Archive for the ‘mysqluc08’ tag
Topics: everything and anything, including Maatkit and PostgreSQL.
The conference that many of us just went to is called the MySQL Conference and Expo, but a lot of people don’t call it that. They call it by the name it had in 2006 and earlier: MySQL User’s Conference. In fact, some people say (or blog) that they dislike the new name and they’re going to call it the old name, because [... insert reason here...].
I call it by the new name that some people dislike so much. Why? Because it is a conference and expo, not a user’s conference. There’s no reason to pretend otherwise. The conference is organized and owned by MySQL, not the users. It isn’t a community event. It isn’t about you and me first and foremost. It’s about a company trying to successfully build a business, and other companies paying to be sponsors and show their products in the expo hall. Times have changed.
I’m not saying any of this is bad. Being successful in business is a good thing, and having sponsors and partners is fine too. I’m just pointing out that trying to make it be a user’s conference, just by calling it one, isn’t going to work.
If community members want a community conference, we’ll have to make one. MySQL/Sun cannot do this for us, because then it wouldn’t be a community conference.
There’s a simple test of whether people want this: if it happens, then the community wanted it badly enough to do something about it.
The PostgreSQL East 2008 conference I went to a few weeks ago was a great example of how this works. And the attendance fee was $75, not thousands. A conference doesn’t have to be expensive.
Who wants a conference by, for, and of the community?
A lot of people contact me asking if I’m looking for a job. (I have an unanswered email in my inbox right now.) People are looking desperately for qualified, knowledgeable MySQL professionals. There’s a critical shortage of people who can admin MySQL moderately well, much less at the guru level.
If you are one of the many who are trying to hire a MySQL DBA, you should send your employees to the MySQL Conference and Expo. Not just this year — every year. Train a smart person instead of trying to hire someone who’s ready to go now.
This is the unfortunate reality: MySQL’s popularity has caused demand to far exceed supply. That’s what happens when a great disruptive innovation takes hold.
What do you do in the meantime?
If you just need a little help, hire a part-time DBA and get some consulting help. Without endorsing them directly, may I suggest Percona, Pythian, Proven Scaling or OpenQuery? You can also get support from MySQL, but the barrier to entry is higher because they’re trying to court larger organizations who need more help. But if your needs are large enough, that can make a lot of sense too.
Another thing you can do is send your employees to training, or get someone to come on-site and train. The companies I just mentioned can do this. So can The Learning Tree. (I’ve taken a Learning Tree course on MS SQL server and found it well worth my time, though I don’t know what it cost because my employer paid for it.)
I don’t get any kickbacks for these suggestions, by the way. And everything I say here is my opinion, not facts.
Make sure you approach your smart, motivated employees now — as in, this week — about going to the conference. As Jay Pipes writes, the sessions are great and many of the tutorials are selling out. I can vouch for what he said about standing-room-only crowds. At some of the sessions last year, it was hard to get out of the rooms, much less into them.