Are French farmers a bunch of mean-spirited creeps? Are all nerds courageous, and laziness a virtue? Why did Stephen King leave a horror story unfinished? What business models survived the Internet bubble? Among the many entertaining and thought-provoking ideas presented in Open Life, ants screw up, and Harry Potter even casts his spell in German.
The hot topics in information technology (IT) right now are Linux and Open Source. But what does Open Source offer those, who may not see their computer as a matter of life and death? Open Life: The Philosophy of Open Source spotlights the people, businesses, values and practices of the Open Source world. In assessing its development Open Life recounts over 60 case-study-like stories that illuminate exactly what is so miraculous and wonderful in this new paradigm for producing software.
August is usually a slower month as a lot of people are on vacations. I try to take advantage of that to work on tasks that require a bit more deliberation and quiet time. This Summer I returned to re-reading the paper on the Raft algorithm, in particular my colleagues in New York pointed out that the PhD thesis that extends on the original paper was now complete, and contains some additional details.
A month ago I did an exciting journey to Portland, to present two talks in the field of Open Source business strategy. One at OSCON, and the other was a keynote session at the Community Leadership Summit.
O'Reilly does an awesome job recording all the talks in Oscon, and they let the speakers download and share a copy of their own talk. Thank you O'Reilly! The CLS talk was also recorded, but I haven't seen it published yet. The Kaltura guys do all of the filming and post production on the side of their day jobs, which is a respectable amount of work to do for the community. I'll update this post when the video does become available.
Last Friday noonish, I was back at PDX. I had decided to invest in the Thursday night parties - to strengthen those bonds of friendship that are the backbone of the open source community - then sleep, pack and take the light rail to the airport in the morning, skipping the remaining Friday morning conference sessions. I had already been at the convention center 6 days in a row, figured it would be enough for now.
Vacation is almost over - and it's still 17 degrees outside :-( It's time to start packing for Portland.
I'm as excited as ever, since this year I'm delivering 2 talks. Both fall into the category which is a long time passion of mine - open source community and business. It's refreshing to not have to talk about databases for once :-)
The Community Leadership Summit is mostly an unconference, but in recent years have started adding short 15 minute pre-arranged talks. (Kind of like morning keynotes, even if they don't call them that.) On Sunday the 19th, I will be do a talk called Open Source Governance Models Revisited.
Last week passed the 5th anniversary of the closing of Oracle's acquisition of MySQL. That also means that the 5 year term of the infamous 10 commitments to MySQL users that Oracle made to the EU commission expire.
Since I work for another database technology nowadays, I have made a point of not blogging about MySQL related issues anymore (and mostly do not follow MySQL close enough to say anything wise). But in 2009 I was so closely involved in the EU investigation into the Oracle-Sun merger, that I feel this is a topic I could write a retrospective on. For nostalgic reasons if nothing else... In any case, these commitments have very little practical relevance in 2015 anyway, so anything in this blog post is clearly more historical than about current state of anything in MySQL land.
On New Years Eve I wrote some random reflections about life and business. This is a followup with more thoughts I've remembered since I wrote that.
Obviously in personal life, but also in business, I've found that my integrity - and a reputation of having integrity - is the most valuable capital I have.
I've even resigned a job to avoid a situation where my role would have included making public statements that turned out to be misleading. While it was a risk, in hindsight it was 100% worth it.
It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission
New Year is a perfect time for reflecting on past and future and my life in general. Here are some thoughts, mostly from a work life perspective, that I've collected over several years.
All links are to books I've found inspiring and highly recommend.
Value to our shareholders
When I go to work in the morning, not once did I start my day with the words: Today is a great day to create some value to the shareholders of my employer.
Value to the customer
Every exec with a tie can recite "we should provide value to the customer". This is an empty statement. It doesn't include any information about what is actually important to their customer. It doesn't mean they actually know what their customers need, nor value.
The big picture