Category Archives: news

I am a Winner!!!

Several weeks ago I was selected as one five finalists for the Illinois Technology Association “Technologist of the Year” award. The winner was determined 50% by popular vote and 50% by the selection committee. 

Tonight was an award night – and I was announced a winner!!! There will be official pictures and videos, but one, for now, I want to share this video of me accepting the award.

For me, this award first and foremost goes to Postgres, the most advanced Object-Relational database. All the new technologies which we implemented at Braviant Holdings are based on Postgres, with no third-party products.  

Also, I am immensely thankful for the support of Braviant Holdings leadership team. I won’t be able to accomplish all I’ve accomplished without that. 

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I am Finally Hiring!

Hi everybody who was waiting for that moment! I am happy to report that I have a database position! It will be on LinkedIn, I promise, but meanwhile, check it out at our company website, the job description is here.

Since last time, my requirements did not change. I still want to see a strong DB background, the knowledge of the theory (and what’s wrong with it:)), and yes, I am still asking, what’s a primary key:).

If hired, you will have an opportunity to learn unique technologies, superb optimization techniques and will work with databases the way you never worked before 🙂

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About My Nomination, And How To Vote

First of all, a big THANK YOU to everybody who reached out congratulating me for becoming a finalist in the “Technologist of the Year” nomination. This nomination is especially important for me, because I’ve always strived to apply the best CS theories for the success of the business. I do not believe in approaches, which can’t be used in practice. However, I think that applying the right theoretical principles in the industry can have a tremendous impact.

Another aspect important to me is that all my innovations are related to PostgreSQL. If I were asked to name the three most important things which I’ve introduced at Braviant Holdings, it would be

  • The wide usage of FDW both in OLAP and OLTP
  • The usage of pg_bitemporal in both OLAP and OLTP
  • Abandoning ORM and using JSON -based data exchange between applications and databases

There is more in my blog about all of the above, but what I want to point now – each of these Top 3 is about using PostgreSQL in an innovative way.

The award descriptions say:

Presented to the individual whose talent has championed true innovation, either through new applications of existing technology or the development of technology to achieve a truly unique product or service.

Isn’t it precisely what I just said :)? Do I want to win? Absolutely! Do I think I can win? Yes! Can you help me :)?…

Several people reach out to me, telling me that they have difficulties casting their votes. I agree that the voting process is at least contra-intuitive. So let me explain it step by step.

First, you go to that link.

Then, click where it is said to CREATE LOGIN. It says that you can login with your Facebook account, but this does not work. So you will need to create a login. After that, you need to click on the large grey “Like” on the very top. Wait for a response to make sure your vote is counted.

Also, there are SHARE buttons, and unfortunately, the most important one – Share on LinkedIn – does not work. Others work fine, so you can help me by sharing with your network 🙂

And one more thing – this voting is only opened till August 16, so please don’t delay 🙂

Once again – THANK YOU!

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Postgres DEI Work Group

Last Friday, I participated in the first conference call of the DEI Work Group of PostgresConf. And if you are wondering what DEI means, it means Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion.

The whole conversation started at the PostgresConf  2019 in New York. There we had a diversity panel on the last day of the conference. I was mildly unhappy with both low attendance and somewhat too universal coverage of the issues of diversity. I think that the striking lack of diversity in the Postgres community is a bigger problem than in IT in general, and was expecting a more in-depth conversation.

And then a usual exchange happened. I am a person of action, and I can’t complain about anything without proposing a solution (even when nobody asks for one!). But this time I was actually asked whether I will be interested in doing something to improve the situation, and granted, I said Yes!

Now all the things I finally coming together. Details are available at the PostgresConf web site in the July Newsletter.

I am really looking forward to working on improving the situation, because – guess what?  – I have some ideas! And all my friends and colleagues, current and former, know that if I believe something should be done – it will be done 🙂

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New features are available in the bitemporal repo – and I am so happy about it!

I Really hope that most of my follows know something about the pg_bitemporal project, because if you didn’t hear about it, you won’t be able to share my excitement!

We started to build our bitemporal library for PostgreSQL about four years ago, it was merely a “proof of concept”, and Chad Slaughter, who initiated all this work, knowing my work habits way too well, was re-iterating again and again – do not optimize it yet!

Well, I didn’t, but then I’ve joined Braviant Holdings, and a year later I was granted a permission to use our bitemporal framework in production. Some of the performance flaws became apparent even during the test run, and I was able to fix them. Later, while we were using it in production more and more, I’ve come up with new functions, UPDATE_SELECT and CORRECT_SELECT, since we actually needed them, and since the bitemporal operations were supposed to behave the same way as regular database operations.

About three weeks ago we had a very important release, which along with addressing multiple business needs, included some significant changes on the technical side. One of the consequences was, that it significantly increased the traffic on our new planform, and as a result we started to see some timeouts.

Although these timeouts were pretty rare, we saw them as a problem. I personally pledged the system will remain scalable, and now I couldn’t just go with “bitemporal updates are slow”. Yes, the execution time was at 2 to 3 seconds most of the time, but sometimes it would spike, and our microservices have a hard timeout at 10 seconds.

Some time ago I’ve already mentioned in this blog, how thankful I am for those timeouts! Nothing else foster innovation more than a necessity to address performance problems immediately, because they have a direct impact on production.

This time around I was 99.9% sure that the periodic slowness happens during the remote query, which is a part of the problematic function. Turned out, though, that this 0.01% was the case, and together with our DB team we were able to determine, that the problematic statement was the last UPDATE in the bitemporal update function. If you’d ask me a week before that, I would say, that I am not going to address the bitemporal performance for the next several months, but I had no choice.

Thanks to Boris Novikov, who helped me immensely in testing and verifying several different approaches, and eventually identified the best one, and to Chad Slaughter, who was merging my commits from 7-30 AM to 9-30 PM, so that the master branch of the bitemporal library would have the latest updates by the time of the release, and thanks to our amazing QA team, who had to run and rerun tests that day multiple times, the new bitemporal functions are now on place. Not only for Braviant Holdings, but for the whole community.

I would also like to mention, that since I was already changing the functions, I’ve fixed one long-overdue issues: all functions have versions, which are PG 10 compliant. We’ve left the old versions there, because some of the are used in the existing production systems but if you are just starting, you can use the new ones.

Check it out at https://github.com/scalegenius/pg_bitemporal

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The 2Q PGCONF program just announced!

Hi Chicago! I am extremely excited to share with you the program of the upcoming 2Q PGCONF! After the last year’s success the organizers decided to add a whole day f training to the conference.

So, here is what you need to know: the training schedule is here. The talks schedule is here. Exciting news for my company – two talks from Braviant Holdings were accepted! I think it tells a lot about how our company foster innovation and invest in employees professional development.

And now the important dates to remember: the training is on Tue December 4, and the talks are on Wed December 5, and October 14 is the last day of the early bird registration!!!

And finally the last thing. The Chicago PostgreSQL User Group meetup will be next week, Wed Oct 17, featuring Shaun Thomas. Please come and have a sneak peek of the conference!

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May Chicago PUG announcements

We had an amazing attendance at Chicago PUG meetup last week. I was looking at the audience and thinking about the first Chicago PUG in the Braviant Office in January 2017. Sixteen meetups later – this was our last meeting in this building. In less than a months our company will move to the new home, and Chicago PUG will also have a new beautiful space for the meetups.

These past almost eighteen months were quite a journey, and a really exciting one, thanks to the generous sponsorship of PgUS, thanks for amazing speakers, including Joe Conway, Bruce Momjian, and many other outstanding researches and practitioners from the Postgres community, and last but not least – thanks to all of the active participants.

We are committed to continue making each Chicago PUG meetup a memorable event, and as a part of this effort we are going to Introduce Chicago PUG 2018 awards:

 

  1. Best presentation award (voting will take place in December)
  2. Participation award: the company which will have the largest total number of participants in May – Nov meetups
  3. Diversity award – the talk presented by somebody from under-represented demographics.

With this in mind – please join us at our new address 33 N. LaSalle Floor 8 on June 26 2018 at 5-30 PM.  The RSVP link is here.

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