Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Event Scheduler

Part of updating the MySQL Certifications is trying out all the new features that have appeared with 5.1 and 6.0. Currently I am working with 5.1.24-rc on a Mac and 6.0 on Ubuntu and looking for items to add to the exams. The Event Scheduler is sure to become one of those Swiss Army Knife tools that we will wonder how we ever accomplished anything without.

I usually experiment with very simple tasks.

CREATE EVENT x1_event ON SCHEDULE AT '2008-07-16 14:01:01' DO INSERT INTO x1 VALUES (9,'nine');

SHOW EVENTS did exactly that. And just after 14:01, I found the new row in my x1 table.

So now I am thinking of a dozen think I used to do with cron(1) or at(1) that I could do with the event scheduler.

Warning: There are ramifications with backups and the event scheduler that I will not go into details here. But for now do not try to run your backups with event scheduler. The engineers are doing their magic right now and will surely dazzle us with their brilliance.

So hit the Event Scheduler documentation at

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cluster Study Guide, Edition 2

My new edition of the MySQL 5.1 Cluster DBA Certification Study Guide arrived today. It features a bigger format, corrections, and much better graphics. And it is $10 less expensive.

The MySQL Cluster is just different enough from the 'old fashioned' server to be confusing to long time MySQL DBAs. This book points out common problems people have getting their clusters configured. So if you are curious about how clusters work and want more than the man pages as a reference, order you copy today!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Volunteer to develop with the next generation of DBA exams

The next generation of MySQL DBA exams are going to be performance based tests (PBT) or 'Hands on'. A candidate will have a series of tasks to be performed, a virtual server, and a time limit. The tasks are going to be based on the usual tasks performed by a Database Administrator. For instance, a candidate will get a list of user accounts that need to be added, updated, or deleted and will be graded on how well they meet the objectives.

I have already asked my fellow MySQL employees to review the tasks but I would like to have some input from the public. Following the Open Source dictum of the more eyeballs looking at a problem will provide better products, I would like to get some of you to look at the proposed tasks and give me your comments.

In the past there have been complaints on questions being too syntax specific, too picky, and asking for too obscure knowledge. This is a chance to help make sure that the exam covers the scope of the DBA jobs.

You will get a chance to review the proposed tasks and evaluate them. What I need is to find out if the task is something that a very good DBA would be able to do as part of their regular duties. You will get a few days to look at the tasks and get your feedback to me.

So if you have some spare time and want to help develop the next generation of MySQL DBA exams, please send an email with the Subject of 'VOLDBA' (yup, uppercase to catch a filter) to dstokes AT

So are the 5.0 exams going away? Not anytime soon. The lead time for the new exams, with new technology, and new questions is going to be pretty long. Last month the numbers of test takers was up 33% over the previous month.

And I keep getting emails from hiring managers and recruiters looking for Certified MySQL professionals. MySQL is getting more popular everyday and their is a vacuum in the talent pool. Heck, look at the MySQL Job Forum at some of the interesting positions out there.

I used to work for an online recruiting company and can go into very boring detail on how recruiters looks for keywords. Even a top notch technical recruiter may not know Ajax from Ruby but they will catch the words certified or certification.

So hit the Certification Study guides, get that Cert, and find that dream job!