My community activities in 2019

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I’m publishing this post on 31th December. Tomorrow a new year is beginning, at least according to most of this world’s cultures. Actually it will be just a day like any other, except for the headache that many of us are going to suffer because of the new year celebrations.

But the holiday season is ending, and we’re all going to back to work – some jammy people more slowly than others, maybe. And when business resumes, you can see a lot of “temporal articles” appearing in the web: new year predictions and past year reviews. The former are useless enough to be forgotten before realising that they are completely wrong (no offense intended for the authors), the latter are potentially more interesting. So, let me review this 2019.

A world globe

London Open Source Databases meetup

Monty petting a cat
Monty Widenius pets Princess,
the cat that works at Innovation Warehouse, our meetups venue

I’m happy I started this Meetup group on March 2019. I’ve got to know some good and interesting people. Interesting IT events followed by good amounts of beer at a pub whose name I keep forgetting.

While every event is interesting, let me mention the most interesting ones:

Peter Zaitsev petting a cat
Peter Zaitsev also petted Princess
(while answering questions)

It’s worth mentioning that on 13th November we had an Introduction to TerminusDB. I’m proud of it because it’s a new open source (or open core) project, and it’s almost local – precisely, it’s Irish. And of course, because TerminusDB is an interesting technology, and because it’s not written in Java.

Other young projects we’ll hopefully promote are:

  • QuestDB, a timeseries compatible with PostgreSQL. Yes it’s Java, but at least it avoids the garbage collection by only using off-heap memory – this implied rewriting libraries that made use of heap memory.
  • FusionDB, a multi-model database based on the idea that Key/Value is at the core of other models. Currently FusionDB is not open source, which is why we cannot host it at our meetup – but they say that this will change.

Conference committees

I’ve proudly participated to the committees of two quite important events:

My talks (and slides)

Some talks I gave this year:

Federico Razzoli talking at PHP Hampshire about how MySQL can boost or kill applications
Me at PHP Hampshire, in Portsmouth

The future

I’m happy I lived in London. I wanted to be here, and I’ve found a vibrant city which is a mix of many different cultures.

However, I couldn’t trust the UK government less. Depending on which part of the world you are, there are different limits to what you can do. But I’m sure that Boris Johnson will do all the worst things that he’ll be able to do.

Brexit is only one example of what such a person/party can do. They’re also trying to stop Europeans and some other nationalities from starting companies or working as freelancers. This PM is also famous for his disgusting discriminatory quotes, and for illegally dissolving the parliament when he didn’t have a majority.

From Calton Hill, a view of Edinburgh and its castle
A view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill,
the observatory hill

My companion and I are moving to Scotland in 2020. Scotland has a more sane mindset (well, actually it’s a bit insane, but in a good way). Hopefully they will leave the UK. In the meanwhile, their local government is much more reasonable than Westminster and it acts as a shield from this madness.

Their First Minster wrote two letters to European citizens, making them feel appreciated and telling them how to obtain legal advice if needed. They’re investing in technological startups/scaleups, green energy, entertainment and more. Scottish government spends a crazy amount of money every year to balance Westminster’s welfare cuts. A situation that an UN report describes as outrageous, because they should be free to spend that money for their own politics.

A growing economy is growing its needs. As businesses scale, they need to make their IT infrastructures scale as well. LinkedIn shows that Scotland is constantly in need to open source database professionals, and this need will become stronger. That is why, once I’m there, I will start a consulting company.

And, expect more surprises that I cannot announce now.

But let me spend some more words to say that… it’s not jut about government’s reliability or growing economy. Scotland is great. Open people, great culture, wonderful places.

I’m coming, Silicon Glenn!

Sorry for all the smart people who live in England, and are not responsible for what’s happening, but…
“Declare your independence and this time get it right
Leave the English there to sort our their own shite”

EDIT: At the time of this writing, a project was already in progress but not yet announced. I am writing a new section of the MariaDB KnowledgeBase for the MariaDB Foundation: Migrating from SQL Server to MariaDB.

The MariaDB Foundation published a post about the project in their blog: Migrating from SQL Server to MariaDB on the MariaDB Knowledge Base.

Happy new year,
Saor Alba,

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