Speaker Interview: Stephen Frost

Hacking PostgreSQL   Sunday 11:00   Devroom

Twitter: @net_snow LinkedIn: stephen-frost Company website: crunchydata.com Company Blog: info.crunchydata.com/blog

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I am the Chief Technology Officer for Crunchy Data, a PostgreSQL Committer, Major Contributor, Member of the PostgreSQL Infrastructure Team, on the board of the United States PostgreSQL Association, on the board of Software in the Public Interest, have been the PostgreSQL organization administrator for GSOC the past couple of years and now am co-organizer for our first Google Code-In effort. I’ve worked with PostgreSQL for about 15 years now, spending time on various security aspects of PostgreSQL (the role system, the GRANT system, column level privileges, row level security), and a few other items here and there.

How do you engage with the PostgreSQL Community?

I’m heavily on the PostgreSQL mailing lists, the #postgresql channel on Freenode, the “postgresteam” slack, speaking at PGConf.EU, PostgresOpen, PGCon, FOSDEM PGDay, PGConf.BR, SCALE, and other PostgreSQL Community Conferences.

Have you enjoyed previous pgconf.eu or FOSDEM conferences, either as attendee or as speaker?

Yes, I’ve been to many of the PGConf.EU conferences (Dublin, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Vienna, Tallinn, Lisbon) and have helped out at the PostgreSQL booth and events at FOSDEM the past few years. I’m often speaking or at least helping out at the event, usually not hard to find!

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

I’ll be talking about what it’s like to hack on PostgreSQL, how the source tree is laid out, modifying the grammar, and working with the community. We are always looking for people to help us move PostgreSQL forward and I’m hoping to reduce the barrier to entry for new people who are interested.

What is the audience for your talk?

This talk is mostly geared towards programmers who are familiar with C, but anyone interested in moving PostgreSQL forward is welcome to come and learn about the code and about hacking on PostgreSQL.

What existing knowledge should the attendee have?

Attendees are not required to have any existing knowledge to attend, but those who are familiar with programming in C will likely benefit the most from the talk.

What is the one feature in PostgreSQL 11 which you like most?

I’m a big fan of the new default roles (though that was my patch, so perhaps that doesn’t count) and the new “fast new column with a default value” feature.

Which feature would you like to see in PostgreSQL?

What would be really neat to see is a way to extend the “new column with a default value” concept to work more generally than just when a column is added to a table but also to be able to have default values for columns that already exist- and eliminate storing that data redundantly when we go to do a new insert!

FOSDEM is a very large conference. Are there any other talks you want to see? Where will people usually find you?

I’m interested in open source communities and what we can do to improve the PostgreSQL Community and therefore I may try to make it to a talk or two in the Community Devroom on Sunday morning. Chances are very good that I’ll be working at the PostgreSQL table on Saturday afternoon and that I’ll be playing bouncer at the PostgreSQL Devroom on Sunday, making sure that we don’t overfill the room. Playing bouncer can be a bit boring while the talks are going on though, so if you’d like to chat, feel free to come by and talk to me!