I’m reasonably proficient at SQL – a coworker when pseudocoding some logic for him pointed out that my pseudocode is what he thought was executable SQL. I’m fully capable of writing clear and readable SQL – which most SQL is not. Despite that I still have several bad habits when it comes to SQL. Without further adieu heres some of my dirty laundry so hopefully others can not make the same mistakes.
Following up on my earlier post about CX or Conference Experience – I’m going to dig in a bit on how you get good conversation to happen. In the past two years I’ve been to nearly 20 conferences, I’ve been to conferences with great talks, with great parties, with great swag, and hands down my favorite conferences have always been a result of great conversation. With the number of talks that are recorded and immediately available online after, what can I say I’m a hallway track guy.
I’ve seen a number of conferences intentionally design around this concept, in some ways the unconference is purely a hallway track conference. I’ve also seen conferences that weren’t clearly planned for this and have pulled off some of the best situations where people turn their phones off and engage in real conversation.
A couple of weekends ago I had the great opportunity to attend lessconf. It was an all around great conference, and as a result of the greatness I ended up having a conversation with a few people around conference experience. I must give much of the credit to Swift, as he mentioned he’d already been thinking alot about this since Waza. In general it feels like there’s a few key themes that any conference should focus on, then a lot of small things that can really push it over the top. Here’s a few:
In general the key areas for any great conference are:
- Great people
- Ensuring communication happens
- Bonus points
Digging in deeper on the first area…
In almost any application it’s common to want to aggregate some set of values together, commonly in a comma separated form. Most developers do this by running a query to get much of the raw data, looping over the data and pushing it into a set, appending each new value to the appropriate key. Hopefully, it’s not a surprise that there’s a much better way to do this with PostgreSQL.
Postgres has a flexible and robust array datatype that comes with a variety of functions. Even without taking advantage of the array datatype in your application, you can still take advantage of some of the functions to get the functionality you need. Lets take a look at an example schema and use case.
The first area I tend to think about when it comes to developer marketing is around advocates. A simple definition of an advocate is someone that speaks/writes in favor of some thing.
Creating advocates is a means of creating more of myself to go out and talk loudly and ideally effectively. However, they do take time to cultivate and it is a hard item to track. But by cultivating advocates I’m able to scale what would otherwise be a bottleneck of my own personal time.
As developers we can tend to be a fickle bunch; especially in certain open source communities. We like to see intelligence and systems applied to things, hope for a better world through making things open, and appreciate when others relate to our world as we often attempt to relate to theirs. Marketing is often a loaded word when it comes to developers – leaving mixed feelings about webinars, email campaigns, and the like.
A quick clarification in terms of marketing I’m referring to product marketing, but of a technical product. This is based on the idea that developers are the new kingmakers and when marketing a product to them it needs to be done differently.
I blog because I’m lazy. There’s more too it though: In any given day I may explain something to someone, the first time I do this I make a bit of a mental note. The second time I do this, especially within a short time frame I make a physical note of this in the form of the title of a blog post. Once I’m already to a second time of doing this its almost inevitable I’ll continue repeating myself – and its valuable to others.
Over a year ago I blogged about Heroku’s approach to Teams and Tools. Since that time Heroku has grown from around 25 people to over 100, we’ve continued to iterate and find new tools that work for how we do things. For many of the product management and software engineering books I’ve read I’ve yet to find something that helps a team priorize in a fashion I that feels right.
One process emerged nearly a year ago from within the Heroku Postgres team and is now followed by many others. Within a team this process is now commonly conducted each 6 months. Lets take a look at how this process looks
If you’re looking to get better performance from your Django apps you can check out Pro Django, PostgreSQL High Performance, or read some my earlier posts on Postgres Performance. All of these are of course good things to do – you can also start by correcting an incredibly common but also painful performance issue, that until 1.6 is unaddressed in Django.
Django’s current default behavior is to establish a connection for each request within a Django application. In many cases any particularly in distributed cloud environments this is a large time sink of your response time. An example application running on Heroku shows a typical connection time of 70ms. A large part of this time is the SSL negotiation that occurs in connecting to your database, which is a good practice to ensure security of your data. Regardless, this is a long time in simply establishing a connection. As a point of comparisson its commonly encourage that most queries to your database are under 10ms.
An example that highlights this in a small lightweight application shows the bulk of a request time being within a connection displayed by New Relic:
After my last post I had a variety of readers reach out about many different tweaks they’d made to their workflows using with psql. One people Grégoire Hubert had a wondeful extensive list of items. Grégoire has been a freelance in web development and he has worked with Postgresql for some time now in addition to being the author of Pomm. Without further ado heres what he has to say on how he uses psql:
Get the most of psql
Psql, the CLI postgreSQL client, is a powerful tool. Sadly, lot of developers are not aware of the features and instead look for a GUI to provide what they need. Let’s fly over what can psql do for you.