never be closed. Even at the conference focused on both data engineering and software development, there was barely a place for me, and our talk barely got accepted.
I have to admit, I didn’t explore the program much before coming because I had never-ending work crisis, and we had to rework our presentation several times.
But when I took a closer look, I realized that I am way more interested in the SE sessions than in the database sessions. Day four, I could not miss a single moment, and I had several interesting conversations with the speakers.
It turned out that most of them were not even present on day one when I was giving my talk. And they said they would love to come if it won’t be on the first day.
Now I am wondering whether I did it right, never trying to present my work at the SE conferences. On the one hand, I am always saying that my success won’t be possible if I won’t have such an incredible backend team. On the other hand, I routinely say that inefficient programming is all application developers’ fault. That is not true.
One of the talks was about the refactoring techniques, and after the presentation, I asked the speaker whether he ever tried to consider taking into account the factor of accessing a database as a factoring criterion. He replied that one of his colleagues tried to explore this option, but found it challenging: queries appear to be so entangled, so difficult to extract, that it led to nothing. I told him about my work and suggested that we would love to collaborate if he will find it interesting. He said that he would take a look, and then also mentioned that usually, the database people are not collaborating. He mentioned the lack of constraints and unwillingness to use views. I said that views are horrible because most of the time they decrease performance. But they provide a level of abstraction, he suggested. I replied – the are better ways! He said – well, then give them to us!
This exchange made me think that I am not explaining myself enough when talking about NORM. And if I know that successful implementation depends on cooperation with app developers, I should advocate for them.
My friends and colleagues who follow me for a while are well aware of the fact that my papers about ORIM/ORM were rejected at several conferences. Also, it’s a known fact that this kind of submissions is not welcomed at the conferences in general. My recent work, which was implemented at Braviant Holding with what I would call a smashing success, was only presented at the Postgres conferences. Our three attempts to submit it to any CS/Academic conferences failed. At some point, it became a matter of principle.
We submitted the new version to SOFSEM 2020 in the hope that at DB/SE conference, the topic could feel more appealing. The submissions formate required us to reduce the size of the paper almost twice, but we were still hopeful we would be able to convey a message. That ended up being only a partial success. The paper was accepted, however, only as a short paper. Reading the reviews, we realized that none of the reviewers understood what it was about (in fact, we got much better reviews fro VLDB, were we got weak accept, which ended up being not enough). To make the paper even shorter, we had to remove all the actual work from the body:), leaving there only the motivation and the conclusion. But as I said, it was the matter of principle.
Then we spend quite a bit of time reworking the presentation. First, Boris wanted it to look more academic, that my older Postgres presentations. But then we started to change it back to more and more visual since we realized that the topic, the motivation, and the reality are pretty much unknown to our audience. Besides, my Postgres presentations were 40-50 minutes long, and here we had only 30 minutes, including questions. I tried very hard to get it to 23-25 minutes.
The last blow came two days before the conference when we were told that the presentations for short papers should be 18 minutes long, including questions, which meant I had only 15 minutes to present. That did not sound feasible, and we were desperate. Boris tried to negotiate our twelve minutes back with the organizers:).
But then a sort of miracle happened. Right before our session began, it turned out that the first person didn’t show up, and I claimed all the time I could. Unfortunately, I already cut several slides out of my presentation (I put them pack in the pdf, which I previously published here). After all, I was able to bring my point across, and I think that everybody present there, enjoyed the presentation. How I wish I won’t be presenting on the first day because then I `would convince more people to come. But in any case, I hope that now we will be able to publish a full version of the paper somewhere.
A preface: as it usually happens with my favorite topic, neither database conferences, nor software engineering conference acknowledge that kind of research. Thereby, when although the paper got accepted, it was accepted as a short paper (because nobody understood what it was about :)).
Moreover, two days before the conference we were asked to shorten the presentation to 15 minutes. Fortunately for me, there was one no-show at our session, so I was able to present in full. Below is a full presentation version including two slides which were not in today’s presentation.
For those who didn’t get a chance to get to our Ultimate Optimization Training in December: we are doing it again at PG Conf New York March 23-27. This is definitely not the only reason to attend the conference, but somewhat an extra bonus :). Please go to the conference page for the details: PG Conf 2020