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, your hobbies and where you are from.
I’m a Canadian currently hiding from winter in a warm southern state. As for hobbies: I started taking my car to the race track to see how well I understood physics. Turns out the theory and application are more interesting when you are the object in motion. I’ve been involved in PostgreSQL since around 2000. Through reading and answering many emails on the JDBC list I found myself contributing code to it and eventually maintaining it. I consider myself to be very fortunate to be able to make a living from PostgreSQL.
I’m currently working for CrunchyData.
Any Social Media channels of yours we should be aware of?
When did you start using PostgreSQL, and why?
In 2000. I needed a database for a project I was working on and it had a BSD type license.
Do you remember which version of PostgreSQL you started with?
Have you studied at a university? If yes, was it related to computers? Did your study help you with your current job?
I have and in fact failed my first programming course as it used punch cards and the iteration cycle was days not minutes. Subsequently I graduated from college with an electrical engineering diploma. This was much more hands on and yes it does help with my current job.
What other databases are you using? Which one is your favourite?
On which PostgreSQL-related projects are you currently working?
How do you contribute to PostgreSQL?
I maintain the PostgreSQL JDBC driver. Deal with all the issues and pull requests that come in as well as release the driver.
Any contributions to PostgreSQL which do not involve writing code?
I am a member of the user group and the funds committee.
What is your favourite PostgreSQL extension?
PL/JVM of course since I wrote it.
What is the most annoying PostgreSQL thing you can think of? And any chance to fix it?
I think we need to add to our documentation tutorials from a beginners perspective and yes it could be fixed.
What is the feature you like most in the latest PostgreSQL version?
I like logical decoding in all versions. It enables many useful abilities.
Adding to that, what feature/mechanism would you like to see in PostgreSQL? And why?
Could you describe your PostgreSQL development toolbox?
Intellij IDEA for Java, all JAVA versions, Eclipse CDT for C.
Which skills are a must have for a PostgreSQL developer/user?
The ability and willingness to search for answers. To not be worried about asking simple questions. Nobody knows the answers to everything. Be inquisitive.
Which PostgreSQL conferences do you visit? Do you submit talks?
Do you think Postgres has a high entry barrier?
Development, yes. Usage, not really. If you don’t know anything about databases then they are equally difficult. I don’t believe PostgreSQL is any more difficult than any other database to start using.
What is your advice for people who want to start PostgreSQL developing - as in, contributing to the project. Where and how should they start?
Well I started by attempting to answer every question on the jdbc mailing list as a way to learn. Every subsequent answer became easier and easier. This worked for me. One could also start by reviewing patches.
Do you think PostgreSQL will be here for many years in the future?
Would you recommend Postgres for business, or for side projects?
Business of course.
Are you reading the -hackers mailinglist? Any other list?
What other places do you hang out?
Which other Open Source projects are you involved or interested in?