Speaker Interview with Corey Huinker

Could you briefly introduce yourself?
I’m a database programmer and consultant living in New York City. I moved there fifteen years ago because I was tired of the heat and traffic in Austin.
How do you engage with the PostgreSQL Community?
I’ve been speaking at conferences around the world, I’ve written a few extensions to postgres, and a few minor patches to core.
Have you enjoyed previous pgconf.eu or FOSDEM conferences, either as an attendee or as speaker?
I also spoke at the pgconf.eu in Warsaw 2 years ago, which was my first time to pgconf.eu.
What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?
My talk is about how users, especially new users, learn how to use Postgres. Especially the non-interactive ways that they discover features and techniques for using those features.
I think that the current documentation for Postgres is an excellent reference, but a mediocre teaching tool. So quite often the text only makes sense in hindsight. How can somebody find out the way to solve a problem if they don’t even know the name of the problem?
There’s a few things I think we can do to aid discovery, so that when we tell a user to “RTFM” (an oft-dismissive term), it isn’t an insult.
What is the audience for your talk?
Technical writers who might be inspired to put their professional touch on our documentation
Patch-writers who might be inspired to put extra effort into their future docs.
People who will enjoy listening to me being cranky, and those who might be inspired to do something about it (I mean the documentation, I don’t think my crankiness can be helped).
What existing knowledge should the attendee have?
None. You can approach this talk cold.
Anyone who has tried to learn something purely from reference documentation.
What is the one feature in PostgreSQL 12 which you like most?
It’s a tie between REINDEX CONCURRENTLY, which is badly needed by any database that’s been a 24/7 uptime environment for a few years, and inlining CTEs, because it helps make clear SQL be efficient SQL.
Which other talk at this year's conference would you like to see?
Any of the internals talks to do with the planner, indexing, or partitioning. They’re all things I’d love to work on if I had the time.
Which measure, action, feature or activity would—in your eyes—help to accelerate the adoption of PostgreSQL?
Making the documentation more of a teaching tool.
This question is the best reason I can think of for you to attend my talk.