Upcoming conferences: Highload++ Moscow and Percona Live London

Update: I won't be in Moscow after all. I was denied visa on grounds that my passport is beginning to fall apart and there wasn't time to get new passport, invitation and visa. Maybe next year - I was excited to go.

October brings 2 very interesting conferences. I will be speaking first on Oct 3rd at HighLoad++ in Moscow and a few weeks later on Oct Oct 25 at Percona Live in London. I will give a talk called Choosing a MySQL Replication / High Availability Solution which is based on my thinking developed in my recent blog post The ultimate MySQL high availability solution and many benchmarks and functional tests I've done while evaluating these technologies.

At Percona Live I will also give a second talk Fixed in Drizzle: No more GOTCHA's. It looked like none of the Drizzle core team would be able to attend the conference and as I was going to be there I volunteered to cover a Drizzle topic at the same time. This is a talk Stewart Smith has given a few times at earlier conferences which I liked and proposed to Percona. As it turns out, also Stewart will be in London after all, so there will be 2 Drizzle talks, I will still give the one I'm committed to.

Like many others, I'm really excited that there are 2 such interesting conferences in Europe (and many other too where I'm not speaking).

I'm particularly excited to have been invited to Highload++. Russia is a neighboring country to Finland and both St Petersburg and Moscow are very and relatively close metropoles (respectively), yet for reasons like the language barrier and perhaps just historical inertia we don't collaborate that often. But Russia is a large country and they have their own search engine (Yandex), social network (VKontakte) and stuff. So I really look forward to socializing with these nearby collagues! (And rumor has it both Percona Server and PostgreSQL will be represented too.)

If we look back just a few years, the situation in Europe and MySQL conferences was nowhere close to the level it is now. MySQL AB would arrange a 1 day conference in London, Paris and Germany - each in their own language. Speakers would usually be either MySQL personnel or sponsors and the audience was very customer heavy, they certainly weren't the kind of "meeting of the experts" or community celebration we are used to seeing in Santa Clara. Then we have this very European thing where our largest open source conferences like Fosdem and Froscon provide so called "developer rooms" which are kind of like single track side conferences. Lenz, Giuseppe and a few others have for many years organized MySQL rooms at these conferences. Content wise they are very good, but the target audience in these volunteer-run conferences is mostly open source developers and activists, they don't reach a similar customer base as the O'Reilly conferences, for instance. (By contrast, Europe has had a very active PHP scene and many MySQL developers are also PHP contributors, perhaps this covered some of the need for conferences where MySQL didn't.)

So with this background what we have going on now is a vast, vast improvement for Europe. Percona Live London will be 2 days and 5 simultaneous tracks with really high quality speakers and content. This is something we've never seen in Europe! The Highload conference - like much else going on in Russia - is like a hidden gem right in your backyard, we are used to seeing this kind of stuff mostly in the USA. And we shouldn't forget to mention all the national conferences arranged by the regional Oracle User Groups, all of which now have several tracks with MySQL content. I was selected to talk at the recent one in Helsinki, but unfortunately had to cancel when a mandatory work meeting was scheduled on the same day. But boy, even just that small OUG Finland conference has more MySQL content than those MySQL AB 1 day conferences used to have only 2 years back. And imagine then the conferences they arrange in larger countries like Germany. Last but not least, it seems the community run OpenSQLCamp/OpenDBCamp movement has pretty much migrated to Europe from its American roots.

So judging on conferences the MySQL business in Europe is getting very serious and very professional. Robert Hodges recently proposed a European MySQL conference for 2012 and I certainly welcome the idea, just make sure you pick a date and place where you don't clash with all the other MySQL conferences already scheduled :-)

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