Speaker photo for Boriss Mejias

Interview with Boriss Mejias


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Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I'm a holistic system software engineer, which means that I have a background as software developer, system administrator, and formal training as an engineer. I like to use all that background at work, hence the term holistic, which refers to my convection that when we are solving problems, we are concerned with the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. If you have read Douglas Adams you'll get what I mean. Now, my official working title is solutions architect, but that pisses off plenty of building architects, so I prefer holistic system software engineer, which is basically the same in my view.

I am originally from Chile and I live in Belgium since the beginning of the century. I love listening to music and playing air guitar. My first project with Postgres was in 2001, but then I went to do other stuff, and returned to work with the blue elephant around version 9.1. I guess that wasn't a brief introduction, but I'll try to answer the other questions shorter.

How do you engage with the PostgreSQL Community?

I contribute to knowledge sharing by giving presentations from time to time, which is something I like a lot. I also help as a volunteer organizing conferences in Europe and I coordinate the Postgres user group in Belgium.

Have you enjoyed previous PostgreSQL Europe conferences, either as an attendee or as a speaker?

Yes, several of them. But this is my first pgDay Paris. Finally. I have been submitting talks for years and now I finally made it, which makes me very happy because I have heard very good comments about this event. I'm looking forward to it.

What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

I'm going to talk about the fundamentals of how Postgres deals with concurrency. The multi-version concurrency control. Why am I presenting this topic? Well, I have given Postgres training for a few years, and from the reaction of the trainees, I see that knowledge of MVCC is definitely relevant.

What is the audience for your talk?

These kinds of fundamental topics are normally associated with DBAs, but I believe that developers will also benefit a lot from it. I will also talk about the connection of MVCC with queries, transaction isolation levels, and long running transactions.

Which other talk at this year’s conference would you like to see?

I must say that I'm very impressed with the schedule. There are many interesting talks. In fact, if I wouldn't be giving a talk, I would attend the one of Magali Milbergue, "Talkception: why non-technical talks in tech events are so important". Another one that seems very interesting is the one by Chelsea Dole, "Managing Your Tuple Graveyard", which feels like a continuation of the talk I will be giving.

Which measure, action, feature or activity would - in your eyes - help to accelerate the adoption of PostgreSQL?

It's very common to hear Postgres folks, who are usually DBAs, complaining about software developers using ORMs. I think these complaints contribute more to friction than to adoption of SQL. I like the work by Hettie Dombrovskaya, who has developers as a target audience to produce better SQL. Maybe we should produce more learning material for software developers to help them adopt SQL. That will contribute to faster queries, happier developers, and more adoption of Postgres, which by consequence will increase the joy and happiness of the world.

Which book are you reading right now?

I have the bad habit of reading several books at the same time, but at least they vary a lot in style so I manage to keep them apart. I just finished "The adolescent brain", by Eveline Crone, which helps me to understand the process my daughters are living through. Very interesting stuff. And I'm currently reading "A Curious Moon", by Rob Conery, which I'm sure will interest many folks in the Postgres community. I don't remember how I got to that book, but it goes in the style I want to go with the stories of Monica DeBea.