On the last day of the year, let me share a few thoughts in hindsight on a year that didn’t turn out as anyone expected. The outcome: Not everyone was as lucky as MariaDB Foundation. The pandemic takes longer than expected, and mixes the deck of winners and losers. Sure, most of us lose, a lot. But the forced break can provide lessons for a better post-pandemic life (and business).
Picture: Sanna Marin, PM of Finland, CC BY 4.0 Laura Kotila/Statsrådets kansli 2019 via Wikimedia Commons
Background: In March this year (which sometimes feels like yesterday, sometimes like ages ago), I wrote two blog entries about the strange situation caused by the Corona pandemic.
At MariaDB Foundation, we have many reasons to be thankful towards all of those who have helped us during 2020.
We have recently expressed our gratitude towards contributors in our ecosystem, in 2020. Daniel Black explicitly thanked Tencent for their contributions, and Vicentiu Ciorbaru for the ARM related contributions.
On the same note, Intel has given us access to hardware and software to enable builds using Intel compilers, but more on that once we can release these new builds.
You might have heard the story of how we picked a sea-lion as our logo. Now that this lovely beast has been with us for a while, we think it’s high time to give it a name and of course we turn to our wonderful community for suggestions.
The rules are simple: complete this form, telling us what you think we should name the sea lion and why. Later, Maria Widenius will pick her favorite from the submissions, and the winner will get a collection of MariaDB t-shirts and other swag, an artwork by Maria, and of course eternal fame!
My primary motivation to contribute to the open source community is because I strongly believe in the idea that software is free, to copy, modify and study.
It’s been close to four months since we announced our new project of renewing MariaDB Downloads. We are now ready to launch our first version. We have done a lot of work behind the scenes which will simplify further developments. A technical breakdown post is coming, but for now, let’s focus on the new features!
User friendliness – one click to download
User friendliness is at the core of MariaDB (going all the way back to MySQL times). It should be really easy to download, install and run MariaDB.
Last Wednesday, I received an unexpected text: “Would you like to do some volunteering work? It involves speaking online to some kids for one hour about IT”. It was a classmate from high school.
MariaDB Foundation employees work remotely. Sure, we all meet together in one place a number of times a year so we don’t forget each other’s faces, but in 99% of our logged time, we are distributed around the globe. We are also not required to have a strict working schedule and this offers us the opportunity to say yes easily to these sort of events.
On Monday, I sent out an email to the staff of MariaDB Foundation. In the hope that my thinking is also applicable for someone else, here’s a slightly edited excerpt:
For an unknown amount of time, we will live under exceptional circumstances. Yet, there will be life both during and after the Corona pandemic. With this email, I want to share my view on how Corona affects our organisation, on how we sustain life during Corona and on how we best prepare for life after Corona.
When facing adverse times, I fall back on thoughts and values I have read and contemplated.
MariaDB Foundation faces an unusual world, just like anyone else in these Corona times. Or perhaps, not quite. Here are some ideas for how to cope with a world inhibiting travel and social contact as we know it, from someone who has worked from home for 20 years, with colleagues also working from home.
First, stay upbeat. Humans are social animals, and we live off interactions with others. But Corona just dictates what type of social interactions we can have. It doesn’t inhibit social contact.
Second, stay connected.