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Floor Drees

Floor Drees

Staff Community Program Manager at Aiven

I'm a Staff Developer Advocate at Aiven(.io),we’re a managed solution for your favorite open source data tools. Previously I worked in Developer Relations roles at Grafana Labs and Microsoft. I co-organize devopsdays Amsterdam and devopsdays Eindhoven, as well as several meetup groups including, a monthly virtual-first-an-only meetup on open source topics.

I’m a devopsdays core member, and a Microsoft MVP, awarded for my community work in the developer technologies space.

I talk about dinosaurs and chickens a lot.

POSETTE 2024 Talk

How to Work with Other People

(Livestream 2)

Lack of awareness around Mental Health issues has always been a problem in IT circles, leading often to unnecessary stress, burnout and strained relationships with colleagues and employers. This in turn can lead to employee churn for companies and strife within open source projects.

Neurodiverse colleagues might be struggling more than you are, first with WFH and now with RTO, with industry-wide layoffs, and with biased performance review schemes. Understanding how different things affect different people differently will help make a more safe and more productive workplace. Making things a little better for neurodiverse folks, means making things a little better for everyone.

We will share how our neurodiversity affects the way we work with others, as well as stories from peers. We aim to contribute to a better understanding of how your team members tick, and we want to invite people to share how others can help them get their best work done.

We believe that the PostgreSQL community could become one in which its members can bring their true selves to (their open source) work.

View the slides

Speaker Interview

About the Speaker

  • Tell us about yourself: career, family, passions

    I'm a community builder through and through, that's what I do at Aiven and in my free time as well, organizing conferences and meetups. Or Eurovision watch parties, as long as it brings people together. I live in the Netherlands with my son, our (sausage) dog, and 5 chickens.

  • What is your icebreaker for PostgreSQL events?

    So… do you karaoke?

  • How do you prepare for an online presentation?

    I need water, a LAN cable (just in case), and a dog who's exhausted from a walk and won't be begging for attention mid-talk!

  • Which book are you reading right now?

    I'll always read 3 books at the same time. That's because I like non-fiction that speaks about current events, but also those type of books get me riled up so I can't read those before going to bed. The fiction I'm reading right now is The Three-Body Problem (also not recommended before sleepy time), and I'm reading Melanie During's book about when and how dinosaurs went extinct too.

  • What is your favorite hobby?

    As you might have guessed from the above: reading.

About the Talk

  • What will your talk be about, exactly?

    Jimmy and I will talk about working with other people, people whose brains are wired differently from yours, and ours. My proverbial hill I'll die on is that most all technical skills can be acquired, but learning how to work well with others is the hardest thing to master.

  • What is the audience for your talk?

    I knew I had to talk to my GP about taking a test to determine whether I have ADHD after listening to someone talk about their discovery journey. I had heard others talk about their diagnosis and challenges, but the way this person worded it… it just suddenly all made sense. They said "there is only now, and not-now for me". That's exactly what it feels like to me too! I got the test and finally I had a name for my challenges (and aptitudes too!), and I could create a space for myself in which I could be kinder to myself and at the same time be a better worker. If one person listens to our stories and gets that same thing, I'd say: mission accomplished. And Jimmy and I both really hope folks will think about how friendly their workplace is for neurodiverse folks, and what they as individuals can do to make the tech community a more inclusive place.

  • Which other talk at this year’s conference would you like to watch?

    David Wheeler's "State of the Postgres Extension Ecosystem". The YouTube series that leads up to his session first at PGConf DEV and then POSETTE is excellent, and I look forward to his summary. I look forward to Regina Obe's keynote "The Open Source Geospatial Community, PostGIS, & Postgres" as well. I always enjoy Boriss Mejias' storytelling skills, I'm curious about Lotte Felius' talk about benchmarking distributed PostgreSQL, and can't miss my former colleague Sarah Novotny's keynote!

About PostgreSQL

  • What inspired you to work with PostgreSQL?

    I'll answer this as "how did you end up working with PostgreSQL" because that is kind of what happened. I merely used Postgres when I just got started learning how to code, using it for my Ruby projects. And I would always just "use" a database, and often Postgres, until I started with Grafana. There I understood Postgres as not only storage but as a data source too. And then at Aiven of course I met amazing folks working on the upstream project, and I finally understood more about Postgres' place within the sort of data toolbelt.

  • What advice would you give to someone starting their journey with PostgreSQL?

    Watch Valeria Kaplan's talk "Elephant in a nutshell - Navigating the Postgres community 101" (or browse through her slides), a most comprehensible overview of all the community resources available!

  • PostgreSQL is open-source, did that ever help you in anyway and how?

    Didn't help necessarily but rather I wouldn't be working with it if it wasn't open source. I've spent my entire career in Tech championing open source, there is no other way for me.

  • If you had a magic wand, what single thing would you change in PostgreSQL as it is today?

    I've talked about this topic before: recognition for non-code contributions to the project (community organizing, triaging, reviewing, content creation, documentation,…) and for the extension ecosystem folks as much as for upstream contributors.

About POSETTE & Events

  • Have you enjoyed previous POSETTE (formerly Citus Con) conferences, either as an attendee or as a speaker?

    I have enjoyed previous Citus Con events, both as a live attendee, and watching the recorded talks on demand. I've also always enjoyed the "Path to Citus Con" podcast, especially when I could join the Discord live.

  • What motivated you to speak at this year’s POSETTE: An Event for Postgres?

    Jimmy, who I met in person finally at PGConf EU in Prague last year, wrote on Mastodon that he thought there needs to be more discourse about mental health and neurodiversity in tech. I reached out, we had a call, and because we both care about making things better "close to home", we decided to submit a talk to POSETTE.

  • What other PostgreSQL events in 2024 are you excited about?

    I look forward to this year's PGConf EU in Greece. I have never been to Greece! If I can do some shameless promotion I also look forward to PGDay Lowlands in Amsterdam which I organize with a super fun team, 2 days after PGDay UK in London which I'll also be at. We thought we'd take a similar approach PGDay Paris and Nordic PGDay take, so that international speakers and attendees can catch multiple events with one trip.

  • Could you share a memorable moment from a previous PostgreSQL conference you attended or spoke at?

    I don't think anyone could forget Laetitia's and Karen's Barbie-talk at PGConf EU… And I keep sending Matt Cornillon's PGDay Paris lightning talk about pgvector suggesting cheeses to literally everyone. Matt is the best.

Podcast Appearances

You’re probably already using Postgres: What you need to know with Chelsea Dole & Floor Drees

The Postgres team at Microsoft is proud to be the organizer of POSETTE: An Event for Postgres (formerly Citus Con).