Monday, 11 February 2008

MySQL Culture

As part of planning our integration into Sun, we surveyed all MySQLers on their opinions regarding Sun, their concerns and ideas. Amongst concerns, "retaining the MySQL Culture" ranked second.



MySQL Staff Meeting in Budapest 2003; time off in the Gellért Baths

But what exactly is "The MySQL Culture"? That's never been written down, and defining culture is usually a matter for anthropologists, not Open Source companies.

So we decided to ask. Instead of engaging field anthropologists, we just added a question to the survey. And did we get answers! This is what the foremost experts, i.e. our employees, think constitutes MySQL Culture:

  • A diversified and distributed workforce

  • Lack of empire building

  • A place for geeks

  • Lack of politics

  • The abililty to make decisions

  • Large virtual family

  • The ability to grow

  • Leading by ideas and visions rather than by rules and procedure

  • Accessibility of executives

  • Lean approval cycles

  • Active outbound blogging

  • Learning from others

  • Agility

  • Listen to music

  • Approachability

  • Little "red tape"

  • Being heard when raising concerns

  • Love thy customer

  • Blogging

  • 'M' in [Open Source] LAMP Stack

  • Bringing people together routinely to share, learn and work

  • Making the world better

  • Broken English is our standard language

  • Managing and developing products remotely

  • Can-do spirit

  • Marten Mickos

  • Care for customers

  • Meetings in strange locations

  • CEO mail to *all* employees

  • Minimal bureaucracy

  • Clarity

  • Motivation

  • Collaboration

  • Multicultural environment

  • Collaborative management

  • Mutual respect

  • Commitment to our jobs

  • Nimble organization

  • Communicate freely

  • No back-stabbing or obstructiveness.

  • Communication

  • No politics

  • Continuity

  • No unhealthy competition

  • Continuous product improvement

  • No-asshole Rule

  • Cooperation: one for all and all for one

  • NOT only about money

  • Courageous

  • Open dialog

  • Creative contributions

  • Open minded

  • Cultivating thinking outside the box

  • Open Source

  • Decision making

  • Openness

  • Dedicated

  • Organizational transparency

  • Dev meetings

  • Our lively, highly personal content: photo albums, fun@ mailing list, wiki discussions etc

  • Discuss@ and Life@

  • Passion

  • Discussion

  • Passion for quality

  • Disruptors

  • People, people, people

  • Distributed employees

  • Personal relationships

  • Diversity

  • Polite

  • Drinking songs

  • Positive spirit and attitude

  • Eat good food

  • Pride in our community

  • Efficiency

  • Product quality

  • Embracing the best of many different cultures

  • Quality of work

  • Emphasis on work/life balance

  • Quirkyness

  • Encouragement to express ideas and thoughts

  • Radio Sakila

  • Engineering/support quality

  • RC/GA release policies

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Recognition of hard work

  • Face to face meetings

  • Relatively egalitarian nature

  • Fellowship with co-workers

  • Relaxed humor

  • Fix all known bugs before doing new development

  • Scandinavian-style leadership

  • Flat organization

  • Sense of urgency

  • Flexibility

  • Singing "Helan gÃ¥r"

  • Focus on training and learning

  • Small company feel

  • Free exchange of ideas, thoughts, feedback

  • Speed of development

  • Free, Open, Flat, Casual

  • Support of proactive ideas

  • Freedom to explore new models

  • Surveys

  • Freedom to innovate

  • Team spirit

  • Freedom to work anywhere

  • TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK!

  • Friendly environment

  • Test coverage

  • Friendship

  • The importance of each employee

  • Fully empowered teams

  • The love of FOSS

  • FUN FUN FUN

  • The love of the product

  • Global

  • The right to speak up on anything

  • Global Sport's and Culture Days

  • The Users and community

  • Goofy traditions

  • Thorough code review

  • Hard working

  • Treating *all* colleagues as important

  • High quality coffee

  • Trust

  • Honesty

  • Trust in co-worker's expertise

  • Independence to innovate

  • User's Conference

  • Independent thinking

  • Vibrant "online" culture

  • Individualism

  • Virtual

  • Integration with the Community

  • We are outspoken and honest

  • Integrity

  • We go the extra mile

  • Internal debate on the best way to do things

  • We respect and help each other

  • Introduce changes quickly

  • Willingness to lend a helping hand

  • IRC, email, phone, Skype

  • Work ethic


A summary might look like this: We are outspoken and honest. We are dedicated. We are courageous. We aim to do good. We drink high quality coffee, eat good food, listen to music and share these and many other human values across the world on IRC, email, phone, Skype and real-life meetings disregarding business rank, and size of wallet. This helps management to be in touch with the real work as well as helping workers to be in touch with business goals.

1 comment:

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