Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Steinar H. Gunderson Leaving MySQL

Filed under
Server
Debian

Today was my last day at Oracle, and thus also in the MySQL team.

When a decision comes to switch workplaces, there's always the question of “why”, but that question always has multiple answers, and perhaps the simplest one is that I found another opportunity, and and as a whole, it was obvious it was time to move on when that arrived.

But it doesn't really explain why I did go looking for that somewhere else in the first place. The reasons for that are again complex, and it's not possible to reduce to a single thing. But nevertheless, let me point out something that I've been saying both internally and externally for the last five years (although never on a stage—which explains why I've been staying away from stages talking about MySQL): MySQL is a pretty poor database, and you should strongly consider using Postgres instead.

Coming to MySQL was like stepping into a parallel universe, where there were lots of people genuinely believing that MySQL was a state-of-the-art product. At the same time, I was attending orientation and told how the optimizer worked internally, and I genuinely needed shock pauses to take in how primitive nearly everything was. It felt bizarre, but I guess you soon get used to it. In a sense, it didn't bother me that much; lots of bad code means there's plenty of room for opportunity for improvement, and management was strongly supportive of large refactors. More jarring were the people who insisted everything was OK (it seems most MySQL users and developers don't really use other databases); even obviously crazy things like the executor, where everything was one big lump and everything interacted with everything else2, was hailed as “efficient” (it wasn't).

Read more

MySQL a 'pretty poor database' says departing Oracle engineer

  • MySQL a 'pretty poor database' says departing Oracle engineer

    You've collected your leaving card, novelty presents, and perhaps a bottle of wine – what's next on the list for the departing developer? For one, it's a blog rubbishing the technology he's been working on for five years.

    That was the choice of Steinar Gunderson, a former principal software engineer at Oracle and member of the MySQL optimiser team.

    In an online missive, the engineer, who has now taken up a role in Google's Chrome team, left no reader in doubt of his views on MySQL.

    With the caveat that his reasons for leaving were complex, he went on to say: "MySQL is a pretty poor database, and you should strongly consider using Postgres instead.

    "Coming to MySQL was like stepping into a parallel universe, where there were lots of people genuinely believing that MySQL was a state-of-the-art product."

Discussions on this...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.