Speaker Interview

Flavio Henrique Araque Gurgel

Hi! Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I’m an graduate Electronics Engineer that became DBA at 1999 when I first knew PostgreSQL. Databases were always around my professional duties and I decided I could boost my career in the area, so I accepted a professional DBA offer at 2009 and the rest is history. I started my life in Brazil, where I was born and since 2014 I live in France, had work for two start-ups and now I’m the DBA at leboncoin, in Paris.

How do you engage with the PostgreSQL community?

I’m a member of the French speakers Association and I’m still involved with the Brazilian community answering questions on the mailing lists and chat rooms. Sometimes I’m a part of conferences organization like being a member of the talks selectors.

Have you enjoyed previous pgDay Paris or other PostgreSQL Europe conferences, either as attendee or as speaker?

It’s my first chance as a speaker in Europe (other then Meetups), even if I have a large experience talking in Brazil and I even made it to the PGCon 2010 in Ottawa.

I’ve attended the last 4 pgDays in Paris and I went to PGConf.EU 2018. I always enjoy conferences and the atmosphere around them, meet people I like, help beginners, learn about new PostgreSQL developments and chat with fellow developers.

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

I’m going to talk about leboncoin’s use case that is huge. When I accepted the challenge to work there, I knew it was one of the most interesting PostgreSQL installations in Europe, maybe in the world. We have a lot of servers, physical and virtual, we are in the cloud, there are lots of different technologies used to administrate, monitor and support the databases and I’m going to talk about how we put it all together to make a resilient and highly available production environment, that is also one of the most visited websites in France, and then high performance is a part of the day-to-day duties.

What is the audience for your talk?

Absolutely anyone that loves technology. I think DBA’s will have a specially very good time because working at leboncoin is like going to the playground for a DBA, I’ll try to put it on display.

What existing knowledge should the attendee have in order to follow your talk?

Nothing special, knowing what’s the role of the databases in websites is enough. Please be open-minded, some weird stuff may be harmful for weak hearts.

Which missing feature would you most like to see in PostgreSQL?

I think PostgreSQL is mostly feature complete, mature and in advance in some areas comparing to peers.

One thing that I think repels some users is the fact that you need low level tools to, for example, install a new physical replica, or use external helpers like repmgr. It would be very nice to have integrated in the core with an API (SQL would be great) so we can type a command over a running daemon that would start the basebackup, wait, turn it on and connect to the master, announcing via this API that it’s ready for queries. It would be the icing on the cake for me. I know it would change drastically some deep parts of the design, but we can dream, can’t we?

Thank you!