Everyone has their preferred method of communication, which they tend to overuse at the cost of other methods. At MySQL AB, email was preferred in many situations where picking up the phone would have saved loads of work, frustration and distractions. SkySQL Ab as a company is equally distributed across continents and time zones. Not surprisingly, we have inherited some of MySQL's bad habits, and created a set of new habits, good and bad. The purpose of this write-up is to take a step back and reflect upon which tool fits which purpose, focusing on a virtual company with colleagues spanning many time zones.
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You remember our slogan “Freedom to work anywhere“, meaning that MySQL doesn’t require you to relocate to Uppsala, Cupertino, München or anywhere, to join the company? And that you sometimes can work even far away from home? Sun continued this policy, more or less. Now, Dups is taking the policy to extremes.
Background: As a colleague and fellow mountaineer, I had heard of Dups wanting to do some mountaineering in the Andes well before hearing that he would want to join the Community Team. And hence, it was an easy thing for Dups to convince …[Read more]
To understand a bit of Italian, I just need a comparatively small amount of vino bianco. By contrast, to get any information flow going at all in Russian requires larger amounts of … preparation. That doesn’t have to be vodka, it can also be interesting discussions with Russians, or the opportunity to give a speech.
Like in the case of presenting my Italian blog, let me quote Google Translate’s automatic translation of some of my “writings” — deliberately doing so without making any improvements on the automatic translation:
As part of an internal programme at Sun, I am a “SEED mentor” for another Sun employee (not a former employee of MySQL, but what we Sun Dolphins call Sun Classics). He is called Alok and lives in Bangalore, and sadly, our schedules crossed so that I couldn’t meet him when I was at our Bangalore offices in July. So I am mentoring someone I’ve met only over phone — but we’re getting along just fine.
Two of the topics we’ve discussed recently are blogging and books. So after hanging up after our 9 CET 12:30 Indian time mentoring session, I got the idea to combine the two: write a blog entry about the books I recommended Alok.
One thing Alok is contemplating at the moment is the degree to which he should spend time on developing his business skills vs his engineering skills. That’s a familiar topic for many of us in …[Read more]
Today at the Venture Capital Forum in Hilton Arc de Triomphe, Paris, I received the EVCA “Hall of Fame” Award on behalf of MySQL AB. What a timing, to meet with investment bankers and venture capitalists now!
In these times of a deep finance crisis, of no credit handed out by banks and of general doom and gloom, it felt great to be somewhat of an “everybody’s darling”. In the VC community, MySQL is seen as a great success — and in particular, we’re seen by European VCs as a European success story (despite over 50 % of our personnel and most of our Management Team being US-based, at the point of time when the VCs exited).
Side note: I don’t mind MySQL being seen as a European success story. We’re used to portraying ourselves as belonging to whatever geography is relevant for the moment. That …[Read more]
Good news: Ivan Nikitin is feeling better all the time. He has gone through insightful treatment in Heidelberg, and he is responding very well to it. The best part is that while the donations aren’t yet sufficient for a transplantation, it does look as if a transplantation may not even be necessary; the German doctors give Ivan’s body a chance to regenerate by itself, and it worked. And the generous donations from MySQLers, from classic Sun employees and also from the MySQL user community have made Ivan’s treatment in Heidelberg possible, something for which we are all very grateful.
Ivan Nikitin in Georg Richter’s lap (in Georg’s boat)
Ivan’s father Andrii allowed me to publicly quote his email to MySQL employees:
Ivan’s condition goes with most optimal scenario - doctors think he will not require transplantation because he …[Read more]
And what an excellent choice it was! Véronique and her Paris team have been with us now for nearly five years. Her contacts are excellent, as are her organising skills. She practically embodies PR for les logiciels libres (Free and Open Source Software) in France.
Véronique has visited the MySQL Users Conference in Santa Clara several times, and of course introduced us to numerous French journalists, fixing plenty of meetings for Mårten, Zack, myself and others.
Being acquired by Sun Microsystems does have many more ups than it has downs, but one …[Read more]
“We didn’t acquire MySQL to change it, but to learn from it”, or something to that effect, was a line used by Jonathan Schwartz very early on in the Sun acquisition of MySQL. And this seems to be taken seriously. So Sun has appointed teams studying MySQL: our culture, and our way of working from home (70 % of us don’t even have a desk at an office, i.e. permanently work from home, such as me).
I hope to soon share some of the results from the Culture studies. Today, co-founder Michael “Monty” Widenius and I were the interview subjects of the “Virtual Work at MySQL” study group under Edel Keville.
We had lots of things to point out, but most things had already been said by the other interview subjects. The two key things that were missing were …[Read more]
The very first UC related parties are over, and the Users Conference hasn’t even started!
The first one was Mårten’s traditional and well-liked MySQL staff party in his garden. The coolest and most community significant one was the MySQL Community Pre-Conference Dinner party, though, as advertised on MySQL Forge Wiki. So we dropped out of Mårten’s party at six, to meet with the community.
There were 48 registered people, and I think even more turned up. And some of the guys who turned up unregistered were from Sun.
Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz crashes the party and is surrounded by community members and MySQLers alike
Rich Green, Executive VP of Software …[Read more]
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