Fabrízio de Royes Mello

Tags:   postgresql    databases    opensource    community    commitment    research    development    life    timbira   
Category:   Interviews   
Interviewed 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, your hobbies and where you are from.

Hi, I’m Fabrízio. I was born and live in the southern part of Brazil, in a city called Bagé. It’s close to the border with Uruguay. I’m married and have four daughters. Also I have three cats, one dog and two mices. I love to spend time with my family and friends. I like watching movies, series and sports (soccer, martial arts, volleyball). Although I am very lazy these days I like to practice some sports like Judô and VolleyBall. And I can’t forget to say I’m a barbecue and beer lover. Here where I live we prepare a delicious barbecue called “churrasco".

Fabrízio de Royes Mello

Fabrízio de Royes Mello

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

When did you start using PostgreSQL, and why?

A long long time ago… in a galaxy far far away… just kidding!! First time I used PostgreSQL was at the university (around 1998 / 1999). At that time I had a database class and was using a well known proprietary RDBMS but it was installed in the university computers and I didn’t want to go to laboratories to practice SQL and finish the exercises. I wanted to do it on my own computer at home so I’d started using Linux, and when reading the distribution’s package list I found this strange RDBMS called “PostgreSQL” (weird name but with enough features). So that’s how my story started with our beloved elephant.

And after that episode I received the awesome news (around 2000 / 2001) that the software vendor (ERP) where I was working at that time was moving from ancient DBF files to PostgreSQL so I started using it professionally.

Do you remember which version of PostgreSQL you started with?

For fun and learning purposes on 6.5 and professionally on 7.0 version.

I am a Bachelor of Computer Science and post-graduate in Agile Methodologies. For sure all my studies help me a lot with my current job and my entire career.

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

Except SQLite because it’s embedded in mobile phones, web browsers and a lot of different software, nowadays I don’t use any other database.

How do you contribute to PostgreSQL?

Reviewing and writing patches.

Any contributions to PostgreSQL which do not involve writing code?

Organizing Brazilian community stuff (mailing lists, events - PGConf Brazil, telegram group, etc).

What is your favorite PostgreSQL extension?

From contrib “pg_stat_statements", and “PostGIS” from the ecosystem.

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

Lack of real incremental backup strategies at the block level. Seems the community is working on it already.

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

Introduction of Table Access Method Interface will allow us to use PostgreSQL on very different workloads than now.

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

Parallel and Block Level Backups to improve backup and restore strategies on large databases.

Could you describe your PostgreSQL development toolbox?

Autotools, gcc, make, gdb and Vim. Also I’ve started using VSCode to hack PostgreSQL because of it’s very good debugging support. And to interact with PostgreSQL always use psql.

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

Mathematics (first order logic, set theory, etc) and Foundations of Computer Science (Relational Algebra, Data Structures, Algorithms, Programming Logic and Languages, Operating Systems, etc).

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

Well if extracting the best of git features to getting things done is a best practice, then I use it for sure!

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

All conferences below I present talks:

Do you think Postgres has a high entry barrier?

No way!! There is a lot of very good documentation and Professional Services Companies to help.

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

Extensions are a very good start. And IMHO command line tools also are a good start.

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

Forever is a long time! But PostgreSQL is moving fast and we’re adding very important new features year after year as a result of hard work and strong community commitment with stability and quality.

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

If you care about your data use PostgreSQL. Just it!

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

I participate in -hackers and -committers for a long time and read other community mailing lists.

What other places do you hang out?

Used IRC in the past but nowadays moved to Telegram. We have a huge telegram group (pt-br) about PostgreSQL in Brazil (>2400 participants).

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

I’m a former member of the e-cidade core team, a huge Brazilian GRP (Government Resource Planning) software that I did a lot of development and helped them to release as FOSS in the past. Also I made a lot of contributions for several projects like: pgdbf, pgvm, pg_activity, pREST.