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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 Hervé Schweitzer and I live in Courgenay (Canton of Jura, Switzerland), but I’m originally from Alsace (France), where I was born and lived until 2019. I worked as an Oracle DBA (database administrator) from 1997 to 2010. Then, with 4 friends, we decided to start our own company - dbi-services - which is an expertise company in the database/middleware field.
Today dbi services has proudly 90 people and I am the CTO of dbi-services since its creation. My Technical expertise has evolved over the years with additional skills as PostgreSQL. Currently, I am mostly involved in Cloud architecture and DevOps automation projects.
How do you spend your free time? What are your hobbies?
On weekends, I try to spend as much time as possible in the forest, either on foot for a good hike or with my mountain bike. Otherwise, I enjoy spending time with family and friends and sharing good moments with them.
Any Social Media channels of yours we should be aware of?
Last book you read? Or a book you want to recommend to readers?
A biography of Jean-Paul Belmondo.
He played in many action films, where he always did the stunts himself! He was even seriously injured one time. Jean-Paul Belmondo sadly passed away in 2021, but Bébel(nickname) will remain my favorite actor !
Any favorite movie, or show?
Back to the Future, and today the future from the 80’s is here. For example the Hoverboard from Marty McFly, it exists today. The name only changed to “Flyboard air” from Zapata.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
Go out with a friend for a beer on Friday night. Saturday morning play with the kids, help them with their homework and then spend the afternoon hiking or biking in the forest. On Sunday, same program as Saturday except that the afternoon is dedicated to a family activity.
What’s still on your bucket list?
Buy a small cabin in the forest.
When did you start using PostgreSQL, and why?
In 2017, after Daniel Westermann presented the content of the PostgreSQL Tuning workshop he developed for dbi-services.
Do you remember which version of PostgreSQL you started with?
I started with version 11.
Have you studied at a university? If yes, was it related to computers? Did your study help you with your current job?
I studied computer science in school, and yes, it helps me each and every day!
What other databases are you using? Which one is your favorite?
I have also used Oracle in the past, but I do not have a favorite database.
On which PostgreSQL-related projects are you currently working?
I have mostly been involved in PostgreSQL tuning projects, as I can reuse my experience in Oracle Tuning.
How do you contribute to PostgreSQL?
We sponsor several communities each year and we test many new features that are then presented on our blog.
What is your favorite PostgreSQL extension?
pg_stat_statements because it helps identifying queries that may cause issues.
What is the feature you like most in the latest PostgreSQL version?
The foreign data wrapper, because it gives you the possibility to consolidate many datas from different sources into a PostgreSQL database.
Adding to that, what feature/mechanism would you like to see in PostgreSQL? And why?
The undo tablespace (Zheap) to avoid the table bloat effect in tables with many updates
Which PostgreSQL conferences do you visit? Do you submit talks?
Yes, I submit talks every year for the following conferences: PGConf.EU, PGConf.DE and Swiss PGDay.
Do you think PostgreSQL has a high entry barrier?
No, it is quite the opposite actually and it is very easy to get in touch with experts!
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 working on a specific feature, do more in-depth testing and blog about it.
Do you think PostgreSQL will be here for many years in the future?
Yes, I think so. PostgreSQL is only at the beginning. For the moment, PostgreSQL is “only” the leader of the RDBMS used on new development projects but not on production systems.
Would you recommend PostgreSQL for business, or for side projects?
I would definitely use it on production systems, as the support is fast and excellent. I would only recommend testing the application carefully before putting it into production.
Are you reading the -hackers mailinglist? Any other list?
I read -performance because I am interested in all topics around tuning, and sometimes interesting settings are shared.
Anything else you like to add?
I would like to thank you for the interview, and I also want to thank the PostgreSQL community for everything they do to help our daily work.