Setting up PostgreSQL on MacOS

For this tutorial we will be using postgres.app from the folks at https://eggerapps.at/ to install and setup a local development server on macOS.

Download and install using the instructions at https://postgresapp.com/

Start postgres from the applications folder Ensure the CLI tools are working by typing,

createdb

This should result in the following error if everything was installed correctly,

createdb: database creation failed: ERROR: database "username" already exists

To create your development db enter into the console,

createdb devdb

If for whatever reason this db needs to be removed use,

dropdb devdb

Access the db we have just created,

psql devdb

This should drop you into an interactive terminal program where we will be able to enter, edit, and execute sql commands.

From here you can also execute internal psql commands beginning with the backslash character, “", that are not SQL commands.

You can see what commands are available to you with the help command,

devdb=# help
You are using psql, the command-line interface to PostgreSQL.
Type:  \copyright for distribution terms
       \h for help with SQL commands
       \? for help with psql commands
       \g or terminate with semicolon to execute query
       \q to quit

Moving from San Diego to Austin

A couple of months ago an opportunity opened up at work to move to Austin, Texas. I toyed with the idea of making the move but never took it seriously. Next thing you know, the lease on my apartment at the time was about to end and I still had not found a new place to live in San Diego. Queue time to take the decision seriously. Growing up and attending college in San Diego I felt like it would be a good time to experience something new and committed to going. And, after a hectic two months of moving halfway across the country, I’m finally starting to settle in. Here are some things I’ve learned leading up to the move and what I’ve learned from a little over a month in Austin.

Start as early as possible

Moving across the country with one month notice is certainly possible but I’d highly recommend against it. My girlfriend and I had a little less than a month to find a place to live, pack, ship, and drive out to Texas to avoid being homeless. We were fortunate my family in San Antonio was able to view apartments for us. If not we would have been rushed into picking a place to live. Spreading out the cadence at which you pack, donate, and sell items relieves a lot of the pressure of the move. Make the months prior as easy possible by starting as soon as you can.

Save money by shipping

Initially, we thought of using a moving company to pack up our belongings and move them to Austin for us. While this would be the most painless route, expect to burn a huge hole in your pocket. Our next option was to throw our belongings in a U-Haul and drive them ourselves. That too was costlier then we had expected. Especially taking into account the actual value of everything.

We settled on packing whatever valuables we could fit into the back of my car and use Amtrak’s shipping services for the rest (clothes, books, kitchen goods, etc). What didn’t fit we shipped using UPS which could have been saved even further by shopping shipping services. For furniture, we realized we could donate or sell most of it and rebuy the same furniture and still save. Overall we offset the costs by more than half and were able to redistribute the costs of buying new furniture to after the move. This option may not work for everyone but is worth taking into account if you’re willing to part with most of your belongings and start over.

Austin feels small

This one is subjective. Coming from San Diego and spending a significant time in LA. Austin feels small. The small neighboring city of Round Rock is 21 minutes north of Downtown Austin. My hometown of Mira Mesa in San Diego is 25 minutes from Downtown San Diego yet we’re still considered to be in the city of San Diego. Everything feel’s closer then I am accustomed to. This doesn’t mean your commute will be short though. Austin is supposedly notorious for its traffic. Although nothing out of the ordinary compared to LA or San Francisco.

Texans are nice

It will take a while to get used to how nice people have been in Texas. It’s downright strange at times. Friendly… but strange. Just the other day we were in the parking lot with our throw pillow haul from HomeGoods when a random stranger was genuinely excited for us when he saw that we had bought pillows. The week prior we were at Whole Foods when the cashier complimented on our choice of breakfast tacos and asked about our plans for the day. I promised I’m not trying to be rude when I stare at you with a confused smile I just don’t know how to react yet.

It seems as techie as they say

I don’t have a large sample size to build on but five of the six people on our TopGolf league team works for tech companies. It isn’t shocking to see large tech company offices as you drive through Austin. This is a stark contrast to what I’d experienced in Southern California.

Californians are everywhere

This may not come as a surprise to those who have lived in Austin for years but it certainly surprised me how noticeable it was. In our apartment complex alone I’ve spotted 5 California plates. Out and about it’s not unusual to see people representing their hometown teams. A recent post on culturemap estimated from 2010 to 2014 the Austin area gained on average 8 Californians per day. This was prior to Austin being named “Best City to Live” two years in a row by U.S. News and World Report. It’s hard to imagine the influx to stop as long as California’s cost of living continues to rise. We are sorry.

The food has been outstanding

I was concerned about moving away from the land of California burritos in San Diego and the sprawling food metropolitan of LA but Austin was quick to quell those concerns. The BBQ is amazing and I have yet to go to the BBQ capital of Texas 35 minutes south in Lockhart. Breakfast Tacos may not be as good as San Diego burritos but they will definitely keep me satisfied until I go back. The pho I’ve tried easily competes with the best I’ve had in Little Saigon. The xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) are better than any I’ve had in San Diego prior to Din Tai Fung opening. We have most of the top burger places, Hop Doddy, Shake Shack, Whataburger, In-n-out, and Austin’s very own P Terry’s (which was a pleasant surprise). And from my understanding, this is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m looking forward to eating my way through Austin as the months roll by.

Your money goes a long way relative to California

As most know, one of the driving forces for the influx of new Austin residents is the cost of living. It was one of the driving forces for me. I’ve noticed this most in the cost of gas and housing. Prior to leaving San Diego, it would cost anywhere from $3.70-$4.00 per gallon to fill up my tank. In Austin, it’s been anywhere from $2.40-$2.80 per gallon. My Austin apartment costs roughly the same as the one I had in Oceanside except for its 3 years old versus 30 years old. The gym has more than 3 treadmills and the washing machine and dryer are in-unit. Getting the same quality apartment in San Diego would have cost upwards of 50% more depending on the location. On top of the general day-to-day expenses, Texas has no state income tax. There’s a downside to all this though, I’ve been made aware of the cost of living going up and going up fast. Housing prices in some neighborhoods reflect those in California, some residents are being forced out of neighborhoods they’ve lived in for generations. It’s unfortunate. Hopefully, it doesn’t snowball into the issues we are seeing in the bay area.

Conclusion

It has only been a month but so far Austin has exceeded all expectations and I look forward to experiencing what more this city has to offer. It will be interesting to see how my opinion of Austin changes over the course of a year and will follow up on this post then. If you’ve moved to Austin from another state, I’d love to hear your thoughts.