I have finally recovered from my trip to Santa Clara enough that I can scribble down some notes from this year's MySQL Conference. Writing a travel report is part of the deal where my employer covers the travel expense, so even if many people have written about the conference, I need to do it too. And judging from the many posts for instance from Pythian's direction, Nokia is perhaps not the only company with such a policy?
There has usually always been something that can be called a "soft keynote". Pirate Party founder Rick Falckvinge speaking at a database conference is a memorable example (I still keep in touch with him, having met him at the Hyatt Santa Clara). This year there was one less day, and therefore less keynotes. The soft keynote was therefore taken care of by Baron using some time out of Peter's opening keynote. Baron's talk was an ode to the conference itself, underscoring the meaning of the conference beyond just learning about technology. Sharing his own journey from a numb ASP.NET coder ("a good day at the office was when I changed a table based layout to pure CSS ...but nobody else seemed to care.") to his role today, he challenged people to network, make new friends and new revolutionary ideas. To me, it was a great opening keynote (and quite obviously would have made less sense on the last day of the conference). The talk, including Peter's part, is available on Percona.TV.