We are live!!!

This happened yesterday. And immediately after “this” I’ve realized I am so tired – I could not post even a paragraph.

For the past several months the only thing people have heard from me was – “I am busy”. And I was. And yesterday our new product has been launched. Our new website went live, and a first couple of loans got through, and the first loan was funded.

For a couple of our team members that was the first real product launch in their lives. Not for me, but it’s definitely the first time in my life when not only all database design and database code is written by me (or drafted by me), but also everything is based on the new technologies, which were developed with my participation

the other day one person who’ve known me fora while asked me, whether I’ve accomplished everything in my life.

It sure feels pretty close to that :). That “I have nothing left o wish for” – all my wishes have become true. But now comes the next phase – life have to prove, that all the things I believe are scalable, durable, flexible, efficient – indeed are.

I am always saying: a database is a service. Nobody from the “outer world” can see all these cool things. The only thing people will see will be (hopefully!) fast response.

But you know, what’s even more important than “all wishes coming true”? That’s our team, In my 34 years in industry I am positive that’s the best team I ever worked with,  with each and single person being cooperative, flexible, opened to trying new things, diligent, attentive to details… and the list goes on… I’d just summarize it – each and single person in the team understands what the word team means:).

A picture from the launch:

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2Q PG Conf 2017 in Chicago

This conference took place here in Chicago on November 9, and I just loved everything about it! I will try not to repeat myself, since I’ve already mentioned about a million times what a great idea is it to have a one-day conference which is geared towards the local Postgres users. I am not sure to which extent I really helped this conference to be a success (although the organizers firmly believe I did!), but in any case it turned out ot be exactly what I was hoping it to be.

Great venue, great talks (and I do not mean mine :))

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I finally figure out how it works!

I never understood, why in some cases when you look at the Postgres execution plan you see “Recheck condition”. This happens, when an index search is executed, and when I was looking at the execution plans of that kind, I never could understand, why Postgres wants to go back to the table and “recheck” something, while all the conditions should be satisfied by the index itself.

Last week however, i found myself in non-typical situation, when I had a query to optimize, and I could not bring it to the acceptable speed. If was imperative, that it would execute in less than a minute, actually highly preferable – within 30 sec. I knew that the culprit was one of the sub-selects, which was querying a very large table, and thereby I absolutely had to convince Postgres to use the index-only scan.

And it didn’t work. I’ve created a compound partial index, which would exactly describe a condition I was filtering by, and I’ve included all the fields I needed to select in this index. But the query continued to be slow, and the execution plan was clearly showing “Recheck condition”.

After a number of experiments I’ve realized, that I in order to ensure the index-only scan I need to include into the index not only the attributes I am selecting, but also the attributes which I am constraining.

Specifically, when I was running a query

SELECT loan_id,
min(date) AS first_date
FROM very_large_table
WHERE days_past_due >30 AND status in (1,2)

having the index

CREATE INDEX cond_index ON
very_large_table(loan_id, date, days_past_due)
WHERE days_past_due>30 AND status IN (1,2)

was not enough to ensure the index-only scan. Instead I had to build the following index:

CREATE INDEX cond_index_2 ON
very_large_table(loan_id, date, days_past_due, status)
WHERE days_past_due>30 AND status IN (1,2)

I was wondering for a while – why? But then I sort of thought about this “as a database” and realized, that if the status is not included into the index, then, if for some record only the status will be changed, and all indexed attributes remain the same, the rebuild of the index just won’t be triggered, and thereby the condition will require a check. On the contrary, if the status would change from “something else” to 1 or 2, the index condition will be triggered, and this record will be re-indexed.

Now I will remember!

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One more reminder – two Postgres event in Chicago next week!

To my friends and colleagues in Chicago: I’ve written about both of those events multiple times, but now they are really coming.

First, Chicago PUG meetup will take place on November 8, with Bruce Momjian’s appearance! Your chance to listen to the “Postgres Window Magic” presentation! Please don’t forget to RSVP, if you are planing to come.

And second, or rather first, since that’s the reason Bruce Momjian is in town – the 2QPGConf. I can’t stress enough what a great opportunity it is for anybody who does anything with PostgreSQL it is! The best speakers of the Postgres community are on the list of presenters.

I am presenting as well:) – the shorted version on the bitemporal paper. Also, I will be one of the panelist on the panel “Postgres Around the Windy City”. This should be something interesting, because – well, you know that I like to talk 🙂

Hope to see you there!

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ACT-W Conference: Dr. Helen Sun keynote

Dr. Sun keynote was definitely the best thing out of the whole conference! The talk was called “My Personal Journey and Transformation Story”. To be honest ], my first reaction when I heard about switching career from the English professor to the information technology was rather skeptical, but the more I listened to the talk the more I started to realize how close is it to what I believe in, and what I consider the most important things in life and professional career. I find it very true what Dr. Sun said about the leadership. She cites the quote from Bob Gates that “Leadership is when people choose to follow
you, even if there’s no consequences of not doing so”.

But the most interesting thing happened at the very end of the talk. Dr. Sun said: if somebody will be talking to you about work-life balance, do not believe them. There is no such a thing as a work life balance. It can only be a work-life integration!

And that was the word! For many years, when I was telling people my personal story, and when I was telling young women seeking a career in IT: you do not have to choose between work and family, you can have them both if you set up your mind accordingly. But the word “integration” never crossed my mind and yet it describes perfectly how I feel about this subject.

And then Dr. Sun continued, talking about how she always would make a point to talk to her son on Skype every day when she was away on business trips, and about tons of other things that she did. and most of them would be exactly what I did. And what she said about her son not being upset, that she often could attend his events, and that he was proud of her, and how she gave him a positive example – I could say it about my kids, word to word.

So when she was finished, I raised my hand for a question, and told her how much I’ve enjoyed her presentation, and thanked her for giving me that word – work-life integration, and told her how my life journey resembled her’s.

And I think she was really glad to hear that 🙂

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About ACT-W conference

Last week I was at a conference which was not a database conference for a change. And taking into account the fact, that I am “chronically busy” at work these days, there should have been very compelling reasons for me to attend this conference.

The name of the conference ACT-W stands for “Advancing Careers in Tech for Women”. What I especially liked about it’s organization was that although the conference itself was only one day long, there were some conference-related events in the evenings of two days before the conference.

The first one (Oct 18) was the screening of the documentary “She started it” followed by a panel discussion.

There were some things I liked about the movie, particularly a message that if a woman does not see anybody around her modeling some behavior, doing certain things, she will never even think and that it’s possible. And from this perspective I think it it is very important to show these young women being entrepreneurs, being tech leaders, daring to enter this field.

There were other things which I didn’t like, mostly that the technical side of each of the projects which were showcased did not sound convincing. But overall this movie was a great discussion starter.

The second day (or rather evening) was pure networking. And again I think it was a great idea to allocate time outside the conference for people to meet and to learn more about what others are doing.

And finally, the conference day. Unfortunately, I was only able to be there for half a day, but the most important thing was that I was able to listen the the keynotes.

The first one was by Jenny Farver “How Leaders Talk”, and the second one was Dr. Helen Sun “A Personal Journey and Career Transformation”, and I am going to write about both of them separately.

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The PG Open videos

Actually, all the videos from the conference are now available online, which is great. But for those, who are as lazy as me :), I am posting here both my and Chad’s presentations – enjoy!

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