Sunday, February 28, 2021

5 Years of Working for MariaDB Corporation

March 1, 2016, was my first day of working for MariaDB Corporation. It means that I worked for them full 5 years in a row! It's the longest period I've ever spent working in the same company. I worked for more than 7 years in MySQL Bugs Verification team of MySQL Support, but formally it was for 3 different companies over that period, MySQL AB, Sun and Oracle. So tonight, after 2 weekend on-call shifts in a row I want to summarize what I lost over that 5 years and what I won.

I never planned to leave Percona after just a bit more than 3 years, but I had to do something to either fix the direction of their services business development after April, 2015, or at least to make some points that are noticed and remembered. I made them by January 26, 2016, and then had to move on. 

So, what I lost after leaving Percona:

  • In Percona I worked in the best Support team in the industry at the moment!
  • In Percona I was proud to be working for a company that does the right things, both for business around open source software, Community and customers.
  • In Percona I was involved in decision making, I influenced bug fixing process and priorities and was a kind of authority on everything I cared to state or do.
  • I had a really good salary, regular bonuses, longer vacations or otherwise properly compensated extra working time and all the opportunities to become a public person in MySQL Community.
  • I spent a lot of time working with Peter Zaitsev and really brilliant engineers both from Development, QA and Support.
  • After few initial months of getting used to a lot of work and work style, then till April 14 or so, 2015, it was a really comfortable place for me to work at and do things I like and good at.

I lost most of the above when I left. No more decision making of any kind (it was my decision to avoid that while joining MariaDB, to begin with). No more bugs processing or prioritizing. No more Percona Live conferences till 2019 when I finally managed to clarify the problems I had with (cancelled) participation in Percona Live Europe 2015. Nobody ever asked me to blog about anything since 2016 and until the beginning of 2020 (when MariaDB Foundation got really interested in my public performances). Joining MariaDB Corporation made me a suspicious member of MySQL Community and eventually forced me to leave Planet MySQL where my posts were not appreciated. 

It takes me just one short tweet with MySQL bug number to share to have some of these bugs immediately hidden from the Community and made private. Looks like people suspect I have some secret agenda and mission from MariaDB Corporation, while I have none related to MySQL, neither to software nor to bugs in it - I do it at my own time and based on my own views that are not influenced by anyone...

Now what I gained from joining MariaDB Support team:

  • I still work in the best Support team in the industry, with new (to me) brilliant people, some of my former colleagues in MySQL and some of those I worked with in Percona and managed to get back into my team now in MariaDB Corporation.
  • I work harder than ever, at least twice as more as I did in Percona (at least speaking about the real life customer issues). The issues are more interesting, complex and challenging in general, and cover everything from MySQL 4.0.x to NDB cluster, MySQL 8.0.x and all versions of MariaDB Server, MaxScale and Connectors, and Galera clusters, with everything MySQL-related that Percona releases in between! This work is properly compensated in recent years.
  • Yes, I do work on Galera issues a lot, read the megabytes of logs and make sense of everything Galera. Who could imagine I'll got that way back in 2015?
  • I work closely and directly with the best developers, from Codership's Galera team, MariaDB Foundation developers, to Sergey Golubchik, Marko Mäkelä, Vladislav Vaintroub, Elena Stepanova and good old MySQL Optimizer team (now MariaDB's), and Monty himself, and more... We chat, we talk and discuss technical topics almost every day! I do some work they ask about, I build more things from sources than ever. It's really great and had almost never been the case before I joined MariaDB. I love this part of the corporate culture here.
  • My blog that you read now is way more popular than ever before 2016. At good times in 2017 I had more than 1000 reads per day, for weeks and months.
  • I am presenting at the conferences way more often than ever in Percona, from FOSDEM to Percona Live and everything MariaDB.
  • My influence and impact on MySQL Community got increased. I was declared a MySQL Community Contributor of the Year 2019. As often happens, it's easier to make impact when you are outsider. They can not ignore you even if that's only because you are considered "asshole" and "enemy" with "corporate agenda", for whatever reasons.

So far I do not regret that I made a decision in favor of MariaDB back in 2016, even though it forced me to keep up with or ignore many things I don't like at my current company. I am sorry that back in 2010 Monty and Kay were just 10 days too late to get me to SkySQL of the times. I had signed the contract with Oracle, and in 2012 there I really was mostly wasting my time, unfortunately...

That switch formally happened on March 1, 2016. It was a good decision.

Just few random notes at the and of a hard 7 days week of work. I hope you would not blame me too much for these. I also hope I'll still have my job tomorrow :)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

What about the "Fun with Bugs" series on YouTube?

My "Fun with Bugs" series of blog posts about interesting or badly handled MySQL bug reports ended more than 7 months ago. The time had come for that. But I honestly miss that media for bitching about something wrong in MySQL once in a while...

The year of COVID-19 pandemic with video conferences that replaced normal offline ones forced me to start recording videos, and I even used to like the process so much that I am working on my wife's channel content as a hobby. I've created my own channel as well, for uploading some draft/bad/long/extended videos recorded in the process of work on my online talks:

Being fluent enough with recording videos at home (using different software tools and cameras) and publishing them at YouTube, I wonder now if it makes sense to turn this activity into a regular and MySQL-concentrated one? My next talk(s) will be submitted to Percona Live 2021, but it means they may go live only in May, and I'd like to be on screens earlier than that.

So, I wonder should I maybe have a regular video recordings shared, let's say, once a week every Tuesday, up to 5 minutes long at most, and devoted to some MySQL-related topics? What topics would you like me to cover? Would you mind if it will be a five minutes talk about a recent MySQL bug report or few of them, either interesting in general or badly handled by my former Oracle colleagues? Something else to better spend megabytes of video on? Leave it to younger and more attractive and experienced speakers? Keep writing here or stop bitching about the bugs once and for good?

I am waiting for your comments in this blog post and in social media that I'll share it till March 5, 2021. Then I'll decide on how to proceed with this regular YouTube videos idea.

Friday, February 5, 2021

On Upcoming FOSDEM 2021

FOSDEM 2021 starts tomorrow. This time I have 3 talks to present. Here they are, in the order of appearance, with links to my related blog posts:

  1. "Upgrading to a newer major version of MariaDB" - it should start at 10:30 on Saturday in the MariaDB devroom and is mostly devoted to mysql_upgrade. Related blog posts are:
  2. "Monitoring MariaDB Server with bpftrace on Linux" - it should start at 12:40 on Sunday in the Monitoring and Observability devroom and is devoted to bpftrace basics. A lot more information is provided in recent blog posts:
  3. "Linux /proc filesystem for MySQL DBAs" - this talk should start at 15:00 on Sunday in MySQL devroom and is devoted to a totally different (comparing to dynamic tracing I am so big fan of) way to get insights about MySQL internal working, waits etc - sampling of files in /proc file system. I had written 3 blog posts on the topic:

Slides are uploaded to the talks pages and will be shared via SlideShare. Draft, longer versions of the talks that I've recorded but FOSDEM system had not accepted will also be shared at my YouTube channel soon.

Usual view on my way to FOSDEM ULB site... I miss Brussels!

Other talks in these devrooms that I consider interesting (will not be able to attend them all live though):

See you there! FOSDEM was a real driver of my more or less advanced performance studies this year.