Officially Announced as A PostgreSQL Contributor, What is Richard’s Secret?
MARCH 13TH, 2024

As one of the most popular open source databases in the world, the PostgreSQL global community officially announced the list of newly added PostgreSQL Contributors on March 3 to recognize those who have made substantial and long-term contributions to PostgreSQL. The list announced this time includes 3 Contributors and 6 Major Contributors. 

Proudly, Richard Guo from OpenPie, was recognized by the community and officially became a PostgreSQL Contributor. According to statistics, Richard is the only two Chinese on the current list of PostgreSQL Contributors. 

The number of PostgreSQL Committers around the world  has remained relatively small (about 30 people) for a long time, and Chinese are rarely seen in the Contributor list. Richard was officially recognized as a formal Contributor. This honor is attributed not only to the open innovation corporate culture and strong technical capabilities of his company OpenPie, but also to Richard's devotion for open source technology and his unremitting efforts. It also represent the development of the open source community in China recent years. 

Next, OpenPie's mascot little sloth "Paipai" will interview Richard and reveal the secret of becoming a PostgreSQL Contributor. 

Paipai: How did you start participating in open source code contribution? Is there a particular experience or project that sparked your interest in open source contribution? 

Richard: The first open source project I participated in was as early as 2012. Due to the work, I participated in the development of Linux kernel and began to become interested in open source code contributions. In 2016, by chance, I joined the team of Pivotal's open source database product Greenplum to develop the its open source product. Since Greenplum was built based on the PostgreSQL kernel, I also began to pay attention to PostgreSQL and began to contribute. Now, after joining OpenPie, due to work requirements, I also feel lucky that my company has a culture that embraces open source, and I am and will continue to participate in open source work in the PostgreSQL community. 

Paipai: In which major module have you contributed to PostgreSQL? Is there any important features you contributed? 

Richard: Among the code contributions to PostgreSQL, I mainly focus on the PostgreSQL optimizer and executor modules, which also laid the foundation for my subsequent creation of the optimizer of the OpenPie’s product PieCloudDB Database. In the PostgreSQL community, I spent a lot of time researching code optimization and performance tuning, and participated in some Bug Fix and Patch Review work to provide users with a better experience. I also worked hard to promote the implementation of new features and submitted some new features, which include "Support Right Anti Join", "Support Memoize for UNION ALL Queries", etc. 

In addition to areas related to database optimizers and execution modules, I am also very interested in AI, including the integration of database and AI, as well as cutting-edge generative AI applications such as ChatGPT and Sora, which I pay close attention to. 

Paipai: What do you usually do to improve your technical skills? In addition to database, is there any other technical areas are you particularly interested in? 

Richard: I have always believed that "Experience is the father of wisdom". By reading more excellent code, thinking more about the logic and principles, and then improving the quality of your code at work, I think this is the fastest way to polish your technical skills. In addition, as the Chinese proverb from 《Confucian Analects》 saying that, "When three people are walking together, there is one who can be my teacher." Through frequent exchanges and discussions with senior people, you can gain a lot of unexpected knowledge. 

Paipai: Is there any advice or guidance do you have for people who want to become contributors to open source code? 

Richard: Before participating in open source code contribution, familiarity and understanding of the source code are prerequisites. Furthermore, I realized that focus is very important, so I put a lot of effort into staying focused. For example, I try to reduce the time I use my mobile phone, turn off chat tools, etc., And you might not believe, but currently I have successfully controlled the time I use my mobile phone to less than 1 hour a day.  

At the same time, I also recommend that everyone should pay more attention to thinking and discussion to continuously iterate their own thinking and logic. I believe this is also very important. By thinking positively and communicating with others, you can continuously improve yourself. 

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