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Saïd Mendi

PostgreSQL Meetup at CERN, Geneva, January 17, 2020


Last Friday (17/01/20) I had the opportunity to go to Geneva at CERN to attend a PostgreSQL meetup.
I’m really happy to write a blog about for a lot of reasons. First of all, it was about PostgreSQL (essential these days), also for the contributors as Oleg Bartunov and finally because of the organizers: Franck Pachot (old & soon new colleague by dbi-services) & Laeticia Avrot I met at the SOUG Day in Lausane.

After the registration process where a lot of people were waiting to get their badge, I followed the instructions given to reach the Building 503.  I was rapidly lost in this  labyrinth and I had to ask several times to find the conference room.

Unfortunately I was late and missed the “Welcome & opening speech” at 02pm. Worst, the first minutes of Gülçin Yıldırım’s session.
I took discreetly a seat closed to the door in the conference room. I was immediately impressed as already more than 100 persons were in.
It seems to be that there was a huge interest for this event.

So the first talk was about the evolution of Fault Tolerance in PostgreSQL.
Gülcin mainly focused on the evolution of fault tolerance capabilities in PostgreSQL throughout its versions.
Robustness, replication methods, failover & Switchover were the main topics.

The second talk was from Pavlo Golub , a PostgreSQL expert and developer at Cybertec (Software & database partner in Austria).
After some words about the existing scheduling tools in the Postgres community, he introduced a new Open Source tool from Cybertec, called pg_timetable.
He went very deeply in details & discussed some advanced topics like transaction support and cross-platform tasks.
At the end we had a successful demo.


After this session, we had a break as it was 04pm. A super kings cake’s party (Galette des Rois) accompanied by excellent ciders were offered.
We could even choose either the one from Normandy or from Brittany.
I tasted both and appreciated.
By the way, I found the bean twice. I have to admit that this was a really good idea as the athmospere was relaxed and friendly.

At around 04:45pm, Anastasia Lubennikova started her session. A comparison between various backup/recovery solutions for PostgreSQL.
The goal  was to help us to choose the most appropriate tool. She covered several advanced topics in that area as: incremental backups, archive management, backup validation, retention policies.

The next session from Vik Fearing was a short one – Advent of Code Using PostgreSQL
During his talk, Vik showed some techniques to solve general-purpose programming challenges using just a single query with lateral joins.

Romuald Thion, a PostgreSQL teacher at the university of Lyon (France) followed: his talk was about some lessons learned
since he has progressively introduced PostgreSQL in its courses in 2018.
Since then,  400 students enrolled from second to fifth year use PostgreSQL in databases, web, security or system administration courses.

Finally and for the last session like an apotheosis, came on stage Oleg Bartunov, a PostgreSQL Major Contributor & developer.
“All You Need Is Postgres” was the title of his session. This could be soon a hymn.
Oleg talked a lot about his long Postgres professional experience since Postgres95, about all the projects he participated as GiST, GIN and SP-GiST, and also full text search, NoSQL features (hstore and jsonb). He talked also about astronomy and Supernovae.
This was really fascinating and we could listen to him for hours.


A Drinks & Food party concluded this meetup. It was a nice opportunity to meet all speakers. To discuss with them and also some customers or old colleagues (Pierre Boizot).
Learn and share, this is part of dbi-services spirit and matches our values!
One last thing, I would like to address special thanks to Franck Pachot & Laetitia Avrot for the good organization & overall the cool atmosphere during this meetup.
Hoping for next…

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Saïd Mendi
Saïd Mendi

Senior Consultant