Brussels / 1 & 2 February 2020


Interview with Joe Conway
SECCOMP your PostgreSQL

Photo of Joe Conway

Joe Conway will give a talk about SECCOMP your PostgreSQL at FOSDEM 2020.

Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Joe Conway. I currently live in Florida, USA, and work for Crunchy Data. I have been working with PostgreSQL pretty much daily for over 20 years, and I have been an active part of the community for most of that time. Currently I am a PostgreSQL Committer, Major Contributor, and Infrastructure Team member.

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

My talk is about how to use Linux SECCOMP together with PostgreSQL in order to reduce your attack surface and provide better security. This is just one aspect of what should be a holistic effort to secure your data.

This topic is important because breaches continue to happen with increasing frequency, and you don’t want to be included in the next headline regarding such things!

Q: What do you hope to accomplish by giving this talk? What do you expect?

I hope to make more people aware of Linux SECCOMP and how it can be used with PostgreSQL to enhance security. I expect that some viewers will be inspired to try some of the things I talk about, and hopefully deploy them.

Q: You have been involved with the PostgreSQL community for more than 20 years. Could you give us a retrospect: what has changed over the last 20 years in PostgreSQL?

When I first became involved, the community was relatively small and very enthusiastic about doing things the right way. Back then, there was a lot of low hanging fruit — many of the problems to be solved were simpler and more fundamental than the problems of today. The typical use cases were constrained in size and complexity.

The community has grown tremendously over the years, and the user-base has grown even more quickly. An entire ecosystem has developed, which is still dedicated to doing things the right way and making PostgreSQL the best solution for everyone — including for extremely large enterprises and huge government agencies.

The problems being solved today are much more complex. They use multiple systems and involve enormous databases. Everyone wants to automate all the things! Data is more valuable than ever and therefore more vulnerable to attack. But PostgreSQL (the software and the community) continues to rise to the challenges.

Q: 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of (F)OSDEM. What contributions has FOSDEM made to the advancement of FOSS, and how did PostgreSQL in particular benefit from FOSDEM?

PostgreSQL leverages many aspects of the FOSS systems that it sits atop. It depends on operating system services. Successful deployment and management require many other components, the vast majority of which (and in many cases, all) are FOSS.

To the extent that FOSDEM has helped the world grow and develop world class FOSS software, that we all run our businesses on, PostgreSQL and its users have benefited. PostgreSQL advances by “standing upon the shoulders of giants”, and FOSDEM is one of the giants of the FOSS software world.

Q: Have you enjoyed previous FOSDEM editions?

Yes, I have attended FOSDEM several times in the past, and I am very much looking forward to the 2020 edition! I hope to see everyone there.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License

This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Belgium License.