MySQL-related events & the ecosystem

I had an interesting conversation with Sheeri (who I’ve known for many years, so consider this friendly banter) on Twitter about my recent blog post titled: once again, a split in events.

Disclaimer/Bias Warning: For those that don’t know me, I write this as a perspective of a community member. I was the first ever Community Engineer at MySQL, followed by being a Community Relations Manager right up till I left Sun Microsystems. I now work on MariaDB which is a branch of MySQL, so naturally we are in competition for user base. But I’m writing this as a community member at large who cares about MySQL & the ecosystem.

First of, this is a focus on the user ecosystem. I think the MySQL developer ecosystem has never been healthier than it is today – so many branches, forks, features, development trees, etc. Developer ecosystems are for another post, this is all about user ecosystems.

On events during similar timeframes

Sheeri started with calling BS on my post. Great way to start a conversation. I for one didn’t say that Oracle split the community or that Percona did so. I’m not in the job of pointing fingers. I’m just looking at past evidence: London 2012 (Percona, UKOUG), September/October 2012 (MySQL Connect San Francisco, Percona NYC), April 2011 (MySQL Conference Santa Clara, IOUG Collaborate Florida). There may be more events but I can only think of these.

I’ve heard that the April timeframe is bad for Oracle to send engineers to conferences because they have a busy release month. Yet Collaborate in Florida was ok?

Yes, MySQL may be the most popular opensource database today. This is great for the ecosystem that I am in. We can & should have many events, so I totally agree with Sheeri. But do they have to be at the same time? Do they have to ensure that attendees have to choose one or the other?

On spreading MySQL

I am happy that free events now happen in places that previously had no events, like Nairobi & Kenya. MySQL presence was almost unheard of in South America (many users, but we never made it out there to meet with the grassroots), but I’ve seen great amounts of activity there. I’ve even written about this before: a tale of two conferences. London in 2011 was awesome for MySQL all spread by a week – Oracle and Percona had 2 events and there were 2 different audiences from what I could tell.

I was at MySQL Connect this year as well as Percona Live NYC. The amount of intersection in attendees was sparse. In fact, Oracle managed to gather an interesting new crowd for Connect, so all kudos to them!

My wish as a community member (on events)

I wish to see Oracle MySQL employees show up at all events. This includes Percona Live events. I mean a talk from someone developing InnoDB, for example, would be great. It seems that the official line though is: “Oracle is not willing to help other companies’ marketing“. Fair enough. Percona Live is a great marketing event for Percona.

In the same vein I wish to see non-Oracle employees, even those from competitors, show up at Oracle MySQL events. MySQL Connect had 2 talks from Percona. That’s a good start.

I also wish that I get the best MySQL & ecosystem related content at one event. Many people can only make one event (especially when they happen during the same time at different locations). As a busy DBA, I want “the one event to learn it all”. That’s what the MySQL Conferences in Santa Clara used to do. This was a home for people to meetup once a year. This is no longer the case, it would seem.

Keeping MySQL relevant

Another wish that is unrelated to events: I wish MySQL was still spreading.

I speak to many MySQL users. From humble developers to large enterprises.

Oracle’s enemy isn’t MariaDB or Percona Server or the ecosystem at large. MySQL’s enemy is the growing use of other databases. NoSQL solutions are a popular choice; when people realize they want something relational, they don’t think about MySQL as a migration path. Pretty much every migration story I’ve seen suggests it is a migration to PostgreSQL.

Many years ago, you deployed on MySQL first. Today, is it still the first choice for the developer? Is it the second choice?

What about enterprises migrating from the Oracle database? They are well aware whom the new owners of MySQL are.

I saw this published on Josh Berkus’ blog: MySQL-to-PostgreSQL migration data from the451.com. It is worth a read.

I have had many conversations with experienced MySQL DBAs who I would consider rockstar DBAs in the Valley who are now beefing up their MongoDB knowledge. Some job offers are now asking for more than just MySQL knowledge. The naive way to look at it is if you’re getting 2-3 job offers for MySQL work per week. That is today. What about next year? I would like to put on a long term view here.

One more thing

I am truly independent in this. I want to see MySQL succeed. I need it to succeed as I am an ecosystem participant (via MariaDB).

I have heard many people call Oracle ACE/Directors Oracle apologists. I know pretty much all the Oracle ACEs as friends and respect their opinions, so in no way am I going to refer to them as apologists or shills. 

Celebrate the Oracle ACE/Director like you would the old/defunct MySQL Guilds.

Let’s work together to make the MySQL user ecosystem healthy!

Thanks to Sheeri Cabral, Giuseppe Maxia, Henrik Ingo & Ronald Bradford for pre-reading this.

Related posts:

  1. Once again, a split in events
  2. MySQL across two coasts
  3. A Tale of Two Conferences
  4. Some MySQL-related links
  5. OpenSolaris-MySQL-Zend OSCON Bash

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