Jim Chanco Jr



Reading time: 4 minutes

Tags:   postgresql (149)   diversity (3)   opensource (19)   art (1)   music (6)   cooking (2)  
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 Jim Chanco Jr, I’m 35 years old, and I’m a father of 2 (Malachi 13, Isabelle 3). I live in Clayton, North Carolina, but I’m originally from Charleston, South Carolina.

Jim Chanco Jr

Jim Chanco Jr

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

I enjoy doing art in the form of painting canvas, making stickers, designing shirts, and other forms of street art. I also like cooking, skateboarding, and playing board games/video games.

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

LinkedIn

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

Long Earth by Terry Pratchett. I really enjoy the way it makes use of the Multiverse. If you enjoy “New Frontier” type novels, this one might be for you!

Any favorite movie, or show?

Metropolis (2001). I absolutely love the animation style and soundtrack of Metropolis. The idea of robots and humans living together in a multi-tiered city was also pretty cool in my opinion.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

Cooking breakfast, then hiking, or going to the park, if it’s sunny. If it’s a rainy day, board games, movies, and naps! Taking a trip to do some outdoor shopping to enjoy the weather also adds to the ideal weekend.

What’s still on your bucket list?

I’d love to go to Tokyo, Japan.

What is the best advice you ever got?

The Rocky Balboa “How winning is done” speech which you can read here.

When did you start using PostgreSQL, and why?

I started using PostgreSQL at a backup solution company (Unitrends) where I was a Support Engineer. PostgreSQL was the database being used so I started investigating and discovered an entire community! From there I went on to explore PostgreSQL in other roles like; Support, DBA, Tech Lead, and now Database Engineer.

Do you remember which version of PostgreSQL you started with?

9.2.15!

I went to ECPI for 1.5 years and received an A.A.S in Electronic Engineering. I don’t think it helped too much, but it was still interesting.

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

I don’t use any other RDBMS

I’m currently a Database Engineer at Crunchy Data Solutions Inc, working on Highly Available PostgreSQL and pgMonitor.

Any contributions to PostgreSQL which do not involve writing code?

I’m involved in the pgUS Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

What is your favorite PostgreSQL extension?

My favorite extension is pg_stat_statements. This popular extension provides incredibly valuable data with regard to query statistics which is useful in tuning and diagnosing performance. I prefer to have this installed on initialization since installing it after running into performance issues won’t provide historical details.

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

The pg_basebackup enhancements in PG 15 were really neat.

Could you describe your PostgreSQL development toolbox?

I make heavy use of neovim, vagrant, and pgenv.

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

No, but I set an alias for fetch to gretchen because of a friend’s constant references to “Mean Girls”

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

None so far, but I help organize and talk at pgCMH. Hoping to attend SCaLE next year.

Do you think PostgreSQL has a high entry barrier?

Only for people that are uncomfortable engaging strangers over the internet. Otherwise, making use of the community and other resources makes it rather simple to enter the PostgreSQL world.

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

While documentation is good and thorough, solid tutorials would help maybe.

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

Yes! I think we’ve already seen the steady increase in companies making the switch to PostgreSQL from other RDBMS like Oracle.

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

I read through the -hackers, -admin and -novice threads.

What other places do you hang out?

I can often be found on Slack (postgresteam.slack.com) and Element.

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

The ansible-collections community.postgresql project.

Thanks for reaching out!