Speaker Interview with Mladen Marinović

Could you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Mladen Marinović and I am the CTO of Smartivo, a fleet management solution based in Croatia. My role can be better described with the popular "Full-stack" prefix because Smartivo has a small IT team so writing and reviewing code, installing servers and administering databases are tasks that I do on a weekly basis. When I code I do it mainly in python and Go.
Currently we are migrating our old DB instances using pglogical and planning to use GreenPlum for reporting workloads.
I am a friend of the blue elephant since he was 7.4.
How do you engage with the PostgreSQL Community?
In the last few years I wanted to try to play with the PostgreSQL codebase, but because I have very limited time to spare this is postponed indefinitely. I also have a blog on which I try to write about the interesting stuff I do (many of it PostgreSQL related) but it has become a challenge to find some time to write it. At least I find some time for PostgreSQL conferences. I am a regular speaker at PgDay.IT, and occasionally at pgconf.eu.
Have you enjoyed previous pgconf.eu or FOSDEM conferences, either as an attendee or as speaker?
I started attending pgconf.eu since 2012 in Prague. After that I was a speaker in Vienna in 2015, 2016 in Tallinn and 2017 in Warsaw. I hope to keep having great talks for upcoming conferences.
What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?
The talk is called “pg_pranks: A joke for colleagues, or a stupid way to get fired“. It is meant to be a very funny presentation on some PostgreSQL parameters and internals that might come handy when faced with an unusual situation or challenge.
What is the audience for your talk?
Intermediate PostgreSQL users that interact with the database on a daily basis.
What existing knowledge should the attendee have?
Some intermediate knowledge about PostgreSQL is preferred (replication/backup stuff), but I will try to explain the concepts in simple terms for beginners and nontechnical people.
What is the one feature in PostgreSQL 12 which you like most?
The inlining of CTE queries. As I usually teach Explain and query tuning I know that this will be a game changer for many problematic optimisations.
Which other talk at this year's conference would you like to see?
Which measure, action, feature or activity would—in your eyes—help to accelerate the adoption of PostgreSQL?
This is a very interesting question because the answer will depend on our view on what causes friction on PostgreSQL adoption. When I was attending database classes at the university we used Informix, as it was available at the time. Many people used MySQL for their work but I remember just on phrase that switched me over to the elephant: “Use PostgreSQL because it implements the SQL standard better than the others”. I tried it and never got back.
I would advise the following:
  • Offer free classes targeted for CS and similar students to show them the benefits of using PostgreSQL
  • Listen to the needs of the users in terms of features that are lacking (sharding, multimaster, etc.)
  • Build more tools that facilitate adoption (backup/restore and filtering of restored data - GDPR, replication, partitioning, etc.)