Posts Tagged ‘mysqlce09’

The MySQL Conference first timer’s guide from an old-timer

This is a “first-timer’s” guide to the MySQL Conference & Expo 2009. It is by no means official, but are things I think are somewhat important. Its broken down into sections: What days to attend, What to bring, Laptop, Blogging, Twittering, etc…, Be Social, The Attendee Directory, Evenings, and Did I miss something? Its long, but do bear with me — its just some friendly advice after attending this conference for quite the number of years.

What days to attend

The conference runs from Monday to Thursday. Monday is tutorial day, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are days where you have the conference proper.

Tuesday and Wednesday are days the Expo Hall is open. Go there, visit the place, learn about the ecosystem, and probably walk away with goodies while you’re at it. Don’t forget the DotOrg Pavilion, as there are plenty of open source projects that showcase their wares.

On Monday, you’ll also notice the career fair. If you’re looking for a job, this is the place to be. Bring a resume, bring plenty of business cards (make some, its not that complicated), and soak in the atmosphere.

If all that wasn’t enough, you’ve also got MySQL Camp running in parallel. On Monday, there’s a hackfest with Mark Callaghan of Google fame — if you’ve wanted to be a MySQL hacker, this should be a great start. On Tuesday – Thursday, MySQL Camp is happening, and there’s plenty of sessions. Did I mention that this event is completely free?

Know that there are plenty of events and parties, where you can enjoy free canap├ęs, and drink – always keep the event schedule handy.

And oops, I almost forgot, there’s also a Performance Conference on Wednesday and Thursday. So keep in mind that there are up to ten tracks for you to attend on Wednesday and Thursday.

At nights, don’t forget the Birds of a Feather sessions. These happen on Tuesday and Wednesday night, and we’ve had sessions in the past go in till past midnight (2am seemed to have been the kicker, one year).

What to bring

The dress code is pretty casual. Its California, t-shirt, shorts, and sandals will suffice. Otherwise, I’ve seen folk mostly be in smart casual attire. Or just plain t-shirt and jeans. Your mileage will vary. Just remember to be comfortable, as the days are long, and you’ll want to be at your best no matter what. Seven in the morning starts, that end at two in the morning the next day is pretty overwhelming for the body, so wear comfortable clothes and footwear.

Also, bring along:

  • Business cards – these can be with your company, or personal ones that you create (have your name, email address, URL, and whatever else seems significant). One of the biggest gains of being at the conference is the networking aspect of it. Think of it as social networking, in person. Make connections. Immediately go forth and add them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or shoot them an email — don’t let the business cards sit and rot.
  • ID – this is America, and if you’re planning on drinking, some kind of ID will be useful. Even at the Expo Hall reception, they tend to ask for ID when you order a beer
  • Laptop
  • Thumb drive – you might need this during the tutorial day, and it will serve for easy exchange of stuff


You need one. The certification exams for example, don’t have any paper this year. Some tutorials are “live”, and require a working laptop, with a MySQL installation. If you’re going to be at the hackfest, without a laptop, you’re not going to have as much fun. If you want to follow other talks on IRC or Twitter, a laptop is probably required.

Having a laptop is not a requirement, but it will make your experience a lot better.

Power sockets will be available throughout the conference, but keep in mind that they may be scarce. You may not always be plugged in. If you’re coming in from overseas, you’ll need American styled power adapters — if you’re using an international one, try not to get one that is too oversized (in where it takes about two or three slots of the power board). I only mention this because I too have been guilty of such an act!

Since you’ll be moving around a lot, try and bring a light laptop. Lugging a 17″ laptop is not going to be fun, seeing the frequency of you shifting rooms. One of those netbooks are sounding better all the time.

There will be WiFi at the conference. Remember to be careful with security when using an open wireless connection. If you have access to SSH somewhere, think about tunnelling your traffic — better be safe than sorry.

Don’t upload gigabytes worth of files. Be nice to your fellow conference attendees. BitTorrent really should not be tolerated, and just keep in mind that you’re sharing bandwidth with a couple thousand folk.

Blogging, Twittering, etc.

When blogging or Twittering, tag it, so we can find it. Heck, do the same even when you’re uploading photos to sites like Flickr. Popular tags include: mysqlconf09, mysqlconf, mysqlce, mysqlce09. If its tagged “mysqlconf09”, it tends to get picked up by our feed, and placed at sensible areas.

Don’t forget to read Planet MySQL. You might like to read it in a feed reader, because the posts just get really crazy around this time with all the live blogging and so forth.

Be social

I spoke earlier about business cards and the need to carry them around. If you didn’t print any, there are at least four Fedex Kinko’s within a four mile radius of the hotel. Get some.

But being social means speaking to people in person. Not just hanging out on IRC and chatting — or always being behind your keyboard. When you meet someone, remember to talk to them! You never know what interesting stuff you will have to share with them. Opening lines include:

  • What sessions have you been to so far
  • What sessions are you going for next
  • What does the company do? What do they do?

Don’t talk to the same people all the time. In fact, there’s an unspoken rule that you should never find two MySQL’ers on the same lunch table. The whole idea is to spread the love, and to allow a lot of mingling.

The Attendee Directory

In the past, we printed a “Who’s who” list. People tended to lose these after going home, and you could never find them a year later. This year, you can participate in what is known as Attendee Networking. Its pretty cool, do check it out – Attendee Directory. You can setup your personal profile, comment on and evaluate sessions (we will value this stuff greatly), create a list of contacts, mark people you want to meet, send messages to other attendees, let others find you on Twitter, and so on.

This is by far, the coolest feature of the conference. It allows conference attendees to create a social network amongst themselves. Its opt-in, but I definitely think you’d be missing out, if you don’t opt-in! So far we have about 900 attendees that have already opted in. I want to see this number grow!


Besides all the events and parties (go to the Expo Hall, you’ll find out about parties nearby even), the hotel has a bar, that serves liquor to late. But pace yourself — don’t drink more than you would normally do.

Did I miss something?

I’m sure I did. I wrote this when the Internet access in my hotel wouldn’t work. Write a comment. Maybe we’ll beat this up into a “proper” guide for future conferences.

Most of all, remember to have fun! And learn lots! Happy conference!

Hyatt Internet woes… and how to fix it

Coming to the Hyatt Santa Clara, for the MySQL Conference & Expo 2009? Beware, that this year, the in-room Internet just isn’t so peachy.

When you check in, there’s this option of a “Business Plan” that Hyatt sells you – USD$30, for free wired in-room Internet (a $12.95/day value), free breakfast (this includes 15% gratuity, so a $20+ value), a free bottle of water (yes, otherwise its $3.95), and all the local and long distance calls in the US that you’ll need (depending on what you do, YMMV). It seemed like a good deal.

Now, for the benefit of others, which has taken about four days for me to fix. When you’re on this plan, the Hyatt rebates your Internet within an hour or so of you signing up for the deal. This tells their ISP that you’re now not able to get access to anything else, but Port 80 and Port 443 access — yes, SMTP, IMAP, SSH, IRC and all other ports, are blocked.

You need to call 877-22-HYATT (toll free), and tell them your predicament. Their system will not see anything in the bill cycle, and suddenly realise that they can’t even recognise your IP address. The system has no recollection of the MAC address either! So what the nice support guy on the phone can do for you is to enable this for about three days, and then you’ll have to call back again, to ensure things just work.

My case number is: 267 014. Needless to say, all this is about the most unintuitive thing that can happen to someone. Lets hope it all just starts working well… Of course, next week, when the conference starts, there will be Internet at all the lobby/common areas, as well as the conference centre itself, as well as breakfast provided from 7am onwards.

So unless you like breakfast at 6am, or need in-room Internet access, give the Hyatt Business Plan a skip. And now, I can finally go back to reading and replying to the deluge of email that has hit me.

Frank Mashraqi on Hadoop, memcached, and why the MySQL Conference is cool

Today I spoke with Farhan “Frank” Mashraqi, former Fotolog DBA, now working at a startup, NetEdge, working on social analytics. He’s talking about the two sessions he’s giving next week at the MySQL Conference & Expo 2009, as well as the benefits of being at the MySQL Conference & Expo.

He’s giving two talks:

  1. Hadoop and MySQL: Friends with Benefits in where he will tell you about how you can combine data sets and queries, some of which run on Hadoop, and others which run on MySQL, but eventually probably end up in MySQL (he works on this cool stuff at NetEdge, the startup he’s currently attached to).
  2. Advanced memcached use cases in where you get best practice information on leveraging memcache, a software package that all the big boys use.

Frank also says, “If you’re not coming to the MySQL Conference, you’re losing out”. He’s right. You should be there. Look at all the amazing sessions, all the amazing networking opportunities, and more? He clearly specifies that the tutorial selection this year is pretty incredible, so make sure you’re signed up for Monday! Plan your sessions ahead, otherwise you might miss out some of the important things.

The MySQL Conference & Expo 2009 runs from April 20-23, 2009, at the Santa Clara Convention Centre. Don’t hesitate to register as there are plenty of interesting sessions there, next week.

TwitterJobSearch, MySQL Job Fair

I heard about TwitterJobSearch on net@night, and decided to give it a twirl. I typed “mysql” and found 3,092 results in 30 seconds. You can then filter by job title, salary, skill set, job type, and more, as well as sort it by relevance or date.

Useful? Quite possibly. Would be more useful, if you could filter out Twitter users (like @itcareer, for example). Search that is semantic, instead of just word based. So “mysql in san francisco” will return relevant results for you.

If you’re looking for a job anytime soon, note that there will also be a Job Fair at the MySQL Conference & Expo 2009, happening April 20-23 2009, are you registered yet? Its a great place to network, and you shouldn’t miss it.

MySQL Conference 2009, Open Source Databases MiniConf at

It is no secret that I am the Program Chair for the MySQL Conference & Expo 2009, and am truly excited about it (big shoes to fill in from Jay). I expect it to be a great conference, with over 2,000 attendees and lots and lots of great talks. The paper submissions have been coming through, the excellent voters have been voting, and the progress is impressive. Its a great learning experience.

Now, I’m excited to tell you that I’m also going to organise the Open Source Databases MiniConf at 2009. Its going to be in Hobart, Tasmania, in January 2009, and again, I’m excited. Read the press release for more.

Why is this exciting? Because we’ll have a two-day mini-conference, as opposed to the usual one day. There might even be time for tutorials. And now, we’re combining all the great databases out there, not just focusing on MySQL or PostgreSQL (as we have in the past). Come discuss on anything from CouchDB, Drizzle, SQLite, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Derby/JavaDB and many more. Next up is setting the wiki, and an appropriate e-mail address (we already have mysql-miniconf[at]mysql[dot]com, but maybe I’ll ask for osdb or something soon) to accept papers.

Lots of conference organising fun, coming right up!