Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Anthropology: Sun studies MySQL

"We didn't acquire MySQL to change it, but to learn from it", or something to that effect, was a line used by Jonathan Schwartz very early on in the Sun acquisition of MySQL. And this seems to be taken seriously. So Sun has appointed teams studying MySQL: our culture, and our way of working from home (70 % of us don't even have a desk at an office, i.e. permanently work from home, such as me).



I hope to soon share some of the results from the Culture studies. Today, co-founder Michael "Monty" Widenius and I were the interview subjects of the "Virtual Work at MySQL" study group under Edel Keville.

We had lots of things to point out, but most things had already been said by the other interview subjects. The two key things that were missing were related to meeting practices: How does MySQL organise virtual meetings? How do we arrange physical meetings?

The first one of those would be worth a blog entry in its own right, but the second one already has one. Called "How to arrange a physical meeting in a virtual organisation", a blog entry from January 2007 describes a meeting in Berlin in December 2006, which was a bit of a testbed for the large-size Heidelberg Developer Mtg in September 2007.

I stay by my philosophy of being descriptive of how MySQL works (and has worked), as opposed to being prescriptive about how Sun should work. That said, I think the meeting practices documented after the Berlin meeting are probably worthy of a read for several virtual organisations which meet physically from time to time (if it's politically correct to recommend one's own blog entries).
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