Afsane Anand

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Tags:   postgresql (175)   enterprisedb (7)   customersuccess (1)   cloud (3)   friends (6)   biganimal (1)  
Category:   interviews   
Written by: Andreas Scherbaum

Please tell us about yourself, and where you are from.

I was born in Trier, Germany to a German Mother and an Iranian Father. The family moved to Iran when I was 7; I returned to Germany when I turned 18 to continue my education and get a German Abitur. My studies then took me to India for a 6 months internship where I met my future husband and decided I don’t want an office job. So I packed up and moved to Melbourne, Australia where I did my Hospitality Degree. After working at Hotel Front Desks in Australia, Germany and UK for 12 years I decided an office job wouldn’t be too bad and I started as a Sales Development Representative a few months before COVID hit. Definitely a good decision. Since I have combined the skills and work as Customer Success Manager.

Afsane Anand

Afsane Anand

How do you spend your free time? What are your hobbies?

I love my walks along the Thames and if the weather permits I take my inflatable Kayak instead of walking. I love spending time with my pet mice, Leah and Pearl, they are very entertaining. I am also a bit of a TV Junkie.

Any Social Media channels of yours we should be aware of?

I am spending most of my time on Facebook and LinkedIn - my Facebook is private and reserved for family and friends only, sorry. Here is my LinkedIn.

Last book you read? Or a book you want to recommend to readers?

I get submerged in everything Karin Slaughter writes, the last one I read was “Criminal”. The only books I have actually read twice (German and Original) are the 7 Harry Potter books. On that subject I really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the theatre more than I expected!

Any favourite movie, or show?

Almost anything: Fantasy (LOTR, HP, Supernatural), Comic (DC or Marvel), Horror (Alien, Resident Evil, Walking Dead) and the occasional B-Grade Movie. There are a couple of sitcoms I can watch over and over (Big Bang Theory, Friends, IT Crowd). There are many many more!

What does your ideal weekend look like?

Outdoor time with family and friends somewhere at the beach (swimming, walking, kayaking) and then ending the evening with some good food, drinks and dancing. A nice late breakfast on Sunday then a medium length hike in the woods or along the shore and finish off the day relaxing on the couch with my husband watching a good movie or catching up on our shows.

What’s still on your bucket list?

Skydiving is on the very top. Going to a gun range and shooting an actual gun (just so that I am prepared for the zombie apocalypse). There are also a few countries that I would love to visit on the travel section of the bucket list.

What is the best advice you ever got?

You don’t need to know everything - you just need to know where to find the information.

Another one is: Always be honest and true to yourself in everything you do.

When did you start using PostgreSQL, and why?

I started to pick up the lingo and basics since I started at EDB in August 2021, but never really got into it until I moved to the BigAnimal team in March 2022 and had to work on my cloud knowledge. I started to enjoy the technical steps around connecting the CSP to BigAnimal and getting a better understanding. Once I had that down, I realised I am missing the database to connect to my BigAnimal cluster. So I downloaded Postgres sometime in September 2022 and looked for a “PostgreSQL for Dummies” course on YouTube and started learning.

Do you remember which version of PostgreSQL you started with?

Yes, since it has not been that long - PostgreSQL 14.

I did study Business Economics and Indology at the Johannes-Gutenberg-University in Mainz, but I did not finish my degree. I changed and got an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management from William Angliss TAFE institute in Melbourne instead. The studies, the people, the internships and jobs along the way played a big part in making me the person I am today. So all in all I would say, yes my studies help me with my current job as Customer Success Manager.

How do you contribute to PostgreSQL?

I contribute my time and I like to think I play a role in spreading the word.

Any contributions to PostgreSQL which do not involve writing code?

Once COVID restrictions were lifted and I was able to work at the EDB stand/booth at a couple of events and was able to attend talks and training sessions it brought back the “people person” in me. So I made it known to active Postgres members that I would love the chance to help out and be part of these events. It worked as I was asked to join the Program Committee for PGDay Paris. I really enjoyed volunteering on the day as well and getting to know all the great people involved in the event. I am also part of the organisation team for and looking forward to volunteering at that event as well.

What is your favourite PostgreSQL extension?

Let me give you the non-tech answer to this question - the people in the community!

Should PostgreSQL have built-in multi-master replication?

Honestly, I don’t know. It would be nice to have a Porsche but do I really need one? I feel multi-master replication could fall in the same category. Different companies including EDB offer different multi-master options so if you really want/need it there are ways to achieve it.

Which PostgreSQL conferences do you visit? Do you submit talks?

Conferences that are based in German speaking countries such as PGDay Austria, PGConf.DE and PGConf.DE (Berlin). Postgres London as it was local. pgDay Paris where I volunteered as staff. I am hoping to be able to attend this year’s as well - happy to volunteer as staff!

I have not made up my mind about talks or what they would even be about.

Do you think PostgreSQL has a high entry barrier?

No, I think if you are interested and put your mind to it you can get anything done!

What is your advice for people who want to start PostgreSQL developing - as in, contributing to the project. Where and how should they start?

I don’t think there is any one way of doing things, for me attending events and getting to know the people that are already active members was a way in.

Do you think PostgreSQL will be here for many years in the future?

Yes, looking at the number of people and companies contributing to the project and the fact that it is gaining in popularity are good indicators that the blue elephant will stick around.

Would you recommend PostgreSQL for business, or for side projects?

I work for EDB so I know enough companies that use it for business. My neighbour is using Postgres for a personal side project and I had nothing to do with it. So to answer the question, Both!

Are you reading the -hackers mailing list? Any other list?

No. I think I am only subscribed to pgeu-general.

Anything else you like to add?

Everyone I have met so far has been very helpful and supportive in my journey to Postgres. I really enjoy the camaraderie, commitment and support that is very present among members. Thank you Andreas for giving me the chance to tell my Story.