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      We at Fujitsu have been actively contributing to the PostgreSQL opensource community since 2003, participating in the development of new features, bug fixes, and code review. Today I would like to talk about what a typical day is like as a Postgres engineer.

       

      I have the privilege of opening this series of articles detailing what a typical day as a Postgres engineer at Fujitsu entails.

      My primary responsibility within the team is reviewing my colleague's patches.

      About me

      I began working for Fujitsu in the early 1990s, based in Sydney Australia. I have been involved in many and varied projects since then, some of which required trips to Japan to work closely with the relevant teams. Highlights include a C port of RDB2 database to Windows NT, working with the first versions of Java, contributing to some ODBC/JDBC adaptors, and making a JMS implementation. For several years I was a core member of the Interstage development team (Fujitsu’s J2EE Enterprise Java Beans container product) focusing on the CMP and MDB modules. Other development projects included some web-based (JavaScript) UI applications, and an Augmented Reality PoC.

      I was seconded to customer sites for a couple of years, and for a while I became the local expert for a Fujitsu call-centre Chat-Bot (CHORDSHIP). Eventually fate moved me to the Fujitsu Enterprise Postgres development team where I worked mainly on transparent encryption components.

      My involvement with Fujitsu Enterprise Postgres led to an opportunity to join the Fujitsu OSS PostgreSQL team, which I have been a member of since 2019. Within this team, my main task currently is the reviewing my colleague’s patches – an activity which makes me a regular poster to the pgsql-hackers mailing list. Last year, I received recognition as a PostgreSQL Contributor. I have also written some PostgreSQL blogs and have co-presented a session at the PGCon 2023 conference in Ottawa.

      peter-presentation

      PGCon Ottawa 2023, Co-presenting

      One of the senior community members, Robert Haas has analyzed the contribution in PostgreSQL development for the year 2023 in his blog post Who contributed to PostgreSQL development in 2023?.

      A typical day at Fujitsu OSS team

      Since the COVID pandemic, I’ve been working remotely from home. I usually try to start work early about 7.30am. Due to my location on the East coast of Australia, I am generally the first person of our international OSS team to see the overnight activity from Europe and the US. So, my day begins by going through all new pgsql-hackers and pgsql-bugs posts to identify those related to Logical Replication. If any, then I will notify my colleagues via internal mail or MSTeams.

      My primary responsibility within the team is reviewing my colleague’s patches, so next, I check for new patch versions. I use Windows BeyondCompare tool for comparing patch versions, and the CentOS meld tool for source code comparisons (after applying the patch). To keep track of my review comments, I maintain color-coded tables in MSWord (don't ask why, it just works well for me).

      I aim to post my reviews by lunchtime so that they are available when my colleagues in India begin their workday. In the afternoon I continue with review tasks, to post more, or to get a head start on what I plan to post the next day.

      My day typically finishes around 6PM. Ideally, while I am sleeping, my review comments will get addressed and a new patch version will be posted, so the next day the cycle repeats.

      My favourite part of the experience

      Code reviewing patches may seem mundane, but I don’t find it that way because the task suits my character. I have been using C programming language since the 1980s so it is extremely familiar to me, and I especially enjoy finding and suggesting succinct ways to achieve the same functionality in less code. It is not too dissimilar from my hobby of C code-golfing on the CodeWars programming site - you can read more about that in the PostgreSQL Person Of the Week interview I gave some time ago.

      I easily recognize patterns that seem to go unnoticed by others – e.g., I am that guy who will find the single typo in a 300-page novel and become distracted by it. In daily life this can be an annoying trait, but it proves useful for tasks like code reviewing and helping with patch quality-control. In another life I might have been a copy editor.

      Wrapping up

      This year, I hope to continue posting valuable review comments to help maintain high-quality patch code in PostgreSQL.

      But I also want to try making a habit of taking my own notes on whatever code logic I am reviewing, because doing so will make it easier to write technical blogs about the feature at a later stage.

      group-photo-ottawa

      PGCon Ottawa 2023, Group photo with the community members and myself (top left)

      Next in this series

      In the next article in this series, I am pleased to announce that Vigneshwaran C, another seasoned PostgreSQL developer with stellar contributions to the OSS community will be writing about what a day is like for him.

      Don't forget to subscribe to the blog, and we will keep you informed when a new post goes live.

      Topics: PostgreSQL, PostgreSQL community, PostgreSQL event, A day in the life of a PostgreSQL engineer

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      Peter Smith
      Senior Software Development Engineer, PostgreSQL based solutions, Fujitsu
      Peter has more than 30 years of experience software engineering, playing a pivotal role as C/Java developer in a diverse range of Fujitsu projects.

      Recently recognized as a contributor to PostgreSQL community, Peter has also presented at conferences and posted blogs about PostgreSQL internals.
      Our Migration Portal helps you assess the effort required to move to the enterprise-built version of Postgres - Fujitsu Enterprise Postgres.
      We also have a series of technical articles for PostgreSQL enthusiasts of all stripes, with tips and how-to's.

       

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