Is this a new golden age for MySQL?

MySQL has taken another leap forward. It is not a dramatic new feature or my long requested –run-faster command line option. Recruiters are now very actively seeking MySQL Database Administrators and Developers. One recruiter was offing a $5,000 ‘finders fee’ for a lead on MySQL DBAs.

The MySQL Certified Professionals group on LinkedIn, for one example, has several postings each week looking to fill positions. The Jobs board on is busy. My local MySQL Users Groups gets several requests each month to post jobs on the website.

I used to work for an on-line recruiting company and still occasionally lurk about various recruiting sites to see how MySQL is trending. And MySQL is trending upwards.

Much of this is from start-ups looking to take advantage of the LAMP stack. Some of this comes from governments and businesses strapped for budget and moving to less costly components. I am getting questions from DBAs of other databases who have either ‘inherited’ some MySQL instances or are being driven by business factors to MySQL who are needing to get up to speed as quickly as possible.

The recruiters, even the highly technical-oriented specialists, usually know very little about MySQL. I usually quiz them about what requirements they provided for by their customers (such as release versions used, storage engines, replication, clustering, tuning needs) and very few have specifics. Yes, they want the latest and greatest plus replication but version numbers they do not know. Some of these old contacts have a vague idea about my position and are asking some tough questions like ‘Why are there so few MySQL DBAs out there for hire’? (more on that in the future)

They are looking for experience. Often as little as a year or two of experience. Senior jobs are just that – someone with many years of working with MySQL under their belts. Many companies can not find senior level staff and scope down their model of the perfect MySQL DBA or Developer. One local DBA was called back twice after being told they wanted someone with more ‘seat time’ before they came back with a job offer.

And the pay range seems to have crept up too. A nearby manufacturer used to view MySQL as a ‘toy database’ now has shifted much of their data from a very costly RDMS (rhymes with Pee-Bee-Boo) to MySQL and brought the pay grade up to match the DBAs for their mainfame instances.

So now we command more ‘gold’ in the market place. But are there enough of ‘us’ around to make it not-cost effective to find another commidy DBA to replace us?


6 Responses to Is this a new golden age for MySQL?

  1. Wlad says:

    After having worked in DBMS business overall for a decade or so, I still do not know a single DBMS vendor that would rhymes with Pee-Bee-Boo. One have to have a very good imagination to make it rhyme with anything. Since you mention a huge cost as a hint, did you mean Pee-Bee-Boo == O-rac-le ?

  2. Gavin Towey says:

    This is super true! (not just ordinary true) It seems like *everyone* desperately needs DBAs, but it’s critical to find those who have experience working with with MySQL as a mission critical component, and who know how to grow it. MySQL isn’t hard to learn, but it’s easy to make a lot of mistakes along the way. Learning by trial-and-error can be fatal to companies.

    But the pool of people with solid experience in high volume mysql installations is pretty small. And often as not you’re not going to be part of a big team, so it’s even more important to find someone who can take ownership of the databases and really make them shine.

    Oh and let me finish with a shameless plug. *cough* *cough* we’re hiring *cough* cough*

  3. Mark L. Fugate says:

    What is –run-faster?

  4. I needed to thank you for this wonderful read!! I absolutely loved
    every little bit of it. I’ve got you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…

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