A Challenge to MySQL Employees

Apr 22, 2008 / By Sheeri Cabral

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Keith Murphy wrote about the open/closed source debacle and the first comment on that post was:

Monty makes all this money from the Sun acquisition, and pretends to be a free software advocate. How much did he make? How much is he giving back to the MySQL community?

Now, Keith rightfully met this with “grow up”. However, I want to point out that many people in the MySQL employee pool benefited from the sale, not just Monty. I also want to point out that Monty devoted years of his life to developing MySQL long before it was ever profitable.

According to Sun’s press release, “Sun will pay approximately $800 million in cash in exchange for all MySQL stock and assume approximately $200 million in options. The transaction is expected to close in late Q3 or early Q4 of Sun’s fiscal 2008….. The deal is expected to be accretive to FY10 operating income on a GAAP basis.”

Now, there’s financial mumbo-jumbo in there, but basically what that means is in all likelihood, Monty actually has not received any real money yet. And with 20% of the sale being in options (not stock, just options, which means that there is the option to buy stock, so there’s nothing free there), that’s even less cold hard cash floating around.

But I present a challenge to MySQL employees who have derived tangible benefits from the sale to Sun: what percentage have you put back into the MySQL community, and how?

(and thinking outside the box is OK — time is money, so I am OK with you directly translating the number of hours you’ve worked on community projects into $$ given your approximate hourly salary).

For instance, Brian Aker’s list of software is impressive, and of the 28 projects explicitly listed (see “Project list” on the right-hand side, and I’d bet there’s more in the actual repository) I’d guess fewer than 5 were done on time paid for by anyone (much less MySQL/Sun).

I know that Giuseppe Maxia‘s mysql sandbox is a project he works on during non-MySQL/Sun time.

But I’d love to see comments on what folks are doing, even without percentages of money and such, because I am willing to wager that most of the folks who work for MySQL give plenty back to the community on non-company time. My theory is based on the fact that most MySQLers that I’ve met do not see working at MySQL as “their job”, they see it as “I get paid to do what I love doing, and would do anyway.”

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