Carlos Chapi

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Category:   Interviews   
Interview conducted by: Andreas Scherbaum

PostgreSQL is the World’s most advanced Open Source Relational Database. The interview series “PostgreSQL Person of the Week” presents the people who make the project what it is today. Read all interviews here.

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

My name is Carlos Chapi, I’m a computer engineer from Ecuador and, at the time of writing this, I’m 33 years old. I also recently got married so I’m getting used to that too.

Carlos Chapi

Carlos Chapi

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

I love music, so I listen to it all the time, even if I’m working. Sometimes I play guitar. I’m very passionate about languages so I try to make a little time every day to learn something. I really like video games too, mostly turn based strategy, real time strategy, mobas and flight simulators.

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

Sure, you can check my LinkedIn profile.

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

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is a great one. I read it a long time ago, I have already forgotten most of the details but I still remember I liked it very much. I’m just a fan of good mystery thrillers.

Any favorite movie, or show?

I’m mostly a series person, and I really appreciate when a science fiction show tries to give me a believable explanation on everything that is happening in it, so my vote goes to Fringe.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

One where I’m sleeping most of the time. Having a BBQ with friends once I wake up sounds like a great idea too.

What’s still on your bucket list?

I love traveling and visiting large cyberpunk-ish cities. I was about to fly to Tokyo the week they declared the COVID-19 pandemic and closed a lot of airports, so I couldn’t go. I hope I can go someday. Other cities I’d love to go to one day are Seoul, Hong Kong, Moscow, Dubai, Beijing, and some others.

Flying a real plane is something I’d love to do too, but it’s probably less realistic.

What is the best advice you ever got?

Take good care of your heart (they meaning my deeper thoughts and feelings).

When did you start using PostgreSQL, and why?

Jaime Casanova was the one to introduce me to it, maybe around 2010. As I was doing my last years at the university, I got to learn a lot about PostgreSQL from him and could even do some small tasks here and there.

Do you remember which version of PostgreSQL you started with?

Yeah, 8.4.

Yeah, I have a computer engineering degree, so totally related. I did learn some new theory on programming and databases but I’d say I’ve gotten most of the practical knowledge from doing things myself (and sometimes breaking them!).

What other databases are you using? Which one is your favorite?

I’m mostly only using PostgreSQL, but sometimes I like using SQLite for small/portable projects.

My full-time job is being a support engineer for PostgreSQL databases, so mostly everything I do is focused on that.

How do you contribute to PostgreSQL?

I think giving support as such is a way to contribute, especially since in my country there are not many PostgreSQL experts but there are quite some companies that use it as the database for their main system or side projects.

Any contributions to PostgreSQL which do not involve writing code?

I try to keep the Spanish translation of PostgreSQL up to date.

What is the most annoying PostgreSQL thing you can think of? And any chance to fix it?

There are many things you can do with PostgreSQL. It’s a very flexible piece of software but I’d really like to see someday some kind of “centralized control panel” or something like that, that is compatible with a lot of the most used extensions so I can manage everything from one single place, preferably a GUI. That’s probably a lot to ask for but hey, one can dream.

What is the feature you like most in the latest PostgreSQL version?

Pipeline queries sound very useful, I should take some time to test that.

Adding to that, what feature/mechanism would you like to see in PostgreSQL? And why?

Selective data restoration from physical backups.

Which skills are a must have for a PostgreSQL developer/user?

Reading skills. The documentation is very good and complete. Use it.

Do you use any git best practices, which makes working with PostgreSQL easier?

Always double check your git commands, it’s very easy to screw things up with git.

Do you think PostgreSQL has a high entry barrier?

It probably does, it took me quite some time to get used to some things at the beginning.

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

I do think so, yes. It has a lot of potential.

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

For both! I’ve seen it working nicely in both cases.

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

I don’t really like mailing lists, I just can’t get used to them.

What other places do you hang out?

I’m a member of some Slack servers, Mattermost servers and I used to use IRC a lot but not so much lately.

Which other Open Source projects are you involved or interested in?

I have loved Python since a long time ago. The Rocky Linux project has also piqued my interest lately.

Anything else you like to add?

Be nice to fungi, they might rule the world one day.