Speaker photo for David Christensen

Interview with David Christensen


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Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m David Christensen, a Principal Database Engineer at Crunchy Data. I have worked with PostgreSQL for almost 20 years, going back to version 6.5 (“who needs Foreign Keys”) and helping clients deploy Postgres in their own environments.

I work on the engineering team at Crunchy Data supporting High Availability Postgres deployments using Ansible as well as maintaining our own high-security/hardened version of Postgres. My most recent contribution is building out a test suite to allow testing of these products in many different deployment scenarios or configurations. This supports 7 different OS, 5 supported Postgres versions, 4 architecture deployments and countless feature flags.

I also work on Postgres patches and am working with Stephen Frost on TDE.

How do you engage with the PostgreSQL Community?

I spent a lot of time answering questions on the Postgres IRC channel back in the day. I keep an eye on pgsql-hackers for threads of interest, and have spoken on-and-off for a dozen years at conferences in the US. I am currently working on a patch series to support adding TDE with authenticated encryption to the core database product which will improve upon existing community approaches using non-authenticated encryption.

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

This will be my first year of speaking or attending a Postgres conference in Europe, so I am looking forward to interacting with the community on the other side of the pond. I’ll also be at pgDay Chicago soon talking about TDE.

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

My talk covers problems that you will encounter when running a large database and solutions for those problems. This was based on a client with a larger database that I was helping with and thought I would formalize a lot of the lessons that we learned the hard way.

What is the audience for your talk?

Postgres DBAs or developers who are interested in how approaches change when you’re running against larger databases.

What existing knowledge should the attendee have?

Basic administration experience with using Postgres: familiarity with DDL, replicas, etc.