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If PostgreSQL is the fastest growing database, then why is the community so small?

If PostgreSQL is the fastest growing database, then why is the community so small?

The database king continues its reign. For the second year in a row, PostgreSQL is still the fastest growing DBMS.

By comparison, in 2018 MongoDB was the second fastest growing, while Oracle, MySQL, and SQL Server all shrank in popularity.

For those who stay on top of news from database land, this should come as no surprise, given the number of PostgreSQL success stories that have been published recently:

Let’s all pat ourselves on the back, shall we? Not quite yet.

The PostgreSQL community by the numbers

As the popularity of PostgreSQL grows, attendance at community events remains small. This is the case even as more and more organizations and developers embrace PostgreSQL, so from our perspective, there seems to be a discrepancy between the size of the Postgres user base and that of the Postgres community.

The two main PostgreSQL community conferences are Postgres Conference (US) and PGConf EU. Below is a graph of Postgres Conference attendance for the last 5 years, with a projection for the Postgres Conference 2019 event occurring in March.

Last year, PGConf EU had around 500 attendees, a 100% increase since 4 years ago.

Combined, that’s about 1,100 attendees for the two largest conferences within the PostgreSQL community. By comparison, Oracle OpenWorld has about 60,000 attendees. Even MongoDB World had over 2,000 attendees in 2018.

We fully recognize that attendance at Postgres community events will be a portion of the user base. We also really enjoy these events and applaud the organizers for the effort they invest in running them. And in-person events may indeed be a lagging indicator of a systems growth in popularity. Let’s just grow faster!

One relatively new gathering point for the Postgres community is the Postgres Slack channel, which already has ~4,000 members from the time it was created a couple years ago. But even our TimescaleDB Slack channel has more than half of that. (And while our community is growing quickly, even we wouldn’t claim to have over half the adoption of Postgres!)

So, how can you help grow the PostgreSQL community?

Postgres user? Get involved with the community

Wherever you are in your Postgres journey, we strongly encourage you to get involved with the Postgres community. As a start you can:

You might also consider helping to organize a local Postgres event, which is something TimescaleDB did earlier this year for the 2019 Postgres NYC Holiday Party.

We’re engaging with PostgreSQL to help foster a more inclusive community that aims to bring together PostgreSQL developers, users, and ecosystem players new and old to grow the in-person gatherings that fuel collaboration, innovation, and help to form friendships.

So if you’re serious about your Postgres journey and want to get more involved too, come join us at PostgresConf US in New York City, which is just one month away on March 18-22, 2019.

Be sure to use TIMESCALE_ROCKS for 25% off of your ticket.
[Disclaimer: We did not pick the code name. Special thanks to J.D. who did, and for helping with this post.]

If you do decide to attend, please come by and say hi, and check out the following tracks:

A fun start to the year at PostgreSQL’s NYC Holiday Party. 

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