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Jimmy Angelakos

Jimmy Angelakos

Systems & Database Architect, PostgreSQL contributor, author & speaker

Jimmy Angelakos is a Systems and Database Architect and recognized PostgreSQL expert who has worked with, and contributed to, Open-Source tools for 25+ years. He is passionate about participating in the community, and is an active member of PostgreSQL Europe and an occasional contributor to the PostgreSQL project. Jimmy is a regular speaker at conferences and events, sharing his insights with the community. Author of PostgreSQL Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, co-author of PostgreSQL 16 Administration Cookbook.

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 Systems and Database Architect based out of Edinburgh, Scotland. I was born and raised in Greece, and I'm passionate about open source and the community around it. But more passionate about music.

  • What is your icebreaker for PostgreSQL events?

    So what do you use Postgres for?

  • How do you prepare for an online presentation?

    Run through the slides in my inner voice, and just go and do it.

  • Which book are you reading right now?

    PostgreSQL Query Optimization by Henrietta Dombrovskaya, Boris Novikov, Anna Bailliekova.

  • What is your favorite hobby?

    Playing music and singing (not very well).

About the Talk

  • What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

    My talk with Floor will be about how recognizing and accommodating the mental differences between people can improve the workplace and the PostgreSQL Community. I've been aware of employers and communities not being sensitive to mental health for quite some time, and wanted to collect testimonials and speak about it.

  • What is the audience for your talk?

    I only became aware of my neurodivergence because of other people discussing their experiences, so if even one person is prompted by this talk to explore their mental health, that's a win. But the general public stands to gain as well, because building awareness about these topics can make a real difference in people's lives.

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

    Definitely Henrietta Dombrovskaya's talk on performance, Heikki Linnakangas's talk on vectors and Boriss Mejias's talk on synchronous replication.

  • How do you balance technical depth with engaging storytelling in your conference presentations?

    Start with the story, the situation, then explain the wider concept, then dive into the technical detail, and then jump back out to continue the story.

About PostgreSQL

  • What inspired you to work with PostgreSQL?

    Its technical excellence, and the late, great Simon Riggs's mentorship.

  • What is your favorite PostgreSQL feature?

    The GIN and GiST indexes that allow you to index JSONB and perform Full Text Search are pretty amazing.

  • What is the single thing that you think differentiates PostgreSQL most from other databases?

    Its suitability for so many use cases.

  • What is your favorite PostgreSQL extension or tool? And why?

    PostGIS because it has become the gold standard in geospatial databases.

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

    Start interacting with the PostgreSQL community. Almost everything I learned about Postgres I learned from the community, both online and from conferences.

  • What are your favorite resources for learning about PostgreSQL?

    Conference talks, then books.

  • Could you share a memorable experience or challenge you faced while working with PostgreSQL?

    I helped a client recover their lost data when they had no backup—it was only possible because of PostgreSQL's great design. I spoke about it here:

  • In your opinion, what are the most common pitfalls or mistakes developers make when working with PostgreSQL?

    There's dozens. I'm writing a whole book about this! PostgreSQL Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  • Which skills are a must have for a PostgreSQL user/developer?


  • What is the most overlooked thing about PostgreSQL?

    Its legendary reliability. It's taken for granted by now!

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

    There is no magic wand. Everything is the result of hard work.

About POSETTE & Events

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

    I attended the previous Citus Con and enjoy participating via chat in the recording of "Path to Citus Con" episodes.

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

    PGConf Europe in Athens!

  • What advice would you give to fellow speakers preparing for a PostgreSQL conference?

    Look at other people's talks and cherry-pick what's good in their approach to the topic. Everybody gets their inspiration from somewhere.

  • What would be helpful for a first-time speaker?

    The more you do it, the easier it gets. So just get out there and do it.

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

    The several minutes of standing ovation when Simon Riggs announced his retirement at PGConf Europe 2022 in Berlin—a great moment.

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