Speaker Interview

Speaker: Charles Clavadetscher
Company website: ETH Z├╝rich KOF
LinkedIn: Charles Clavadetscher
Xing: Charles Clavadetscher

Could you briefly introduce yourself?
I have been in touch with PostgreSQL for a little over a decade and, since 2013 when I started working for the economic research departement of the Swiss technology institute in Zurich, it has become the core of my job. The institute collects data from thousands of companies operating in Switzerland through monthly surveys. The oldest historical raw data records go back to 1983. The indicators computed with these data are used in the economy and in federal and local politics for the discussion on sustainable development strategies and are considered with respect thanks to the non-negotiable position of neutrality that the institute has committed to.
Have you enjoyed previous pgDay Paris conferences, either as attendee or as speaker?
I attended pgDay Paris in 2017 and I was very impressed by the quality of the talks and the size of the event.
What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?
My talk is about triggers, an approach to add functionality to plain DML (data modification language) statements. Triggers open the opportunity to implement complex business logic transparently and, what is possibly more interesting they enable database developers to build an additional data protection layer that goes beyond the already impressive mechanisms of the role system and (RLS) row level security. I decided to talk about this topic after an accident that corrupted important parts of our data, because the origin of the problem and its solution were related to the usage of triggers. This use case will be covered in the talk and is one of the central messages, i.e. yes, do it, but be careful.
What is the audience for your talk?
Actually everybody interested in learning about database enhancements, but more specifically people with a technical focus. The talk is not an invitation to use triggers as a panacea, but much more a warning to use them wisely, so it could even appeal to people not directly involved in the implementation of their company’s policies.
What existing knowledge should the attendee have?
During the presentation attendees will see a lot of code. It is an advantage if they have knowledge of SQL and plpgsql or another programming language. However this is not a requirement, because the main message is abstract and independent from the specific database used and can be applied to different environments.
Thank you!