Business As Unusual, Part II

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

Two early pandemic blog entries in March

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.

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Thank you, 2020

At MariaDB Foundation, we have many reasons to be thankful towards all of those who have helped us during 2020.

A few sample contributions

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.

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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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