Episode 6 highlights of Path To Citus Con podcast w/Chelsea Dole & Floor Drees

Written by Carol Smith
August 11, 2023

The latest episode of Path To Citus Con—the monthly podcast for developers who love Postgres—is now out. This 6th episode featured guests Chelsea Dole and Floor Drees on the topic “You’re probably already using Postgres: What you need to know”.

The conversation explored the app developer perspective on Postgres. Many of you app developers are already using Postgres, but perhaps on top of an ORM. If you want to optimize your application, if you want to better understand the underlying database: what do you need to know? And how do you remove the fear? This episode of Path To Citus Con, our new podcast for developers who love Postgres, focuses on opportunities for building your knowledge in the database internals space—whether you want to go breadth-first or depth-first.

In this post, you’ll get a bit of backstory on the topic and the guests of Episode 06 of Path To Citus Con; and you’ll get a peek at highlights of a few interesting moments from the show. At the end of the post, you’ll find all the links of where you can listen to this and every episode of the podcast. Some people love these “human side of Postgres” podcast episodes—hopefully you will, too.

You're probably already using Postgres: What you need to know

Episode 06 with Chelsea Dole and Floor Drees gives those of you who are app developers a bunch of places to start on becoming Postgres-savvy. There’s discussion about the just one thing you can learn or look into, if you want to learn more about the underlying database.

Guests Chelsea Dole (a Staff Software Engineer at Brex) and Floor Drees (a Staff Community Program Manager at Aiven)—along with hosts Claire Giordano and Pino de Candia—had a broad conversation about Postgres extensions that started from what they are, all the way to a showcase of some really useful extensions no matter the use case. And there’s also a much deeper discussion about what Chelsea called “depth-first” learning if you want to go beyond the first layer of learning. Both Chelsea and Floor come from non-traditional backgrounds to be where they are in their careers building and teaching others about Postgres.

Path to Citus Con episode 6 thumbnail
Figure 1: YouTube thumbnail for episode 6 of the Path To Citus Con podcast for developers who love Postgres, with (starting in the top left, listed clockwise) Pino de Candia, Claire Giordano, Floor Drees, and Chelsea Dole. The topic = “You’re probably already using Postgres: What you need to know.”

Key quotes & insights from Chelsea and Floor’s learning journey with Postgres

“Database engineers are always few, far between, and kind of stressed. And so they’re always really thrilled to have people who are on the app development side asking questions and wanting to learn.” – Chelsea Dole

Colleagues and coworkers often appreciate when others show interest in their work. Having done your research and wanting to learn more can lead to better collaborations and more successful launches. Everyone loves enthusiasm and passion about what they’re working on, particularly from people also willing to learn more from them.

“There is so much strength in… Can I say ‘boring technology’? Boring is not a bad thing. Boring is solid. It just works.” – Floor Drees

Technology that keeps the lights on at your company and the people who support that technology are sometimes underappreciated. New features and cutting-edge technology have their places, but “boring technology” does as well. Not everything needs to push boundaries, some things just need to push to production.

“The number one thing that I think is helpful [to becoming more Postgres savvy] is trying to remove the fear that comes with working with databases as an app developer.” – Chelsea Dole

Should you work to remove fear or face fear? Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can look like facing the unknown, and it can also look like questioning your assumptions about what’s scaring you. Have places to feel safe and experiment and occasionally look outside those places to see what else is out there.

“When you go on that learning journey, start teaching others early and often.” – Floor Drees

No learning is really complete until you’ve shared it with others. Even the experts can find new ways to look at things when beginners ask the “obvious” questions. Floor highlights the importance of spending time getting your footing in new places along with bringing that learning to others. There’s often opportunities for sharing your own learning as much as possible in the future.

All the links to this episode & previous podcast episodes of Path To Citus Con

You can find the transcript for this episode with Chelsea and Floor (and for all the other episodes too) in the Transcripts tab on each episode page.

The recorded episodes are all available now as podcasts on your favorite podcast platforms.

The next episode will be recorded LIVE on Wednesday, September 6th at 10am PDT. If you want to be part of the live text chat on Discord that happens while the episode is being recorded (it’s fun), go ahead and mark your calendar for the September episode. That’s right, it’s a live show and a podcast!. Don’t stress the details, all the instructions for joining are in the cal invite itself.

You can find Path To Citus Con, the podcast for developers who love Postgres, on:

You can also a take a look at the:

Thanks for listening! Since Path To Citus Con is a new podcast for Postgres people, we if you’re a fan please be sure to give us a rating and tell your friends.

Carol Smith

Written by Carol Smith

Open Source Program Manager at Microsoft. Open Source Community Manager for Citus. Previously @github and @google. Conference speaker at FOSDEM, LISA, OS Bridge, and LibrePlanet. Avid reader, armchair movie critic, and part-time cook.

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