Today 23 May 2020, it is 25 years since the first release of MySQL. So, I would like to take the opportunity to wish MySQL – and Sakila – a happy birthday.
My own MySQL journey started in 2006 when I at a job interview was told that if I got the job, I would need to learn MySQL before starting. Since the job involved PHP coding, I got the book Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL as well as Managing and Using MySQL. Around a week later, I started in my first job involving MySQL at Noggin Pty Ltd.
This was in the days of MySQL 5.0 when stored functions, procedures, and triggers were new, and statement based replication was the only binary log format around. The job evolved into including database administration, and over the next four years and a bit, I got the chance to work around large parts of the corners of MySQL. One of the most interesting tasks was to develop the database backend for a messaging system that had to support active-active replication (to allow the customers to keep using the service even if they couldn't reach both data centers). To avoid the data diverging, conflict resolution was implemented through triggers (this was possible, because MySQL 5.0 exclusively used statement based replication).
This was also the period, when I decided to pursue the MySQL 5.0 developer and DBA certifications. Back then, each certification consisted of two exams, and there was an official study guide.
The next step in my MySQL journey took me to MySQL itself where I worked as a MySQL technical support engineer. I have many fond memories from my years with Oracle, and it was an invaluable experience. You learn a lot by helping customers as you encounter a lot of different cases you would never encounter by working on your own database. It was also great participating in the discussions with the developers and product management. A part of the support job also included writing items for the MySQL 5.6, 5.7, and 8 certification exams, so in that way I went from being a candidate to becoming the “examiner”. (Note, writing the exam items was a team effort including long calls to review each others items.)
The latest step in my journey is as a database reliability engineer at Okta, so yet another way of working with MySQL. All in all, it has been an interesting journey and I hope both my personal MySQL journey and that of MySQL itself will continue for many more years.