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Speaker Interview: Lætitia Avrot

Be efficient : use psql!   Wednesday 15:00   Berlin

Twitter: @l_avrot LinkedIn: lætitia-avrot Company website:

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Lætitia. I began as a DBA with PostgreSQL more than 10 years ago. Of course, at the time, my company didn’t need a full time Postgres DBA, so I learnt Oracle and SQL Server too. As a production DBA, I proved myself a superhero when saving the world several times around 2 AM with only a phone and a computer.

By day, I was designing architecture to meet Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective and by night I was solving issues while my family was asleep.

2 years ago, I decided to focus on PostgreSQL for several reasons, ethics and community among them.

How do you engage with the PostgreSQL Community?

I co-funded the group Postgres Women last year to encourage women to step into the light on our community so we have more women speaker and also to promote the DBA role towards women in IT networks.

I’m also part of the Code of Conduct Committee and this year, I will be mentoring teenagers between 13 and 17 to contribute to PostgreSQL in Google Code-in Contest.

I wrote a patch that have been committed and I have others that I need to refactor. I translated some documents to French and I try to take time to review some patches during commitfest but time flies and I wish I could do so much more.

Have you enjoyed previous or FOSDEM conferences, either as attendee or as speaker?

I was an attendee at the first in Paris in 2009 and then I gave a training in Warsaw last year. After that, I spoke at several events, FOSDEM, PgCon (Ottawa), PgDay Paris, Nordic PGDay…

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

I keep meeting DBAs that don’t use command-line clients to connect to PostgreSQL. They first began with graphical tools and never changed. I completely understand that because if I had started with graphical tools, I might be there too.

But I started with command-line tools because our PostgreSQL databases were installed on Linux from scratch (for security reasons) and I couldn’t connect directly (also for security reasons) from my computer. If the learning curve is slower at the beginning, it’s so much more efficient! I remember getting grumpy with SQL Server for forcing me to use a graphical tool after discovering the power of command-line clients! :-)

What is the audience for your talk?

If you query data only once or twice a week, forget my talk it shouldn’t be on any use, but if you query data more than that, I hope I will be able to demonstrate how powerful a single command-line tool can be.

In addition, you could feel like the hacker hero in a movie or a TV-show using your 2 colors screen console!

What existing knowledge should the attendee have?

No particular knowledge is required but I assume understanding SQL and having managed a PostgreSQL database can be a plus because you’d be able to connect what I say with what you experienced.

What is the one feature in PostgreSQL 11 which you like most?

I’m very excited about my first documentation patch. It's not important at all for the Postgres Community but it's the first time my Dad (who wrote an OS during the 80s) said he was proud of me about my work. It means a lot for me.

More seriously, as a professional DBA, I’m very enthusiastic with performances enhancements and particularly with the brand new strategy for partition pruning.

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

Well, it's a complete shame I won't be able to attend Devrim’s talk “What’s old about Postgres 11?” because we're scheduled at the same time…