Gilberto Castillo



Tags:   postgresql    diploma    postgresql    open source databases technologies    pg_mask    traduction site    events   
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.

My name is Gilberto, I live in Havana, Cuba. I’m married, with three sons. I love sports and I exercise together with my sons. My favorite sports are handball, baseball and basketball. I also enjoy dancing to all kind of music. Havana is the Capital of all Cubans, my recommendation to everyone is: do not miss the opportunity to visit the history places Havana has to offer!

A common problem for all Cuban people is the limited access to technology and new developments, PostgreSQL is no exception to that. The PostgreSQL-Cuba team tries to reach out to new developers and find new solutions for administration and replication in a Postgres cluster. Also, we aim to communicate and have an exchange between Cuba and other countries in the world.

Gilberto Castillo

Gilberto Castillo

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

Do you remember which version of PostgreSQL you started with?

I came to PostreSQL in the end of the 90s. However only started with application development with version 8.2. In my country, the companies and institutions organize and implement actions to ensure reliability, stability, security, invulnerability and sovereignty of its computer systems. I also worked in the research about free database managers.

I’m a Computer Engeneer undergraduate from Tecnological Havana University, and I also have a Masters degree in Accounting, from the same university. I have been working for more than 20 years in the Telecommunications Company of Cuba SA (ETECSA) as developer and DBA, thank to my study.

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

During my career I have been working with many different databases and languages, for example: Cobol, Informix, MS SQL Server, Clipper, Foxpro, Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB and PostgreSQL. My favorite is PostgreSQL, I love Postgres!

Currently I have been working on the Spanish translation of the PostgreSQL documentation, and also on the development of a data mask for PostgreSQL.

How do you contribute to PostgreSQL?

I contribute in different forms:

  • Press contact for Cuba’s PGDG
  • Member of the coordinating committee of the Cuban Community of PostgreSQL
  • Member of the Latin American Community of PostgreSQL
  • Member of the International Community of PostgreSQL
  • He has conducted research and selection of Managers Database open source in ETECSA
  • He has trained specialists ETECSA in the handling and use PostgreSQL Manager
  • Training at the university.
  • Organization of events.
  • Managing collaborative projects between the UCI and ETECSA, the research groups about Free Data Bases of the two institutions. They have been working with PostgreSQL for a long time, and realized the need of adopting PostgreSQL, to manage the requirements in Cuba. Besides this, the group helps other companies in Cuba to adopt PostgreSQL.

In the year 2009 the University of Informatics Sciences (UCI) and ETECSA agreed to perform the first national meeting of the groups of users and developers of PostgreSQL, which was attended by 329 software engineers from all provinces of country, as well as Mr. Ernesto Lozano and several other members of PostgreSQL-Venezuela. During this meeting, which was named “First PGDAY Cubano”, the Cuban Technical Community PostgreSQL Group (PostgreSQL-Cuba) was created, with the mission:

• Contribute to the education of high-level specialists, increasing the usage of free database technologies. • Provide comprehensive solutions and consulting related to migration and exploitation of PostgreSQL. • Contribute to the strengthening of the Cuban technological sovereignty, through the development of technologies using PostgreSQL as database.

As results of the first PGDAY the following priority tasks were identified:

  • Undertake actions of educating Cuban computer specialists in handling this type of technology in PostgreSQL.
  • Migrating other databases (like SQL Server, Access, Foxpro, and ORACLE) to PostgreSQL.

Also in 2011 the Diploma in ProstgreSQL Databases Technology was created. Today the diploma is going into its fifth edition.

And the first Spanish book dedicated to PostgreSQL.

What is your favorite PostgreSQL extension?

My favorite postgresql extension is pg_logical for its potential to replicate databases.

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

In general, the use of pg_upgrade is very complicate for beginners. It needs more explanation and more examples.

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

My recommendation is to read the documentation, especially for the version you plan to use.

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

  • PgCon is an essential conference, the talks are in English.
  • PgBrasil is an important conference in South America
  • PgCuba is our most important local conference for Central America and the Caribbean.

Do you think Postgres has a high entry barrier?

The lack of Spanish documentation is a problem for anyone who does not understand English very well.

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

Start by identifying a problem you have, and work towards solving the problem.

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

I think a world where people are not yet using PostgreSQL, I will help those people!

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

Just:

What other places do you hang out?

Anything else you like to add?

One of my biggest dreams in my life is to create a PostgreSQL company in Cuba. I have always dreamed to help other people in my geographical area, with best practices support and training for PostgreSQL.