It’s a Good Time to be Involved with MySQL

Oct 9, 2008 / By Keith Murphy

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In many parts of the world times are uncertain. I live in the United States and we are in the middle of a financial meltdown that many fear may be as bad as the Great Depression. Because the world’s economies are so linked it is causing severe distress in many other countries as well. I just read that two trillion dollars have been lost from nest eggs in the last 15 months here in the States.

I am not going to turn this into a rant about who is right, who is wrong, or  what should be done about it to resolve the problem. This isn’t the place. I probably don’t even have the right answer. I have a different angle.

If you are involved with MySQL as a database administrator, or if you work directly with MySQL in some other aspect, you can probably breathe a little easier. Why is this? MySQL Server has grown in market penetration for a long time. It is now a significant section of the RDBMS pie.  I predict that this market penetration will only continue to grow. As this economic downturn/recession/whatever continues, companies will look harder for ways to save money. What better way to do so than replace your proprietary RDBMS that can cost you significant amounts of money, with MySQL Server? For all intents, the same functionality is there, the speed and flexibility is certainly there, and there is a giant company behind MySQL now, providing “enterprise-ready” support.

The market is crying right now for MySQL database administrators. We don’t cost any more than Oracle or Microsoft DBAs, you know. Just a couple of years ago, very few companies hired MySQL DBAs. They hired developers who also did database administration, or a system administrators who also managed the MySQL server. Now, as the number of database servers increases and the amount of data grows they want real, honest-to-goodness database administrators. If you have production experience with MySQL server in any significant amount you will not have any problems finding a job. I don’t think this is going to change anytime soon. So, even if your company succumbs to the times, there are others out there who need your experience. Don’t be dismayed!

And companies who might be reading this—be smart. I know it costs time and dollars to move your infrastructure, but this is time and money well spent. Larry and Bill both have plenty of money and they really don’t need you or your company to continue to line their pockets with upgrades and maintenance and whatever. There is very little that either of their servers can do that MySQL can’t do right now. Why are you waiting?

MySQL too small for you? Well, Sun owns MySQL now. Ever heard of them? If you are so enterprise-uptight that you want one vendor to provide support for everything, congratulations. You should be in heaven. Sun does servers, Solaris for the OS, and of course, MySQL. Need middle-ware? Ever heard of Java? Might not be what I would recommend, but if it floats your boat, Sun can certainly provide all this and support too.

One thing I have found is that MySQL DBAs love to work remotely. In the job of a DBA it is often perfectly reasonable to work off-site. It requires a little “out-of-the-box” thinking, but the rewards are worth it. If you want the best for your company, you might want to consider this as an option.

If you are a working MySQL DBA and  are worried about the economy, you can worry a little less. While your house might be losing value, and your 401k has fallen on it’s face, you have a job. And there is a good chance it (or another one) will be there even when Wall Street is singing the blues.

5 Responses to “It’s a Good Time to be Involved with MySQL”

  • Nico says:

    AMEN !!!

  • Doug Burns says:

    Sigh … I really try to avoid replying to posts like this normally and the strange thing is I agree with much of what you’ve said. Most of the logic is impeccable. But I just can’t bring myself to agree with either of these statements.

    “For all intents, the same functionality is there”

    “There is very little that either of their servers can do that MySQL can’t do right now. ”

    In a multi-vendor shop like Pythian, there are loads of Oracle people around to debate this with. I’m not sure that most companies need Oracle for most of their systems, but I can’t let such bald statements go without saying I think you’re wrong. MySQL gets better all the time and, for a free database is mighty impressive. Which means that there’s really no need to talk it up beyond it’s current capabilities.

    I’m sure there will come a time when the demand for Oracle skills fades and dies and maybe I’ll work on something else, but that has nothing to do with what software I admire or want to work with.

  • Keith Murphy says:

    To each his own :)

  • Peter Laursen says:

    Nice with enthusiasm, but I think realistically that the financial crises is a larger threat to the web-2 business than to more traditional companies and in consequence I also think that MySQL will likely suffer more from it than Oracle and SQL-server (my guess is that the latter is the winner now!).

    Companies can stop advertising on the net (what finances net-2), but they cannot stop their traditional business.

    If this could direct MySQL in direction of not focusing 95% on net-2 that would be a good thing! Who uses MySQL for ERP systems? Practically nobody because for this type of applications what is required is *raw power in UPDATES* what ‘tricks’ like replication and query cache does not help at all (no ERP user will ever execute a SELECT – they don’t have time for that!)!

    Only the future can prove me wrong!

  • Diamond Notes » It’s a Good Time to be Involved with MySQL says:

    [...] It’s a Good Time to be Involved with MySQL October 09th, 2008 | Category: MySQL, Non-Tech Articles, employment, market penetration, recession In many parts of the world times are uncertain. I live in the United States and we are in the middle of a financial meltdown that many fear may be as bad as the Great Depression. Because the world’s economies are so linked it is causing severe distress in many other countries as well. I just read that two trillion dollars have been lost from nest eggs in the last 15 months here in the States. I am not going to turn this into a rant about who is right, who is wrong, or  what should be done about it to resolve the problem. This isn’t the place. I probably don’t even have the right answer. I have a different angle. If you are involved with MySQL as a database administrator, or if you work directly with MySQL in some other aspect, you can probably breathe a little easier. Why is this? MySQL Server has grown in market penetration for a long time. It is now a significant section of the RDBMS pie.  I predict that this market penetration will only continue to grow. As this economic downturn/recession/whatever continues, companies will look harder for ways to save money. What better way to do so than replace your proprietary RDBMS that can cost you significant amounts of money, with MySQL Server? For all intents, the same functionality is there, the speed and flexibility is certainly there, and there is a giant company behind MySQL now, providing “enterprise-ready” support. The market is crying right now for MySQL database administrators. We don’t cost any more than Oracle or Microsoft DBAs, you know. Just a couple of years ago, very few companies hired MySQL DBAs. They hired developers who also did database administration, or a system administrators who also managed the MySQL server. Now, as the number of database servers increases and the amount of data grows they want real, honest-to-goodness database administrators. If you have production experience with MySQL server in any significant amount you will not have any problems finding a job. I don’t think this is going to change anytime soon. So, even if your company succumbs to the times, there are others out there who need your experience. Don’t be dismayed! (more…) [...]

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