I am Baron Schwartz, the founder of VividCortex and the lead author of High Performance MySQL. I studied Computer Science at the University of Virginia, then worked at several technology companies. I spent the first decade of my career as a programmer, and created a lot of open-source software.
High-resolution headshots for press, media, conference pages, etc are here: 1, 2, 3.
This blog is my personal writing and I do not use copywriting services or guest posts, nor do I do any type of joint marketing. I use affiliate links, usually to Amazon.
You can contact me using my first name at VividCortex. You can also find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Keybase, and Signal.
~ $ dvorak baron xaprb
I’m private about my personal life, but I try to be an open book about who I am.
My Personality and Behaviors
Personality assessments are a useful tool for describing my style. Using the DISC model of personality, I’m a DC. When plotted in a DISC wheel, I’m a Conducting Implementor.
Using my own words to describe my personality: opinionated, direct, assertive, ambitious, determined, analytical, objective, understated, urgent, task-oriented, skeptical, perfectionist, visionary, creative, impatient, reserved, aloof, focused, steady, hard to read.
People usually experience me as supportive, attentive, active, engaged, decisive, and motivating. You might find my passion and drive compelling. When I’m stressed, you might feel that I’m blunt, abrasive, and controlling. At my worst, I can be a pushy perfectionist, and you might feel that I demand too much too fast.
The next layer of the onion is my inner motivations:
In my own words again, what drives me is: intentionality, knowledge, curiosity, results, group wins, big-picture thinking, simplicity, function, utilitarianism, purposefulness, selflessness/altruism, constantly evolving my system for living.
People frequently mention the StrengthsFinder report to me, implying that many people are familiar with it and it could be helpful to include here. My top five themes are:
Advice For Communicating With Me
Here are some things to keep in mind when approaching me.
- Be clear, brief, and concise.
- Use the Pyramid Principle.
- Always follow up and follow through.
- Don’t pressure, flatter, or manipulate me.
- Stick to business.
- Don’t gossip, guess, speculate, or repeat anything you can’t prove to be true.
- Know that I live by “disagree and commit.”
- Don’t blind-intro me!
- Respect when I say no.
Specific advice that’s relevant to particular circumstances:
- I’m tall. In noisy environments like restaurants, it’s really hard for me to hear what shorter people are saying. If you tilt your face up towards me a bit, it helps a lot.
- Use email, text, or phone. Don’t use LinkedIn messaging, Twitter DMs, Facebook messages, Slack, or any other isolated systems. I may never notice your message; I simply don’t check 99 places for messages. For secure messaging you can use Signal.
- I only have notifications enabled for phone calls and text messages. I’ll get to everything else (as long as it’s email, that is) in due course.
- If you repeatedly call me and don’t leave voicemail I’ll block your number.
- If you spam non-individual emails at my company you’ll get permanently blocked at the domain level.