Back from MySQL User Conference
I thought I had already conquered the jet lag last night when I fell asleep at 22:00 (that's 10 pm...). But then I woke up somewhere around 2:30, read a book for a while until I decided to give up and have a nice breakfast. I kind of like jet lag though, it is a nice feeling to get out of bed 5:30, when no one else is awake, and birds are singing outside.
There would be a lot to tell about the conference, but you kind of find summaries from many live bloggers on Planet MySQL. One interesting aspect of the conference of course was to meet so many interesting people, many of whom I work with of course, but meeting them in flesh is still great. And Santa Clara being in Silicon Valley adds another funny revelational feeling to it all. For a European Yahoo, Google, Digg and others are Internet companies and seeing that they actually do have tangible offices in Silicon Valley was a surprisingly unreal revelation to me. Oh yes, I also saw the Transmeta offices, you know, where Linus went to work after graduating with the M.Sc. work titled "Linux: A portable operating system" (What did YOU do for master's thesis? I know I did multiple choice quizzes, I'm not kidding...). And when strolling in Santa Clara I was also amused to find out that apparently Freedom also begins there, just a few blocks away from where the conference was held!
In the mingling with people category one interesting aspect of course was to actually meet 4 distinguished gentlemen who all bear the title "Father of... something": Monty Widenius, Father of MySQL; Heikki Tuuri, Father of InnoDB; Mikael RonstrÃ¶m, Father of MySQL Cluster and Jim Starkey, Father of the Falcon storage engine, but also father of databases just in general. Jim is a great figure to be on the same mailing lists with at work, on the rare occasion that he is proven to have some database-related facts wrong, he can always retreat with some phrase like: "Funny that I would forget that, since I believe I was the one who invented that in 1973". How can you argue with such a statement!
One night in the lobby bar I was invited to sit down with Jim and Ann and Chris Powers, all from the Falcon team. Ann btw works as QA lead for Falcon, get that, she is actually getting paid to point out all the errors that her husband does! Instead of asking about Falcon I used this opportunity to let Jim and Ann tell the story about Borland Interbase and Firebird, and was happy to hear that their first hand account matches my attempt to tell the story in the OpenLife book. (Including, apparently, my opinions on the sanity and actions of the Borland management at the time.)
Another memorable night includes me being invited to sit down with Rick Falkvinge (Swedish Pirate Party, Keynote speaker), Jeremy Cole (among other things the blogger that broke the story that ended up like this on Slashdot which made MÃ¥rten spend the next day clarifying the facts), Alan Kasindorf (Six Apart, Memcached...), [check name] (phpMyAdmin), Brian Aker and Monty Widenius (MySQL geeks...) and myself (I may have get invited as guy wearing the No Software Patents T-shirt). Rick at one point noted that it is like we all know each other, to which I and others replied that that is not at all the case, it's just how it is in the Open Source community. I read his blog, I use his software, and his... And of course we all knew about the Pirate Party, so we all knew Rick too.
Now I've used my morning hours, it's time to get to real work. Thanks for sharing this tranquil moment with me.