Sharan Foga

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Tags:   postgresql (170)   community (25)   open source (4)   sweden (1)   cooking (3)   learning (3)  
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.

Hi I’m Sharan - I’m originally from the UK and like travelling. I’ve been lucky enough to have lived and worked in different countries. So far I’ve lived in France, Belgium, New Zealand, Czech Republic and am now based in Sweden.

I’ve been involved in open source since 2008 and really enjoy participating in project communities. I like to help out on the non coding side, e.g. documentation, events or general community engagement.

In my day job I work in Community and Developer Relations for Instaclustr by NetApp.

Sharan Foga

Sharan Foga

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

I love cooking and have way too many cookbooks! I like to try out new recipes on a regular basis so I don’t keep eating the same things too often. The only exception is pizza - every week I try to make fresh pizza from scratch..and so far no two have ever been alike!

I’ve been practising Tai Chi on and off for over 10 years. It’s been something that I’ve managed to keep doing while on my travels. I have always found a local club to practice with - and it’s a great way to meet local people. Gardening is also a hobby of mine - I like to see things grow.

I’m not a great skier but I like the snow and the mountains so if I get the chance I will go skiing.

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

I’ve been learning Swedish and as part of the course I’ve had to read a Swedish book so the last one I read was called Ditt Liv och Mitt by Majgull Axelsson. Translated it means Your life and mine and is a story about a woman who constantly speaks to and argues with an invisible friend called ‘Den Andra’ (The Other). When things go wrong - it is Den Andra’s fault. The story covers the complexity of family relationships and is also a little sad as it touches on the Vipeholm experiments - the main character has a brother that is sent there. At the end of the story it is still not clear if Den Andra real or just another part of the main character’s imagination as a way to deal with the world.

Before that I read A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Marakami. It was a very strange story that I just had to keep on reading to the end.

Any favorite movie, or show?

Nothing specific but I do like film festivals where you get a chance to see some of the films that are not so mainstream, or are in another language.

What’s still on your bucket list?

I’d like to see the Northern Lights. I’ve been living in Sweden for a few years now but haven’t seen them yet. I’d also like the chance to visit a few more countries.

When did you start using PostgreSQL, and why?

I’d heard of PostgreSQL years ago but didn’t really know much about it. Then in late 2021 I got a job where I needed to learn about PostgreSQL (or at least the basics). I consider myself a newbie and will continue learning more.

How do you contribute to PostgreSQL?

I’m not a coder so I like helping out as a volunteer. At a recent PG day I helped out on the registration desk. It was a lot of fun talking with people as they arrived - I really enjoyed it. I also volunteered as a room host to help manage one of the tracks to make sure everything was set up for speakers and ran smoothly.

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

Yes I do. The project is over 25 years old and still relevant. Anything that can adapt to a changing environment will always be there in one form or another.

What other places do you hang out?

I’ve recently subscribed to a few of the PostgreSQL mailing lists so will see how that goes.

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

I’m involved with The Apache Software Foundation and Project Jupyter.

Anything else you like to add?

A key part of my role is ensuring that we give something back to help support the open source communities that create the technologies we use and depend on. And PostgreSQL is definitely one of those. Part of that support can be covered through sponsorship but I think that the most important support we can give to any project is to participate and become a part of the community.