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Upcoming Database Conferences: Winter 2015-2016

Once again, it’s time for a roundup of upcoming database events. Today, however, we’ll be covering events for the winter season (December 2015 to the end of February 2016) instead of our usual monthly schedule. Why are we changing it up? The holidays, for a start. Plus, organizers tend to schedule events during better traveling weather.

Weather and seasonal festivities aside, the conferences are looking interesting. Berlin and Texas will go in-depth on the topic of machine learning and data science, so those interested in smart data should take note. Los Angeles and Sydney will also be hosting their own tech-centric conventions. For a more comprehensive list of software-related events, check out our events calendar.

So, let’s get started with Germany’s Smart Data Developer entry.

Smart Data Developer Conference 2016

Smart Data Developer Conference

This conference is designed to familiarize software developers with the challenges of Big Data – including data storage and processing in general. It will also touch upon machine learning, advanced analytics, data autonomy, and many other topics.

Location: Cologne, Germany.

Schedule: December 1 and 2, 2015. A detailed schedule can be found on the website; look under the Program tab.

Website: (German only)

Registration: Workshops only (December 1) cost €699. Conference only (December 2) costs €499. A combination of the two costs €1099.

My recommendations: Really, the whole program looks amazing, but I’d focus on the panels and workshops that have the most to do with Smart Data. With this in mind, I recommend the Smart Data with Microsoft Azure workshop to anyone interested in building self-service analytics with Azure. The workshop will be led by Sascha Dittmann, an Azure and SQL specialist and frequent Microsoft MVP. The workshop will happen on December 1 from 9:00 to 18:00.

For people getting started with machine learning and the Azure platform, IoT – Can You Eat It? should help in understanding the concepts, technologies, and tools being used. This panel will be featured on December 2 from 14:00 to 14:30. The panelist will be Hogel Wender, an experienced .NET mobile applications developer, Microsoft MVP, and Certified Scrum Master.

Data Day Texas 2016

Data Day Texas 2016

This will be the fifth year that Austin has hosted this event, which will be covering Big Data, analytics, machine learning, and related topics. Speakers representing companies such as Google, Netflix and IBM will be on hand to provide data-based enlightenment.

Location: Austin, Texas.

Schedule: January 16, 2016. Starts at 8:00.


Registration: The registration price is $535, including a processing fee.

My recommendations: Creating a Data-Driven Organization with Carl Anderson, the Director of Data Science at Warby Parker, is pretty much what it says on the tin. This panel will define data-driven organizations and explain how they are different from organizations that simply handle lots of data. It will also explain the sort of infrastructure and philosophy that a data-driven organization should use. Finally, it will warn about common ‘bad practices’.

Another attractive panel is Under the Hood of Idibon’s Scalable NLP Services with Michelle Casbon. Idibon is one of the leading companies in the area of natural language processing, using cloud-based servers and performing data analysis through the use of machine learning. Michelle Casbon, a Senior Data Engineer in the company, will explain the algorithms, technologies and infrastructure behind the system. Anyone interested in natural language processing should see this.

PostgreSQL@SCaLE 2016


This 2-track conference is part of a larger event called ScaLE 14x, a Linux expo and the largest community-run open source conference in North America. PostrgeSQL@SCaLE promises top-notch content and some very inviting booths.

Location: Pasadena, California.

Schedule: January 21 and 22, 2016.


Registration: Access to PostgreSQL@SCaLE comes with the ScaLE 14x Full Access Pass, which costs $75.

My recommendations: Still no info on any panels here, I’m afraid. I got in contact with Joe Conway, one of the organizers, and he says there’ll be something within the next few weeks. With that said, though, Joe Conway was a presenter in SCaLE 13x (the former iteration of this year’s conference) and there’s every reason to believe he’ll be speaking this year as well. I’ve been looking at some of his previous conferences, and the man is very insightful regarding Postgres scripting and function designs. He has been a contributor for PostgreSQL Development Group for 14 years now, as well as being vice-president of Crunchy Data Solutions, which specializes in providing secure and effective PostgreSQL solutions for companies. If you see him on the schedule, I recommend looking into whatever programs he’s involved in.

Oracle BIWA Summit 2016

Oracle BIWA Summit 2016

This conference, organized by the Independent Oracle User Group (IOUG) is a big one, with as many as 75 speaking sessions through the course of 3 days. This year, the conference will also include the 11th annual Oracle Spatial Summit. This conference is organized in 8 tracks with specific themes, making it a little simpler to find what you might be looking for.

Location: Redwood Shores, California.

Schedule: January 26 to January 28, 2016. You can see the list of sessions here, but the timeslots are, as of this moment, placeholders and will not reflect the final schedule of the conference.


Registration: Regular registration price is $349. Members of the Northern California Oracle Users Group can register for the second and third day for $180.

My recommendations: As it often happens with conferences this big, one's schedule tends to be a matter of personal preference. The best option is probably to focus on the tracks you might be most interested in.

With that said, however, for those that are interested in database analytics I will recommend the Learn Predictive Analytics in 2 hours!! and Predictive Analytics using SQL and PL/SQL sessions, presented by Brendan Tierney and Charlie Berger. Although independent from each other, those two hands-on labs should be a great crash course for the most important tools and methods for getting started in Data Mining using Oracle tools. Advanced Analytics are a specialty of Tierney, who works as a consultant in his personal company Oralytics. Berger, meanwhile, has worked an Oracle in Product Management, Data Mining and Analytics since 1999, and has an extensive background in several aspects of software development, from engineering to marketing.



This single-track Postgres conference will work as a supplement for the annual Belgium-based database event FOSDEM. The regular PostgreSQL devroom at FOSDEM will still be active on January 31. The schedules of PGDay and regular PostgreSQL devroom are coordinated. They can be considered, though, independent from each other. This event is organized by the same team that created PGConf.EU and could be considered a low scale, single track version of that event. Again, the full PGConf.EU event will happen this year on a yet to be announced date.

Location: Brussels, Belgium.

Schedule: January 29, 2016.


Registration: The price for registration will be €50, save for confirmed speakers who will access for free.

My recommendations: There are no confirmed sessions yet. Going by what typically happens with the PGConf.EU team, though, the full schedule will probably be available before January.

Seventh International Conference on Database Management Systems (DMS-2016)

Seventh International Conference on Database Management Systems (DMS-2016)

As the name indicates, this conference has been traveling to a variety of countries worldwide, English-speaking and otherwise, for the last seven years. Its panels are planned by submission, meaning that they are accepting papers on a wide variety of topics. Logically, then, one could expect to see quite a lot of topics being covered.

Location: Sydney, Australia.

Schedule: February 6 and 7, 2016.


Registration: There price of the registration is $350 USD.

My recommendations: Once again, there’s no concrete schedule in place yet – at the time of this writing, the event was too far in the future for that. So while I don’t have any specific recommendations, I do recommend this event in general because of its history. The abstracts of panels from prior editions are consistently quite good, which speaks of high standards by the organizers.

If you want details, don’t despair; just be patient. The list of accepted papers will eventually show up here.

Wind, weather, snow and schedules permitting, we’re looking forward to the winter database events season!

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