Speaker Interview with Jean-Christophe Arnu

Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Jean-Christophe. I live in the South of France.
I'm a PostgreSQL enthusiast since 1997 when I started using PostgreSQL at the end of my university. At that time, Postgres95 had just been renamed PostgreSQL.
In my professional life, I used various RDBMS but PostgreSQL was always a first choice. I have experience in system, and now more and more in development tasks. I've used PostgreSQL in many use-cases but the most representative is a flood disaster warning system to prevent life and material issues on a wide area.
Today I work for Loxodata, The French PostgreSQL consulting company.
I'm still developing tools for our customers and contribute to the PostgreSQL project and PG related software.
How do you engage with the PostgreSQL Community?
I started to chat (on IRC) with the community around 2000/2001. With some other French people we decided to create PostgreSQLFr, a non-profit organization for French-speaking PostgreSQL users in 2004/2005.
In 2008, I organized the first PGDay.fr with PostgreSQLFr in Toulouse (France). And last year I was at the 10th anniversary edition of this event as a speaker! I ran trainings for RMLL years ago. I also attended my first PGDay Europe in Prato (Italy) and then it became PostgreSQL Europe.
Recently I was speaker in the Toulouse PostgreSQL users Meetup. I'm also involved in translations or proofreading French translations for press releases.
I’m also a trainer in my professional life, in a way I contribute to PostgreSQL adoption by teaching. Last year I gave a training on the WAL content. This year, for this training I submitted a patch to help one foreign data wrapper to be PostgreSQL 12 compatible. I’m also proud of my 2 lines patch into the PostgreSQL engine.
As you can see, my contribution is small, but I hope I will be able to give more time and produce more with time!
Have you enjoyed previous pgconf.eu or FOSDEM conferences, either as an attendee or as speaker?
Oh yes I have!
Each pgconf.eu I have attended was awesome. I was in Prato, Stuttgart, Amsterdam and last year in Lisbon. Last year I was in FOSDEM conference. And this pgconf.eu 2018 edition was my first time as a trainer! I look forward to meeting all the people I've already met the previous years and new PostgreSQL enthusiast people!
What will your training be about, exactly? Why this topic?
Nicolas Lutic and I are presenting an overview of the different things to know before engaging a migration to PostgreSQL, and an overview of a migration tool belt.
The first part of the presentation is all about humans and organizations : many of the points we encountered while digging how the source database was built, sometimes in the early years of RDBMS.
The second part is more technical: we have prepared an interesting virtual machine with, different engines like MariaDB, Microsoft SQLServer, Oracle and obviously PostgreSQL. We also added what is necessary to perform different kind of migration. It was fun to create it and to build examples. We could have added IBM DB2, but it would have been difficult for us to fit the training in the single half a day session.
We hope this training will give many keys to people who are willing to deal with migrations to our favourite database management system: PostgreSQL.
What is the audience for your training?
This training provides insights into migration processing workflow and tools, so, different views of a migration project. Trainees could be technical officers, DBA, DevOps, managers. Only the financial part won’t be discussed.
What existing knowledge should the attendee have?
Trainees should have skills in basic shell scripting, SQL and PostgreSQL types.
What is the one feature in PostgreSQL 12 which you like most?
The enhancements on partitioning (bidirectional foreign keys and partition pruning on a large partition set).
Which other talk at this year's conference would you like to see?
There are several talks I’d like to attend to. Sometimes I’d like to duplicate myself to attend but the one I will not miss is Stephen Frost’s: “hacking PostgreSQL”.