Where to Get Postgres Help Online?

In the recent Postgres Community Survey by Timescale, nearly 50% of users reported that they started using Postgres within the last 5 years, including almost 20% within just the last 2 years. With the pandemic and subsequent lock-downs wiping out so many local user groups and in-person conferences, being able to get help and network with other Postgres users online has never been more important.

Of course the Postgres website lists several community resources which I would encourage you to check out, but given the recent kerfuffle with the freenode irc community I thought it might be good to highlight some additional options. Luckily there are a bunch of them out there, and they are all free to join. The following list is not exhaustive by any means, but these are the regular postgres gatherings that I visit at least occasionally and I think you’ll be able to get something out of as well.

PostgresTeam.Slack.com - Ok, this one is listed on the community page, but since I use slack regularly for work, the Postgres slack team has become my daily driver. The #general channel serves as the primary spot for general Q&A, but there are also topic specific channels like #pgbackrest and #patroni, not to mention general information channels like #postgres-job-offers and #pgsql-commits. So far we’ve had over 10,000 people sign-up for the Postgres slack, and the community continues to grow at a steady pace. If you’ve not used slack before, one of the nice things about it is it has excellent clients for the desktop, through your favorite web browser, and even on mobile; just in case you need to get your postgres fix on the go. (What? I can’t be the only one!)

Stackoverflow - Well, technically https://dba.stackexchange.com, but in any case, your favorite technical question / answer site has a site dedicated to databases. While I have a lot of concerns about the recent purchase, I don’t see anything that comes close to an alternative given what it offers. One of the nice things about stackexchange is that it works a little better for long form questions that require more detail and less back-and-forth troubleshooting like you might do on Slack. It also better embraces the asynch nature of the web, which is not to say that you’ll have to wait long, the community there is pretty active and answers can often come in minutes. Oh, if you go now, they are running their annual Developer Survey; if you sign up be sure to represent the Postgres community :-)

The Postgres blogging community is also pretty active, and you can certainly get a lot of good information through posts, and get some questions answered via comments on those topics. While I don’t have a dedicated process for reading Postgres blogs, I find that I do end up coming back to certain ones time and again. If you don’t have a favorite, just keep the Planet Postgres site handy and you’ll have the chance to check out many of the most active Postgres bloggers and assemble your own list.

Of course there is always twitter. Best for quick questions and finding out what’s new in the world of Postgres, many folks in the community are active and willing to answer (short!) questions on twitter. While there aren’t any official hashtags, I’d recommend following (or tagging) tweets with #postgres or #postgresfriends (or #pghelp if you’re optimistic) to get started, and through those you’ll be able to uncover active community members that might also be worth following.

Finally I also want to give a nod to IRC. I’ve been visiting the postgres channel on freenode for nearly 20 years and while the recent changes were a tad depressing the community members on IRC have bailed me out plenty of times, and I’m certainly thankful for thier help over the years. You can read the official migration announcement about the irc team moving to the Libera Chat network, and the Libera Chat folks also have some nice docs on access IRC, whether through a dedicated IRC client or through a web based client (I’m currently trialing this). The primary community channel on IRC is #postgresql, but there are a number of other options; check out the community irc page for more info. If you don’t like Slack for some reason and want to do chat, IRC is still a nice option.

As I mentioned before, this list is certainly not exhaustive. If you don’t like these options, you’re only a google search away from other ones, especially if you are looking for regional or language specific options.

In my experience most of these groups are quite welcoming to new users and happy to answer questions on all sorts of Postgres related topics. Of course, given the distributed nature of the project, and being on the internet in general, you are likely to encounter all different sorts of opinions and folks living in their own world; remember to approach new things with an open mind and find the right fit for you.