As I blogged about before the conference, I gave two talks this year at PostgreSQL West. The first was a talk on the query optimizer, which I've given before, and the second talk was on using the system catalogs, which was new. While the second one was well-attended, the first one was packed. I keep hoping I'll think of something to talk about that people find even more interesting than the query planner, but so far no luck. Slides for both presentations are now posted; I've added two slides to the system catalogs presentation that weren't there when I gave the talk, but probably should have been.
Nearly all the talks I attended were good. Some of the best were Greg Smith's talk on Righting Your Writes (slides), Gabrielle Roth's talk on PostgreSQL monitoring tools, and Joe Conway's talk on Building an Open Geospatial Technology Stack (which was actually given in part by Jeff Hamann, who has a company, and a book). All three of these, and a number of the others, were rich with the sort of anecdotal information that it's hard to get out of the documentation: How exactly do you set this up? How well does it actually work? What are its best and worst points?
Another memorable talk was Rob Wultsch's talk entitled "MySQL: The Elephant in the Room". But that talk really deserves a blog post all of its own. Stay tuned.