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Interview with Joshua D. Drake

Can you tell our readers about yourself and your role nowadays?

I am Joshua D. Drake; I am the founder of Command Prompt, Inc. and United States PostgreSQL. Additionally, was the former Director of Software in the Public Interest, and current Director of The Postgres Foundation. I have been doing this Open-Source thing since Linux SLS. I am an avid outdoorsman, family man, and a Linux and Postgres lover.

I currently lead Command Prompt, Inc., the oldest Postgres consultancy in North America. I am also the Co-Chair of PGConf US, the leading non-profit Postgres conference in the United States.

How you first got involved with programming?

I worked at Powell’s books in Oregon and they needed a special order database. I picked up a book on DBASE and the rest is as they say, “history”.

What is your the most interesting programming issue, and why?

Complexity. As I have grown professionally, I have also gotten less technical on the engineering side. I have watched as many frameworks either:

A. Solve a problem already solved
B. Continue to increase in complexity without solving an actual problem

I would love to see engineering projects start talking more directly with operations and deployment staff to increase the usability of the user interface to an engineering project.

What tools do you use most often, and why?

Outside of Postgres (which the reasons should be obvious), Thunderbird. There are those that would laugh at this, but it is my central point of all communication. This communication may come from Git, Redmine, Zabbix, a custom billing app, or any other source. When I combine that with the advanced filtering capabilities of Thunderbird, I always know when I need to respond to something. This could be peer review requests, pull requests, or even a need to check in on a Postgres server due to a slow query or high IOWAIT%.

Please tell us more about your current projects?

On the community front, I am actively involved in organizing PGConf US and leading the @AmplifyPostgres projects. I find that building people in technology is more fulfilling than building technology nowadays. Both of these projects have goals of advocating and educating people on awesome technology.

What’s the best advice you can give to others?

Avoid group think. It is the death of Liberty that Open-Source provides.

Please tell us more about PGConf US. Why? What for? For Whom?

PGConf US is the largest PostgreSQL conference in North America. The success of this project has allowed us to launch PGConf Org which is an international effort to support conferences around the globe. The project exists as an exemplification of:

People, Postgres,and Data.

In short, PGConf US wants to build people so they can use Postgres to wrangle all of their data. It is a conference for anyone interested in Postgres, from hobbyist to engineer to DBA to developer to regulator. We want everyone to help us build this awesome database.

Do you have any specific goals for the rest of this year?

To continue to grow Command Prompt, Inc.’s cloud support offerings, and to make PGConf US the best place for Postgres education and advocacy.

Do you have any untold thoughts that you want to share with the programmers?

Don’t be afraid to stand up to leadership. Remember that leaders are not bullies (leaders who bully are just bullies, not leaders). Leaders listen, collaborate, and are transparent in their leadership decisions. Conversely, don’t be afraid to follow. You aren’t good at everything; celebrate your talents, lead where it makes sense, follow where it doesn’t.

Would you like to add anything?

Thank you for the opportunity and I hope to see all your readers at one of our events!

Thank you







November 7, 2017

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