Archive | December, 2010

Notes from CentraLUG, 6-Dec-2010: David Berube, MySQL Operations

Six people attended the December 2010 meeting of the Central New Hampshire Linux Group, held at the NHTI‘s Library from 7 to 9 PM. David Berube was the featured speaker, talking about his experience with large scale high-performance MySQL applications.

David is an independent software developer and consultant. One of his larger projects over the past couple of years has been an application for scheduling actors for auditions. This involves agents and projects, auditions, roles, videos and a number of other entities in a complex and fast-moving application. He’s used Ruby on Rails, PHP, MySQL, a NOSQL database, Amazon S3, A rack of Mac Minis, BSD, Linux, and a number of other elements. He had some insightful things to say about the development process, managing a client project, handling difficult requirements, scaling up million-row databases for subsecond response times and more. It was a meeting well worth attending.

There were a lot of useful tools and reference sites mentioned, and I was only able to take note of a few: Useful Ruby add-ons: New Relic, Query Reviewer, Percona Operations Day, Cacti for data aggregation. An In-depth discussion of NoSQL (“Not Only SQL”) Databases: what are they, what are they good for, what are the liabilities? A good discussion of the trade-offs of using NoSQL, reference to the NHRuby presentation on Redis a few months ago, and more.

Thanks to David for an informative presentation, to the attendees for a dynamic interactive session, and to the NHTI Library for the facilities. Future meetings at the Concord location have been suspended, we encourage our regulars to attend the Manchester ManchLUG meetings. If you haven’t already, consider subscribing to the announcement list so you’ll know when there’s an upcoming meeting. (Subscribers to the discussion list will automatically receive the announcements, too.)

CentraLUG, 6-Dec-2010, David Berube, MySQL Operations

The December meeting of the Central NH Linux User Group will be held as usual in Room 146 of the NHTI Library – details and directions can be found at – and will feature David Berube presenting “Real World Experience with Large MySQL Deployments”

David recently attend the Percona Operations Day training covering real world howto’s on big MySQL deployments and will share what he’s learned.

About David: David is a principal at Berube Consulting. David Berube is a software developer, consultant, speaker, and writer. He is constantly researching, perfecting, and practicing his trade. He is a prolific writer, appearing in places such as Dr Dobbs Journal, Linux Magazine, IBM DeveloperWorks, PHP International Magazine, and many others. He speaks frequently, notably including his seminar series, “Making Money Using Open Source Software”. He authored the books “Practical Rails Gems” and “Practical Reporting with Ruby and Rails”, and co-authored the book “Practical Rails Plugins.” He is also a leader in the Open Source community. He was involved with the AmphetaDesk project, developing much of its Win32 GUI code.

Greybeards vs. certifications

A friend sent a link to a story many of us have seen before, in all sorts of industries: the cocky young kid tries to show up the experienced greybeards, with predictable results:

Very good story, and one in which I’ve played both roles myself 🙂

The problem with a lot of these stories is that there’s a real attitude in the IT world that certifications are so worthless that they are actually bad, an indication that an incompetent is hiding behind a paper certificate. And while there certainly is an industry devoted to cranking out “paper tigers,” that attitude leads to a lot of cowboy programming by “self-taught” computer techs. There’s a wise saying about doctors self-treating having fools for patients.

I really value my self-learning. I have a wall full of books (and I’ve actually read them!). And I’ve used the knowledge I’ve gained in solving real problems for real clients in the real world. But I also have a wall full of certificates, as I’ve learned from others as well. I think that’s the best of both worlds.

A certificate ought to be looked at like a driving learner’s permit: it says the operator has a base level of knowledge that makes them safe enough to operate so they can learn how to really do the job. And I think everyone ought to pass the learner’s permit test.

— from a former Novell CNA, Microsoft Certified Professional, Certified Solution Developer, Certified Network Engineer, MySQL Certified Developer. And a slew of other certifications like Throttleman, SCUBA diver and Senior Lifesaving.

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