Claire Giordano

Claire Giordano


Principal on the Postgres team at Microsoft. Head of open source community efforts for the Citus database extension. Alum of Citus Data, Amazon, Sun Microsystems, and Brown University CS. Conference speaker at PGConf EU, FOSDEM, Nordic PGDay, & Swiss PGDay. Co-chair of Citus Con: An Event for Postgres. Loves sailing in Greece.

@clairegiordano @[email protected]

Claire Giordano

Ultimate Guide to Citus Con: An Event for Postgres

Written by By Claire Giordano | March 29, 2022 Mar 29, 2022

One of the good things with a virtual event like Citus Con is that you have a lot of flexibility about where and when to watch the talks. From your home office, or a café, or the beach—or even the car, while you wait to pick up your kids. As long as you have an internet connection, you’re in.

But you still need to figure out which talks and livestreams you want to watch when the event goes live on Tuesday, April 12. To help you out, we’ve created this guide to Citus Con: An Event for Postgres. And just for kicks I’m calling it the “Ultimate Guide” to CitusCon. (Ha! Since this is a first time event maybe it will be the only guide to Citus Con. Therefore definitely “ultimate”.)

In working on this event—I’m a co-chair along with Teresa Giacomini, also head of the talk selection team—I realized I had “tagged and categorized” each and every talk both in my head and on a spreadsheet. So that’s what this blog post will give you… a framework for knowing which talks are in which categories.

Of course, if you want to see the abstracts for all the talks, just pop over to the Schedule & Sessions page for Citus Con.

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Claire Giordano

Call for speakers for Citus Con: An Event for Postgres

Written by By Claire Giordano | January 31, 2022 Jan 31, 2022

When you find yourself answering the same questions again and again, it’s a good idea to blog about it. Which is why this post about Citus Con: An Event for Postgres exists: to answer your questions, and share the news about this first-ever, inaugural event.

Citus Con: An Event for Postgres is a free and virtual developer event happening in April 2022, organized by the Postgres and Citus team here at Microsoft. Speakers will come from different parts of the Postgres ecosystem, including Postgres users, Citus open source users, Azure Database for PostgreSQL customers, and developers/experts in PostgreSQL and Postgres extensions, like Citus.

The Call for Proposals (CFP) for Citus Con is open until Feb 6th. Whether this will be your 1000th conference talk or your very 1st, we’d love to see what Postgres experiences you have to share.

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Claire Giordano

Why give a conference talk (or, why give a Postgres talk)

Written by By Claire Giordano | January 11, 2022 Jan 11, 2022

If you’ve never done it before, you might be daunted by the idea of giving a conference talk. You know: the work involved, the butterflies, how to make it a good talk and not a boring one, the people who might judge you… And perhaps the hardest bit: choosing a topic others will find interesting.

[Updated for 2023]: For the 2nd year in a row, I’m the co-chair of a free and virtual developer conference called Citus Con: An Event for Postgres. Wearing my talk selection team hat, as I reached out to spread the word about the CFP for Citus Con, people would sometimes ask:

Why give a talk at a Postgres conference?

This post will walk you through the ways you, your team, your project—and especially the Postgres community—can benefit from a talk you give.

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Claire Giordano

UK COVID-19 dashboard built using Postgres and Citus for millions of users

Written by By Claire Giordano & Pouria Hadjibagheri | December 11, 2021 Dec 11, 2021

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Kingdom (UK) government has made it a top priority to track key health metrics and to share those metrics with the public.

And the citizens of the UK were hungry for information, as they tried to make sense of what was happening. Maps, graphs, and tables became the lingua franca of the pandemic. As a result, the GOV.UK Coronavirus dashboard became one of the most visited public service websites in the United Kingdom.

The list of people who rely on the UK Coronavirus dashboard is quite long: government personnel, public health officials, healthcare employees, journalists, and the public all use the same service.

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Claire Giordano

What’s new in the Citus 10.1 extension to Postgres

Written by By Claire Giordano | July 30, 2021 Jul 30, 2021

Citus 10.1 is out! In this latest release to the Citus extension to Postgres, our team focused on improving your user experience. Some of the 10.1 fixes are operational improvements—such as with the shard rebalancer, or with citus_update_node. Some are performance improvements—such as for multi-row INSERTs or with citus_shards. And some are fixes you’ll appreciate if you use Citus with lots of Postgres partitions.

Given that the previous Citus 10 release included a bevy of new features—including things like columnar storage, Citus on a single node, open sourcing the shard rebalancer, new UDFs so you can alter distributed table properties, and the ability to combine Postgres and Citus tables via support for JOINs between local and distributed tables, and foreign keys between local and reference tables—well, we felt that Citus 10.1 needed to prioritize some of our backlog items, the kinds of things that can make your life easier.

This post is your guide to the what’s new in Citus 10.1. And if you want to catch up on all the new things in past releases to Citus, check out the release notes posts about Citus 10, Citus 9.5, Citus 9.4, Citus 9.3, and Citus 9.2.

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Claire Giordano

When to use Hyperscale (Citus) to scale out Postgres

Written by By Claire Giordano | December 5, 2020 Dec 5, 2020

If you’ve built your application on Postgres, you already know why so many people love Postgres.

And if you’re new to Postgres, the list of reasons people love Postgres is loooong—and includes things like: 3 decades of database reliability baked in; rich datatypes; support for custom types; myriad index types from B-tree to GIN to BRIN to GiST; support for JSON and JSONB from early days; constraints; foreign data wrappers; rollups; the geospatial capabilities of the PostGIS extension, and all the innovations that come from the many Postgres extensions.

But what to do if your Postgres database gets very large?

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Claire Giordano

What’s new in the Citus 9.5 extension to Postgres

Written by By Claire Giordano | November 14, 2020 Nov 14, 2020

When I gave the kickoff talk in the Postgres devroom at FOSDEM this year, one of the Q&A questions was: “what’s happening with the Citus open source extension to Postgres?” The answer is, a lot. Since FOSDEM, Marco Slot and I have blogged about how Citus 9.2 speeds up large-scale htap workloads on Postgres, the Citus 9.3 release notes, and what’s new in Citus 9.4.

Now it’s time to walk through everything new in the Citus 9.5 open source release.

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Claire Giordano

Release notes for Citus 9.3, the extension that scales out Postgres horizontally

Written by By Claire Giordano | June 13, 2020 Jun 13, 2020

Our latest release to the Citus open source extension to Postgres is Citus 9.3.

If you’re a regular reader of the Citus Blog, you already know Citus transforms Postgres into a distributed database, distributing your data and SQL queries across multiple servers. This post—heavily inspired by the internal release notes that lead engineer Marco Slot circulated internally—is all about what’s new & notable in Citus 9.3.

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Claire Giordano

Documenting the Citus extension to Postgres: an interview with begriffs

Written by By Claire Giordano | April 9, 2020 Apr 9, 2020

The last two months, I managed the agenda for our weekly Citus team meeting, the one time each week where our entire distributed team—with people spread across 6 different countries—gets together to talk about Citus things. As I chatted with our PostgreSQL folks to find speakers to give 10-minute “lightning talks”, I heard a chorus from several of the engineers: “see if you can get Joe to give a talk. His talks are always super interesting.”

I succeeded. Joe Nelson (known as begriffs online) did deliver a talk titled “Dominus SQL, lord of my domain.” And the engineers liked it. Not a surprise, as Joe’s content tends to be pretty popular, both on his personal blog, and on the Citus Data blog, including high traffic posts such as 5 ways to paginate in Postgres and Faster PostgreSQL Counting.

And when Joe agreed to let me interview him about his work on the Citus documentation (he’s quite busy so I wasn’t sure he would say yes), well, I was thrilled. This post is an edited transcript of my interview with Joe—and it’s your inside baseball view into how the documentation for the Citus open source project gets made.

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Claire Giordano

Tips on how to get your conference talk SELECTED

Written by By Claire Giordano | January 16, 2020 Jan 16, 2020

As I get ready for the PgDay San Francisco event that is happening next Tue 21 January—a one-day, single-track Postgres community event at the awesome Swedish American Hall in SF—I’m reflecting a bit on how important the speakers are to developer events. Let’s face it, without speakers, there would be no conference.

And because I was on the PgDaySF talk selection committee, I’ve had some good conversations these last few months about CFPs, conference talks, how talk selection committees work, and how you can improve your chances at getting your proposals accepted. So I thought it would be useful to walk through the tips I’ve accumulated on how to get your conference talk accepted—at a Postgres conference, or at any developer conference.

These tips are premised on the notion that a good conference talk requires these 4 things:

  1. interestingness: a topic people will care about—and learn from
  2. knowledgeable speaker who knows their subject & can communicate effectively with an audience—so people can follow, understand, and learn
  3. a hook: a compelling title & abstract that will hook people and entice them to attend
  4. fits holistically into the rest of the lineup: a talk that complements the rest of the talks at the event, that adds something unique, and doesn’t overlap the other talks in a significant way
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