Posts Tagged ‘Community’

When hackers gather

I just stumbled upon nushackers (formerly linuxNUS). Here are a group of people from the National University of Singapore, who organise weekly talks (Friday Hacks), as well as workshops (hackerschool).

I’m totally inspired by what’s happening, it kind of reminds me of the CSSE Student Club I was a part of back at my alma mater. The extension to that was GAUNIX, in where we controlled a machine supported by the university and gave folk shell access.

Great things happen when hackers meet up with each other. And here I’m referring to the hackers, not just the idea folk/business people. Just people playing around with new things, tinkering, sharing about new technology, building stuff. 

There used to be MyOSS meetups in Malaysia. Now there is WebCampKL, but this is a meld of people who are not exactly hackers.

I reckon this is what’s missing in the Malaysian space – it needs to be fixed. 

Spotting retail trends

I just listened to Monocle 24, The Entrepreneurs episode #45 (forward 32:40-42:14). Short interview with Arnault Castel. He’s the man behind kapok, a brand gaining traction in Hong Kong. I think they just launched in Malaysia as well in the Gardens.

Why is this interview interesting? Quite simply because Castel ended up in Hong Kong by accident (from France), worked in banking (a French bank doing stuff overseas – he didn’t want to do military service after his business studies), built up Lomography Asia, continued his expansion to bringing in Moleskine/Rhodia/etc, and now does kapok. Key points to note? He did Lomo’s in 2001, Moleskine in 2004, and so on. He’s a retail trend spotter.

He’s also a bootstrapper: all his ventures started out of his home office.

The importance of frequent travel is probably brought up a lot in this interview too. Helps with the spotting.

He talks about building community & community marketing for Lomography.

Further reading.

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.

Gary Vaynerchuk: an entrepreneur’s life video

Watch An Entrepreneur’s Life: Gary Vaynerchuk. It is a little less than 8 minutes long, but it is awesome. Some quick points:

  • Live life in lifetime value. There’s a great anecdote on looking to hang on to good customers rather than having to find new customers. He cares about who wins the war not the battle (similar saying: it is a marathon, not a sprint).
  • Storytelling in business is underrated. Care about the way things get presented. Storytelling is important. Understand what the consumer wants, then backtrack. Tell a story and get them  there. This is the difference between marketing & sales. Steve Jobs was a good story teller.
  • Content is king. However, content is also a commodity.
  • During his Wine Library TV days, it is not just the 40 minutes a day he spent in front of the camera. It’s the 15 hours a week spent replying to every email, tweet, forum message. I guess this is the important thing about building community.
  • What drives Gary? The climb to the top of his goal (owning the NY Jets). The journey.

Nitobi acquired by Adobe; PhoneGap to be ASF

I tweeted on October 1 about how I thought PhoneGap Build was cool. Its an immensely cool service which I’ve wanted to see MoSync do.

On October 2 I just read that PhoneGap was being submitted to the Apache Software Foundation (article, mailing list post). I absolutely loved the commitment, their current license was already good, and I was very excited for Nitobi.

Just yesterday on October 3, Nitobi announced that they entered into an acquisition agreement with Adobe. PhoneGap Build will be closed-source, commercial, and cost money. DreamWeaver CS 5.5 has PhoneGap. However PhoneGap itself will remain open, and will become Apache Callback.

Kudos to Nitobi. Kudos to Adobe. You’re making the right decision. Just don’t screw it up.

Nitobi is pursuing a contribution of the PhoneGap code to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) to ensure open stewardship of the project over the long term. As part of that process it will be renamed to a new Apache-branded name Callback. Adobe fully supports this contribution and will continue to host the PhoneGap community site with full participation from its contributors, as well as the PhoneGap Build service. — on why PhoneGap code is being donated to the ASF

MyOSS 2.0 – our first meetup again!

After a hiatus of over a year, MyOSS meetups are back! It starts tomorrow, Tuesday July 12 2011 from 7.30pm – 9.30pm and is held at the awesome Mindvalley offices in Menara UOA Bangsar. We’re clearly moving with the times and we have a Facebook event page for MyOSS Meetup 2011.07: node.js co-creator Tom Hughes-Croucher.

We used to have a mailing list (which has really become general@lists.foss.org.my and ossig@lists.mncc.com.my). We’re trying to take the reboot further with Facebook Groups – check out myoss@groups.facebook.com!


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