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Speaker Interview with Gianni Ciolli

Could you briefly introduce yourself?
I am Head of Professional Services at 2ndQuadrant, where I work since 2008.
My activities include consulting and training, and I am an author of the last 4 edition of the PostgreSQL Administration Cookbook. In my previous career I worked in the university as a researcher in Mathematics.
I’ve been using Free Software since more than 20 years, in both careers.
How do you engage with the PostgreSQL Community?
I try to attend many community events as practical.
I am based in London and I am frequently in Italy, so I participated in most PostgreSQL conferences in those countries, including the London PostgreSQL Meetup and PostgresLondon.
I have been an organizer of the Italian PGDay and I served in the board of the Italian PostgreSQL Users Group for two terms.
Have you enjoyed previous or FOSDEM conferences, either as an attendee or as speaker?
I am actually one of the few people who attended each edition of PGConf.EU, even when it was still called PGDay.EU, and I delivered talks and/or training at almost all of them.
What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?
I will deliver a one-day training session on Business Continuity and I will also present a talk on Business intelligence with Window Functions in PostgreSQL 11.
Business Continuity is a fundamental subject which covers High Availability and Disaster Recovery.
I enjoy going through the many PostgreSQL features in these areas, and presenting them in a unified narration tied to specific use cases.
Window Functions are a powerful analytics feature that has been developed gradually over the years, with the last features introduced in PostgreSQL 11.
I think the importance of a feature can be understood by looking at its real life applications, and by considering how complicated it was to emulate it when it wasn’t available. Window Functions match both criteria.
What is the audience for your talk?
The Business Continuity course is directed to database and system administrators who run PostgreSQL in their daily jobs, but also to persons that are less hands-on and would appreciate a detailed overview of Business Continuity in a requirement-oriented sense.
Business Intelligence and Window Functions could be more interesting to developers, or to data scientists/analysts who are seeking to optimise their queries.
What existing knowledge should the attendee have?
In general I do not assume many prerequisites.
In the Business Continuity course we have one full day to focus on the course topics and to discuss the details, so it is sufficient to have very basic knowledge of PostgreSQL or of another database system.
For the Window Function talk we will also start from the basics. A little knowledge of the SQL language will be useful to appreciate the examples fully, but the idea of the training will be fully accessible in any case.
What is the one feature in PostgreSQL 12 which you like most?
I think REINDEX CONCURRENTLY is nice to have. While it was possible to achieve a similar result with a combination of other commands, a dedicated single statement will be used by many more users.
Which other talk at this year's conference would you like to see?
As usual there are many excellent talks, and with four tracks we will be kept busy. I am usually interested in real world use cases, but there are some great technical talks as well. It’s very difficult to single out one.
Which measure, action, feature or activity would—in your eyes—help to accelerate the adoption of PostgreSQL?
The PostgreSQL community has grown incredibly in the last ten years and now we have a dense network of conferences worldwide.
Now that PostgreSQL has become a mainstream choice, I think we need our strong community to continue growing. We value our unique ecosystem where users and contributors regularly meet to work and learn from each other.