Skipping the MySQL Conference and Expo 2009

I have been silent on the topic of this year’s MySQL conference, and really, silent in nearly all ways anyway. Today, as the MySQL Users Conference Conference and Expo 2009 starts up, some people will be wondering where I am, so I ought to at least answer that: I am skipping the conference this year.

As my wife can tell you, this is not a decision I’ve taken lightly, and I’ve gone back and forth on it for months and then down to the final days leading up to now. I’ve decided after much internal and external debate just to skip it all this year, including the side conferences and other stuff. Why? The reasons are basically:

  • It’s my opinion that the “state of the art” with MySQL has not changed, so I am not really missing much technical content to further myself. There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on with Percona and Google’s work, but I largely follow that through blogs and mailing lists and personal contacts already.
  • I strongly disagree with the speaker selection process used in this and the previous couple of years’ conferences. I feel that they actively discourage any speakers who refuse to stay on script—those willing to tell users the reality of the situation. I can’t and/or won’t do that, so I didn’t submit anything this year—my initial effort, months ago, to disengage from the conference. I watched from the sidelines this year and listened to everyone else’s complaints about not being selected. I don’t care to hear about the process, the details, the counter-arguments, etc., but really, any selection process which ends up leaving out Percona, for any reason, is just broken. I know they got some consolation slots in the end, but that doesn’t change my opinion.
  • The previous years’ conferences, while they have been fun in various ways, have been declining in actual technical content and increasing in politics, marketing hype, PR stuff, and whatnot. This does not have value to me (see above).
  • I am tired of explaining MySQL Enterprise vs. MySQL Community, InnoDB/Oracle vs. MySQL Inc., where the patches have gone, why the foreign key implementation in MySQL sucks, why the triggers implementation sucks, the problems with replication, etc., ad infinitum. Nothing has changed, it’s all basically as broken as it was last year, the year before that, etc.

OK, many people know the above about me already. So why not go to the Percona Performance Conference or hang out and chat with people, or…

  • The most important reason: I am making a concerted effort to stay out of the politics of the whole conference this year. While I feel that I add nominally value to the conference by analyzing and reporting on the happenings, and asking uncomfortable questions, I just can’t do it this year. I need a break.

I debated potentially taking this entire week as vacation and really disappearing for the entire week, disconnected, but I really value the friendship of all of my friends that come out to California from the far reaches of the Earth for the conference. I will be in the Bay Area (as usual every week), and I would very much enjoy having a politics-free drama-free dinner if you’re up for it. Contact me!

Administrative Note: I have disabled comments on this entry, as I don’t want the debate and politics to shift over here. I apologize in advance for my anti-blog-like behavior in that regard. I welcome any and all notes and comments at

Going to MySQL Camp II, Brooklyn, NY

In case you live in the dark ages (that is, before RSS) and haven’t heard, MySQL Camp II is next week at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, NY. Sign up and head over there, slackers!

I will be there to talk about Proven Scaling, HiveDB, DorsalSource, and much more! Send me a note if you’d like to meet up or talk about something specific. I will also have ample Proven Scaling bottle openers (photo thanks to Colin Charles) to be distributed!

MySQL Camp Free Ride goes to Adam Ritter

And, the winner is……

Adam Ritter, of Nashville, Tennessee has been selected by Proven Scaling for a free ride to MySQL Camp!

Adam’s enthusiasm and very quick (within the first few hours of my original post), yet courteous and complete entry impressed us. His excitement to learn, and professionalism sealed the deal. Here’s an excerpt from his entry:

My name is Adam Ritter and I’m a recent Computer Science graduate from UT Knoxville. I’m currently looking for a job and I realized that being a DBA is what I want to do. I had started working with MySQL back in a course on Database Design and Management course I took in school. This course started the fire inside of me but unfortunately, it was over all too soon and I was left wanting to learn more. I’ve read through every intermediate MySQL source I could find, but I’m looking for as much advanced and expert level topics as I can find. I’ve worked on projects utilizing MySQL and have grown very fond of it.

If you’re attending MySQL Camp in a few weeks time, be sure to say hello to Adam!

Thanks, everyone! Keep an eye on my blog early next year for a similar offer for MySQL Conference & Expo 2007!

Want a Free Ride to MySQL Camp?

Have you heard of MySQL Camp at Google HQ in Mountain View, California, November 10-12?

Want to go? Can’t go because it’s out in sunny (ha, ha) California, hundreds or thousands of miles/kilometers from where you live?

Maybe you’re a bright student, or maybe you’re currently unemployed, or maybe you’ve got a job, but you just can’t afford to jet out to Mountain View for the weekend. Maybe you contribute code, bug fixes, tools; maybe you run a MySQL Meetup, and just can’t bear the airfare.

Proven Scaling would like to sponsora one such person to attend MySQL Camp! We’ll pay for your airfare and hotel—meals and transportation are on you. If you think you are qualified, you live somewhere in the USA or Canadab and you know you can make the trip, send us (with “MySQL Camp Free Ride” in the subject) the following information:

  • Your full, real name
  • Your blog or website, if any
  • Your company, school, or organization, if any
  • Your location, and closest airport
  • Any contributions you’ve made to MySQL or the MySQL community in the form of code, bug fixes, time, or otherwise
  • Why you feel you are the best or most qualified person for Proven Scaling to sponsor to MySQL Camp
  • Anything else you’d us like to know about yourself as we consider who to sponsor

However, you’d better hurry as you have only the next 60 hours or so to submit your proposal — no proposals will be accepted after midnight Pacific Daylight Time (GMT-8), Friday, October 20, 2006.

Good luck!

Update: Extended (and clarified) the deadline to midnight Friday instead of Thursday morning. Just to be clear: anyone is eligible, not just students.

a And, we’d encourage other companies attending or sponsoring MySQL Camp to do the same!

b If you live elsewhere, such as Europe, and you think you can get to the Bay Area fairly cheaply (lets say, under 1000 USD or so), or if you are just super qualified, feel free to send us your proposal anyway, and include how you propose to get to Mountain View cost effectively.