Friday, February 1, 2008

MySQL Friday

Each month we have an IT All-Hands meeting.

Last month I was promoted to Senior Vice President (SVP), because of my superior management techniques.

Today I was promoted to CEO! Unfortunately it only lasted for a few minutes. I happen to resemble our new CEO (and I'm always pining for a promotion) and they thought it would be funny (again) to bring me up.

I hugged the guy behind me, shook hands with people next to me and ran up to the front. I wanted to shriek, like the people do on The Price is Right, but I didn't have it in me. You gotta have fun at work right?

Well, after that it got serious. Our new Director (at WellCare, Directors are executives, one step up from managers and one below VPs) who heads our architecture team (and release management) got up to discuss where he would be taking us.

Slide one:
From 3 database engines to 1.
From 4 programming languages to 2.
From 3 OSs to 1.

Wanna guess what question I had?

"So, what database engine are we going to use?"

I knew the answer, but I take every single opportunity I get to make my point.


Being on the datawarehouse team, I was confident that Oracle was not going away.

He went on to explain:

"Legacy applications would be maintained but everything going forward would be done in MySQL."

A flurry of questions came from the crowd so I was unable to followup immediately. I could feel the room come was weird (I think I'm still hopped up from the events that took place today).

Our CIO asked if there were any more questions or comments.

I spoke up.

I have two points.
1. If it's about cost, move all of the one-off applications into just a few Oracle instances. From what I can tell, we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 100. Let's say 5 databases, datawarehouse, our production OLTP and one for others. All you need to do is assign them different schemas, voila! Cost is much lower and there is a very big chance to reuse code.
2. Actually, I can't remember what my other point was. I think it had something to do with putting the logic in the database, that Java was the fad a few years ago, Ruby was the big thing now, what would it be in 5 years? Will we have to rewrite all of the logic then? (I guess I do sorta remember).

After that, someone asked about the two programming languages. Not a great answer from the crowd's reaction. Then someone asked about the OS.

The crowd was riotous (if that's a word). The CIO had to calm us all down.

I made a remark that he hadn't danced yet (one of our former hazing techniques for new employees) because I didn't want it to be completely personal, or just to ease something that I started.

After the meeting, I spoke with the Director. Oracle will be gone in 20 years because of the open source databases, it's being commoditized (not sure what that means). SOA is the wave of the future.

It was a polite conversation. I told him I look forward to learning from him but that I will probably never be sold on that idea. Fewer moving parts, simplicity, that's what I want.

I then spoke with the CIO, told him that once the decision was made, I would support it and keep my mouth shut (or find a new job).

I sent an email to the VP of the Director's group (after a couple of beers...idiot!) explaining my rationale.

One of the biggest reasons we chose to come to Tampa, to WellCare specifically, was because it was so young and immature. I would have the opportunity, if I could prove myself, to shape the future of IT here.

It's nice to have a voice.

Anyway, it's Friday, I'm prepped to spend all weekend at work to get this project delivered that was due in November. Have a good weekend!


Patrick Wolf said...

Give the following link to your directory SOA Common Sense. In my opinion, the companies behind the SOA Tools have lately created such a wrong picture of SOA and for what and when you should use it. If you read the media and the whitepaper, ... you could think SOA is the holy grail of IT, but it isn't. And management has to understand that before the bury millions into that.


oraclenerd said...

Thanks Patrick.

I was going to ask for help soon in gathering information to combat this "evil." ;)

I'm definitely not saying it shouldn't be used, it has it's place, but what is being proposed is crazy...