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Speaker photo for Dave Pitts

Interview with Dave Pitts


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Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I have been working as a Database Engineer for nearly 20 years, I started my DBA career with Oracle and SQL Server. Since 2015 I have been mostly working with Postgres.

How do you engage with the PostgreSQL Community?

I’m a big fan of Postgres and the amazing support from the Postgres community. I have been regularly attending both and FOSDEM. I also presented at the Postgres NL usergroup.

Have you enjoyed previous PostgreSQL Europe conferences, either as an attendee or as a speaker? (PGConf.EU, FOSDEM PGDay, Nordic PGDay, pgDay Paris, PGConf.DE)

Yes, I have attended FOSDEM every year since 2015, and I have been to PGConf.EU in 2017 (Warsaw), 2018 (Lisbon) and 2019 (Milan). I have also attended pgDay Paris.

What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

I have seen significant enhancements to Postgres Observability since I started working with Postgres in 2015, however this is still not out of the box, i.e. sometimes you have to roll your own monitoring.

Sometimes the best practises for monitoring Postgres are not always that clearly documented. I see my work with Derk van Veen for Adyen regarding Postgres HOT Updates and the new Prometheus and Grafana dashboards, as one step towards addressing this knowledge gap.

What is the audience for your talk?

While the topic of tracking and tuning for Postgres HOT Updates is typically a DBA responsibility, the original target audience was Postgres Devs (at Adyen), i.e. Developer working with Postgres, especially for high volume systems. The presentation and has been rolled out to hundreds of Developers at Adyen.

What existing knowledge should the attendee have?

Basic familiarity with Prometheus and Grafana would help, but is not essential to follow the presentation.

What is the one feature in PostgreSQL 15 which you like most?

Two-phase commits for logical replication publications/subscriptions sounds very important.

Which other talk at this year’s conference would you like to see?

The Future of Observability in Postgres: Gregory Stark gave a great presentation in 2018 regarding setting up Prometheus and Grafana to monitor Postgres. This sort of setup is very powerful but is also non-trival to configure. So the next step of making this work “out of the box” sounds potentially very promising and helpful, especially for smaller DBA teams.