Last Conference Trip of the Year

December 4, 2016

ConFoo has now a West Coast version which has its initial dates this week in Vancouver. This is in addition to their spring show in in Montreal. This will be my forth time in Canada this year. Northeast PHP moved from Cambridge to Charlotteville, LinuxCon NA was in Toronto, and now a new ConFoo. Canada seems to doing very well even before recent threats of many Americans to move North.

2016 saw a lot of old shows in new locations — Zendcon, SCaLE, PHPTek. But many have anchored to their venues — RMOUG Training Days, Collaborate, FOSDEM, Ohio Linuxfest, All Things Open — and have improved greatly. And many new shows –Swanseacon, Scotland PHP, ContainerConNYC — have appeared and run as a smoothly as if they were old, long established shows with veteran crew.

For sheer pandemonium, nothing beets FOSDEM. This show has dozens of small rooms, short session times, and what seems like 99% of all the computer folk in Europe rushing around a university campus. Ironically Linuxfest Northwest is also a great many bodies rushing around a slightly smaller college. The energies at both events is very high and you will feel exhausted when they finish just from the hub-bub and frenetic pace.

SCaLE moved from slightly seedy LAX to posh Pasadena. The new venue is very posh, the content still amazing, but the local eateries are bit more upscale and I miss the old Carl’s Junior.
Northeast PHP was in very beautiful Prince Edward Island. Red sand beaches, lobster, and a a large developer community that caught almost everyone by surprise.

Scotland PHP sort of cheated. They had Arthur’s Seat looming over their venue and were next to a castle, the Scottish Parliament, and a lot of great single malt. That would be enough for many conferences but the organizers went to school on other events and put together a very smooth show with great speakers. The audience was friendly, very inquisitive, and asked a lot of tough questions.

I liked the St Louis location for PHPTek but it seems nobody else did. Next year the show relocates to Atlanta. Speaking of the south, All Things Open has grown from a few hundred folks to well over two thousand in four years. Todd Lewis and crew run very smooth shows and treat vendors and speakers very nicely. It is always a pleasure to be at those shows.

I will be travelling less in 2017 (hopefully). My counterpart, LeFred, has been a great addition to the team and has taken some of the travel stress off me. Sadly there are only two of us travelling and many new shows appearing on the calendar.

A big thank you to the organizers of the shows MySQL sponsored this year. The first hurdle is getting these shows into the Oracle Purchase Order system which includes a tough bunch of paperwork. Then each event has it own set of documents to be completed. This can be arduous for smaller shows and a nuisance for the bigger shows. But they did it well and with style. BTW if you want MySQL to sponsor you event, drop me a note and I will contact you.


Four Conferences — All Things Open, Scotland PHP, & Buzzconf

October 31, 2016

Computer conferences each have their own personalities. Sure their are some common flavors — Utilikilts at Linux events for instance — but each have developed their own quirks. These character traits develop around the content of the show, the core beliefs of the organizers, and passion of the attendees who stride through the doors.

This past week All Things Open was held in Raleigh and Scotland PHP was held in Edinburgh. ATO has grown from four hundred attendees to twenty four hundred over four years. Scotland PHP was a first time event with about one hundred fifty or so present. Todd Lewis and the ATO crew have mastered providing great content at a very low cost at a show where offer a wide menu to many. Paul Dragoonis (to pick on one organizer) and his mainly Scots cohorts carefully studied other conferences to get just the right mix. Both had vibrant audiences who had direct and detailed questions about product, best practices, and implementation. Both made sure their attendees had exactly what information they needed on wifi, locations, supporting events, and schedule. And their venues were both amazing all though Scotland PHP was in the Dynamic Earth facility with a castle, Arthur’s seat, and a Parliament build very nearby that could have proven breathtaking distractions if the content of the show had not been so outstanding.

This week in New York is Container Days NYC where they have a mix of unconference, talks, workshops, and open spaces on putting software into containers. See you there!

Buzzconf is November 25th-27th in Australia (and sadly will be only show mentioned in this blog that I will not be able to attend) and has a wide content offering of virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT), robots, machine learning, augmented reality, and space exploration (stuff out side the Earth’s atmosphere, not at all InnoDB related).

As a sponsor and/or speaker, you can tell a lot about the show by the quality and quantity of communications from the organizers. Those that sweat the details well beforehand tend to have a much more smoothly running event. MySQL has (or is) sponsoring all the above events and the forms to get into the Oracle purchase order system are very detailed. Then the purchase order itself must be accompanied with more documents. For small shows these bureaucratic tasks often chew up time and manpower, usually not on their PERT or GANTT charts. The above shows went throw this process with much more aplomb than I do. Hats off to all of them.

Final thought: If you attend a conference and had a good time, learned something, hated something else, or see something obviously wrong that nobody else has spotted– please tell the organizers and volunteers. They put on these events for you, the community. Believe me that they could easily go to bed early, make a few more kid’s sporting events, code a few more lines, or just have many more quiet minutes with the time they spend agonizing over details.

And the next time they have the urge to walk away they just might remember you and your saying ‘thank you’. Those two words have a lot of weight for only eight letters.


NomadPHP, Zendcon, All Things Open, & Scottish PHP

October 12, 2016

Busy couple of weeks coming up for yours truly! On Thursday October 13th I will be presenting a lightening talk on the MySQL JSON data type before Chuck Reeves presents How the 3rd Normal Form Destroyed a Family— Get your tickets here

Zendcon returns to Las Vegas October 18-21st. MySQL is a sponsor, we will have a booth, and best of all Ligaya Trumelle is presenting on MySQL Server Performance Tuning 101. I have presentations on the MySQL Document Store and a Replication Update. Stop by the booth and win a dolphin if you can pass the MySQL quiz!

Next is All Things Open in Raleigh October 26th & 27th. where MySQL is a very proud to be returning sponsor and I will be presenting on database programming basics. Stop by the booth and win a dolphin if you can pass the MySQL quiz!

The a dash to Scotland for Scotland PHP on the 29th!


MySQL at Oracle Openwold

September 6, 2016

MySQL Sessions for Oracle Openworld have been posted. And there is a lot of good stuff in there.

Monday September 19th the State of the Dolphin and Customer Experience will feature Rich Mason, general manager of MySQL at Oracle, and Tomas Ulin, vice president of MySQL development at Oracle, discuss Oracle’s latest MySQL innovations and plans. You also get the chance to hear from MySQL customers. Come early as the seats pack quickly.

Then there are the sessions on MySQL 8.0, how the University of Texas uses MySQL, new optimzier goodies, how Dropbox uses GTIDs, scaling AirBnB, the MySQL Cloud Service, the document store, the 8.0 data dictionary, Group Replication, and much more. This is not counting the BOFs, the tutorials (Giuseppe Maxia on MySQL Docker Operations – wow!). and the Hands on Labs.

And Tuesday night September 20th we will be back at Gillians for the MySQL Community Reception!


Northeast PHP in Charlottetown PEI

August 4, 2016

Northeast PHP moved to Charlottetown on Price Edward Island this year to reach a new audience. Roughly one hundred developers are attending and only a handful have been to other conferences. And these developers have access to some of the best and brightest in the PHP world.

One of the amazingly great things about the PHP community is that sharing of information from all levels of developers seems to be a core component of the group. The attendees not only hear sessions on many hot topics from the experts in their subjects they are encouraged to interact — to ask questions and test their knowledge — and help each other. This is the old adage of a rising tide rising all boats. With 80% of the web based on PHP, the PHP community is doing this very, very well.

I will be presenting on the MySQL JSON Data Type and Common Database Problems. Sadly my box of swag has been delayed so those attending will have to wait for some goodies until after lunch.


MySQL 5.7 Security in Detroit

July 13, 2016

I will be speaking at the Converge Security Conference on July 14th on MySQL 5.7 security. There were many changes in 5.7 and it has been very hard to get the majority of those changes in a forty minute presentation. And is with just scratching the surface with the new encryption for InnoDB. If you are are attending please say ‘hi’!


Texas Linuxfest – MySQL Quiz for prizes

July 7, 2016

I hope to see y’all at the Texas Linxufest this weekend in Austin. If all you all are looking for some MySQL swag (push dolphins, squish dolphins, hats) you will need to answer some new MySQL quiz questions to win. And y’all all are welcome to be in room Three at 3:00PM to hear me talk on MySQL & JSON — I have had to update this presentation after several new features in MySQL 5.7.13.