Apr 14, 2012

Oracle Missed at MySQL User Conference...Not!

The MySQL UC this past week was the best in years.   Percona did an outstanding job of organizing the main Percona Live event that ran Tuesday through Thursday.  About 1000 people attended, which is up from the 800 or so at the O'Reilly-run conference in 2011.  There were also excellent follow-on events on Friday for MariaDB/SkySQL, Drizzle, and Sphinx.

What made this conference different was the renewed energy around MySQL and the number of companies using it.  
  1. Big web properties like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Craigslist continue to anchor the MySQL community and drive innovation from others through a combination of funding,  encouragement, and patches. 
  2. Many new companies we have not heard from before like Pinterest, BigDoor, Box.net, and Constant Contact talked about their experience building major new applications on MySQL.  
  3. The vendor exhibition hall at Percona Live was hopping.  Every vendor I spoke to had a great show and plans to return next year.  There is great innovation around MySQL from many creative companies.  I'm very proud my company, Continuent, is a part of this. 
  4. The demand for MySQL expertise was completely out of hand.  So many talks ended with "...and we are hiring" that it became something of a joke.  The message board was likewise packed with help wanted ads.  
When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems a couple of years ago, it triggered a lot of uncertainty about the future of MySQL.  This concern turns out to be unfounded.  Oracle does excellent engineering work, especially on InnoDB, but had no involvement either official or unofficial at the conference.  This was actually a good thing.  

By not participating, Oracle helped demonstrate that MySQL is no longer dependent on any single vendor and has taken on a real life of its own driven by the people who use it. MySQL fans owe Oracle a vote of thanks for not attending this year. Next year I hope they will be back to join the fun.

p.s., It has come to my attention since writing this article that 800 may not be correct attendance for the O'Reilly 2011 conference.  The 1000 figure is from Percona.  Speaking as an attendee they seemed about the same size.  Please feel free to comment if you have accurate numbers.  


Ronald Bradford said...

Hear, Hear -- http://ronaldbradford.com/blog/an-excellent-conference-5-out-of-5-stars-2012-04-14/

Cédric said...

Your wishes : "Next year I hope they will be back to join the fun"

Answer from Oracle : "The event is a unique opportunity to learn about the latest MySQL features, discuss product roadmaps, and connect directly with the engineers behind the latest MySQL code"

There are 2 MySQL conf now !

Source : https://blogs.oracle.com/MySQL/entry/mysql_connect_call_for_papers

Robert Hodges said...

@Cedric, More conferences are great. We have a big community with a lot of contributors and users. For example, a largish Fall European MySQL event would be great. I do feel that it would be in Oracle's long-term interest to participate in the MySQL UC conference as well as other non-Oracle events. However, that is a personal opinion.

Meanwhile, I'm planning on submitting to MySQL Connect. It's a nice way to hear what Luis, Lars, Matts and the rest of the team are up to next. Hope to see you there. :)

Cédric said...

I totally agree with you.
It just seems that Oracle wants to follow another way for now.