In 2001, a week after 9/11, I was in Rhode Island at the second open source database conference. I had been presenting two papers, one on the stored procedure system I had developed at Andover.net for MySQL, and another on "Data Blades" that I had written for MySQL just a couple of years ago. Monty and David where there and we spent a bunch of time talking about MySQL. Monty offered me a job that weekend, which I politely declined. I was happy hacking on MySQL and maintaining my little personal fork I used for the websites I was running. While I thought that they had a good idea, I certainly didn't think it was a company, and I certainly didn't want to risk my career at it.
In 2003 David approached me at the first MySQL Conference again about working for MySQL. He let slip the SAP announcement and the news that they had gotten a major round of funding. I was still very skeptical. He spent seven hours in the hallway at the conference talking to me about the company that they wanted to build. A month later I am sitting in Finland at Midsummer enjoying myself and watching the CEO of the company smash an egg into his mouth while waving an axe (it is a Finnish custom I am told). I met a number of wonderful people over the years at MySQL.
That job ended two years ago and I was ready to leave. When Marten called me to tell me that we had been sold to Sun the first thing out of my mouth was "do we vest fully?". He then said to me "I hope you are staying". It was never my intention to stay. I had a number of ideas that I wanted to go work on and I was already a good foot out the door.
By happenstance I was in Boston right after this and David Douglas called me and asked me to come over to the Sun office. I did not really want to go, my mind was already thinking about the next adventure. I did go, and that day I met a number of people who I had great conversations with. David persuaded me to stay and on that day I decided to take a job at Sun.
Sun has been a wonderful company to work for. A number of people who are close to me in the industry wrote to me and couldn't figure out why I was staying. I wrote a few blog entries at the time which were on hidden urls to explain this, and someday I will make those public. For today though, the simplest answer is "the people".
Sun had an amazing collection of engineers. Technology has no value without the people and ideas behind it. I have been blessed in my career to work with many brilliant people. Sun was rich in ideas and people.
While on my annual retreat to the desert this summer, I got a text message from Bob Brewin that I had been made a Distinguished Engineer at Sun. I was floored. Of the achievements I have made in the course of my career, this was one of the most gratifying that I have received.
To my fellow Distinguished Engineers, I thank you, and I wish I would have gotten to spend more time with many of you. For those of you I have gotten to spend time with? Thank you for that time.
I have had people asking me this question for the last nine months.
I will spend the next month or so thinking about it. There is a lot of fun technology and ideas out there that I am interested in. I have been looking forward to having the time to reflect on this.