How We Got HereBaron Schwartz
We have spent months planning and preparing for the MySQL conference that begins tomorrow. It seems appropriate to reflect on this process, where the open source and business communities are now, and what we have planned for the future.
The annual April MySQL conference was a strong and growing event for years, drawing hundreds of people at its peak. The conference has always been vital not only to MySQL and those who care about MySQL, but also to the many companies that use and enhance MySQL, and that contribute far more to MySQL than might be apparent. But after the acquisitions by Sun and Oracle, O’Reilly found it more difficult to promote the conference. When it became clear that Oracle wouldn’t change their mind about not supporting the event, O’Reilly did not announce a 2012 event.
That’s where Percona stepped in. We were not willing to let the conference die. Others talked about doing something, but Percona took the concrete steps of securing space in the venue and paying the non-refundable deposit. As a result of our initiative, we’ve received support from companies such as HP, Amazon Web Services, McAfee, Clustrix, Akiban, Facebook, Google and many more.
We’ve planned the event in the bright light of day, with three bedrock principles serving as our guidelines:
- The event is MySQL-focused.
- The event is inclusive, with all vendors and competitors welcomed on an equal footing.
- The event balances community, business, and technology, not just open source.
Many key decisions were even made outside of Percona’s control. The sessions, for example, were selected by a committee of independent MySQL experts. We invited community members as well as the most influential companies to have a seat on the committee, including Oracle.
The response to Percona organizing the conference has been simply overwhelming. People have repeatedly thanked us for stepping up to the plate and for our fair and open stewardship of the event. We pledged to keep many of the conversations private, but we can say that at every step of the way, we have actively sought meaningful participation from all interested parties. As a result, every major company in the MySQL space is represented at the conference except for Oracle, whose invitation remains open.
The event will be a huge success for everyone. We have the best selection of speakers and topics ever at any MySQL conference, bar none. Attendees will hear from people who use MySQL in production systems and know how to operate it and develop against it. These are the people who are uniquely qualified to talk about how MySQL works in practice. Sponsors will have an engaged and active audience that is genuinely interested in the value a third-party solution or service can add. And the conference will again provide an unparalleled opportunity for today’s entrepreneurs and thought leaders to meet and network with tomorrow’s.
We will continue to run this and other Percona Live conferences in the future. Our next event will be in New York City in the fall and there will be a Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo in Santa Clara again in April 2013. We plan to announce the New York City dates within the next week and we are actively evaluating a European event for this fall as well. Conferences are now an integral part of Percona’s business, but it goes beyond pure business. We see an ongoing need for MySQL-focused, inclusive, balanced, technical conferences that is not met anywhere else, and we will continue to serve that need.
We want to say a big thank you to our sponsors, speakers, attendees, committee members, and friends for your support, encouragement, and participation. We’ll see you in Santa Clara beginning tomorrow.