Laura Ricci

Reading time: 5 minutes

Tags:   postgresql (170)   dalibo (8)   communication (1)   france (20)   cooperative (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.

I was born into an Italian family who had emigrated to France. I studied literature and foreign languages before I started working several different jobs. Then I went abroad in order to work for two non-profit organizations as a volunteer.

In 2010 I settled down in a town close to Lyon.

Since 2019 I have been working for Dalibo as a communication officer, after a resumption of studies in Communication, Project Management and Free Software (CoLibre).

Laura Ricci

Laura Ricci

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

I enjoy reading novels and going to the “art et essai” cinema in my town. Detective and “noir” genres are what I prefer.

I also spend time in my garden, gardening or just contemplating the plants and the animals.

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

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

Bondrée, by Andrée A. Michaud.

I was moved by the way she describes people and what drives them. I found her very “human-centered”. The place where the story takes place - a forest between Canada and the U.S. - is also a character by itself. Noir genre reveals so many things about us, from a psychological and social point of view.

Any favorite movie, or show?

The Big Lebowski, by Ethan and Joel Cohen.

I am sure that most of the readers of this website know it! I just love how absurd the story is. And the actors and actresses are fantastic. I love “Jesus” in his purple clothes and Walter who is always at war, even when he goes bowling! I find it also melancholic. The directors are geniuses.

Recently I also watched again Mr Smith Goes to Washington by Frank Capra. I was amazed by how modern it is, especially in its dialogues.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

Reading, going to the cinema, siesta and meeting friends.

What’s still on your bucket list?

To go to Georges Chaulet’s grave and thank him. As a child, I enjoyed reading his Fantômette series. Fantômette was one the too rare heroines little girls could identify themselves with.

What is the best advice you ever got?

Maybe “fake and make”? Although it is important to doubt, sometimes it may be necessary to pretend that we are self-confident enough to try things in spite of our doubts. So that we can do and learn anyway.

When did you start using PostgreSQL, and why?

I am not a PostgreSQL user per se. I am one of the many professionals working in its ecosystem. ;)

I studied librarianship long ago (1999-2001). Back then I started to use computing. To me, computing was just a tool at that time.

Today I am more sensitive to computing culture, particularly the free software culture. There are things that disturb me and other things that I like.

For instance I find it interesting that you, Andreas, tell people you interview that they can modify the questions and name other members of the community for future interviews. I appreciate that kind of practice based on contribution and openness.

How do you contribute to PostgreSQL?

My job is to promote Dalibo, and through that I want to promote my coworkers’ work: their practices, their choices, their profession whatever it is, because we are interdependent. Every time I interview them, I learn many things.

Indirectly I want to make the PostgreSQL community visible because we belong to it.

By the way we belong to another community: the cooperative businesses in France. Last year we started to exchange ideas and practices with many of them.

What is your favorite PostgreSQL extension?

Of course my answer is limited because I know nothing about coding. But I would like to name PostgreSQL Anonymizer because, thanks to my conversations with its creator Damien Clochard, I can see what it suggests to all professions concerned by data protection: the duty to cooperate and the concept of “privacy by design”.

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

Intuitively I would say the capacity to collaborate and to really listen to each other (sounds obvious but it is not so easy). For a developer, being intuitive may also be useful.

What is your advice for people who want to start PostgreSQL contributing to the project? Where and how should they start?

From my perspective, I would say that for people who don’t code, it is essential that the other members, more at ease in the community, recognize their skills - or at least their potential - and invite them to contribute. All professions can bring so much to each other.

This year, during the pgDay Paris, Stefan Fercot encouraged me to contribute. I was first surprised then I really appreciated his attitude. At the end I took part in the PG Day France conference selection group and I felt able to justify my choices.

Being encouraged helps one feel more legitimate.

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

From what I hear about the quality of its code, the variety of its extensions, its dynamic community and the current stakes for users (governance, sustainability, data protection…), I am very confident.

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

Of course! For the reasons I have just told, also for the free values behind.

Anything else you like to add?

Thank you, Andreas, for showing people behind PostgreSQL. That is also an important contribution to the project.