A GSoC internship with the MariaDB Foundation

Introduction

Hi, my name is Kartik Soneji, and I am a second year student at Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, Mumbai. I have been programming since the age of 13. I started out with Java, then learnt a little C++ before diving head first into web development with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I also programmed a bit in Python and Rust to see what all the hype was about.

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.

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Downloads – A fresh new look

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!

In with the new

User friendliness – one click to download

New downloads form

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.

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A different kind of tech conference

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.

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Life after this

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:

My email to our staff

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.

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Business As Unusual

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.

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Looking for a C/C++ developer

The MariaDB Foundation is looking for a mid to senior-level C/C++ developer to work on MariaDB Server.

Our small team works remotely to build and support MariaDB, and requires strong skills in written English for daily communication.

A fulltime position is preferred.

We are looking in particular for people with an understanding of how open source works, how collaboration is fostered, how licenses and copyright work, and how tools such as git and test suites are best used. The person(s) should be a C/C++ developer by background, and ideally have a proven track record of producing code patches that have been accepted in major open source projects.

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Five Cities in India

A trip to Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, and Mumbai taught MariaDB Foundation the importance of India. Government and Fintech lead the pack. India has a huge supply of highly educated IT specialists, and their decision power in selecting tools (including databases) is growing. India is moving from a body-shop for Europe and the US towards becoming a hotbed for startups, and for database training and adoption, India has a near-perfect language landscape for the MariaDB Foundation University Program.

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MariaDB Server’s continuous integration & testing available to community

How MariaDB Server is tested

MariaDB Foundation is commited to ensuring MariaDB Server has a thriving community of developers and contributors. A software project cannot be maintained without proper tests. mysql-test-run is our standard testing toolkit for MariaDB Server. What it (mostly) does is run queries against one or more servers and compare their output to the expected one. This checks both behaviour and data consistency. The main principle is the server should always return the same data that is put into it.

One problem with this testing method is that it only covers the hosts’ environment. That means that if you are running Debian on x86_64 architecture, you are testing x86_64 architecture on a Debian Linux distribution. Read more