Friday, September 26, 2008

Changing Lanes: Leaving Sun/MySQL

After having worked for two years and one quarter of a year with MySQL AB (now Sun), I have decided to resign and pursue another career.

Before I joined MySQL AB I was working as a database consultant and application developer. I knew that joining MySQL would mean giving that up, but I was happy to do so because I really liked the MySQL product. I was also attracted by the company itself, the flexible working hours, working from home, travelling abroad, and, very important, being one of the few companies that is capable creating FOSS software on a commercial basis.

I have had a splendid time at MySQL AB, and later Sun. I met lots of smart people and travelled to a bunch of places I would probably not've had the chance to visit otherwise. I learned a lot about the MySQL server, and a lot about the challenges involved in making an open source software company profitable. I've been given the chance to co-author a book on MySQL Cluster, and authored the cluster and associate certification exams. Finally, I created a training course that learns you how to write MySQL UDFs.

Looking back, I feel quite satisfied, and I'm thankful for having had this opportunity. However, slowly but surely I have noticed that I have been less involved in technical stuff, at least professionally. I have been spending so much time on hobby hacking in my spare time, that I reconsidered my position, and decided that I would really like to pick up application development again. At some point, a good opportunity came by, and I decided to seize it. So, that's what I did.

As of the 1st of October, next Wednesday, I will be working for Strukton Rail. I will be working for a department that's responsible for business process improvement and re-engineering. I will be doing a bit of business process analysis and consultancy, but the larger part of my job will consist of developing a Web application to model business processes and to support project management. These applications will have a distinctly graphical nature, and I have a pretty clear idea where I want that to end up. In addition I will be adding business intelligence to these applications.

I will be in the lucky position to be able to decide for a large part which technologies and products we will be using, and I think I will be able to build all of it on open source/free software. I am pretty certain that I will be using MySQL, Pentaho, PHP, ExtJs and Google Gears.

My intention is to keep blogging about MySQL. Most likely I will write more about all these other technologies too.

I'd like to finish by saying again what a wonderful time I had with MySQL/Sun! I wish MySQL/Sun the best of luck, and I want to thank all of my colleagues there. Thank you! I have learned a lot from you, and I'm looking forward to meeting again some place, some time.



Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new gig!!

But seriously ExtJs? I would not trust that project for one second. Its not about having to shell out money that has me worried, more about the single entity development combined with a bad track record for communication and abrupt changes in business model. Given the great competition (YUI, dojo, jquery) that do not come with this baggage, I find ExtJs a tough sell.


Frank said...

Wow! Congratulations on your new gig!


Morgan Tocker said...

Good luck!

It's seriously been good fun working with you. I hope as well as blogging we will still see you at future MySQL Conferences.

- Morgan

Baron said...

best of luck to you!!

Aaron Conran said...

Roland -

Best of luck to you in your new endeavors. We love to hear what the Ext community is building with our product so keep us updated.

Aaron Conran
Ext JS Core Developer

Anonymous said...

These are shocking news!!

I wish you the best luck, and I hope that you tell us how is going with your new projects :D

JanL said...

Best of Luck Roland!

Anonymous said...

Pity you are leaving... you were I think about the only official MySQL guy we had in the netherlands. :)

Good luck with your new position.

I must say it always amazes me to see a company like Strukton invest in their own project management tools. That's so far from their core business (they do train stuff don't they?) that I always feel it would be better to invest that money in hiring a consultant and get some existing tools in place.

rpbouman said...

Hi All,

thank you all very, very much for your kind words and the congratulations on my new position.

@Lukas: Yeah, I have been following a number of js frameworks for about a year and a half. The ones you mention all have their strengths, but for what I have in mind, I think ExtJS fits the bill better than any of the alternatives.

I have noticed the ExtJS license change and read some of the discussion surrounding it, but as far as I can judge it it was a good move to stick to plain GPL. But I can understand that this move has made some of its users unhappy.

If you like, we can dicuss this some day over dinner and drinks at some FOSS conference ;)

@Ivo: yeah I understand that this seems strange. But it really is closer to the core business than it may seem. We will be using some existing products and tools, but it is already clear that they will need significant overhaul to integrate them. We will use whatever existing product makes sense, but we won shun investing in developing new components or even entire products.

Who knows - we may call you guys in to help ;) I'll keep you in mind that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with it all Roland.


Dwarak R said...

Many Congrats.Wish you good luck.

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