Sunday, December 07, 2008

Bluster, Blather and B.S.

Many have published their Very Important Opinions on the MySQL 5.1 GA. Now that the issue has been forced, I must take a stand.

Falcon is strictly a MySQL 6.0 project. I did not participate directly in the development of MySQL 5.1 and cannot render an informed technical opinion as to its quality except to say that I absolutely trust the judgment of MySQL management and the ability of my fellow engineers, and I fully stand behind their decision to release MySQL 5.1 GA.

In twenty-two years, I have worked at companies ranging from mom-and-pop software shops to companies like IBM, CSC, Harris, Boston Scientific and everything in between. I have developed operating systems, telecommunication software, database microkernels, medical device firmware and, most importantly, applications for the wholesale distribution of beer.

Every single one of these products shipped with known bugs--serious bugs--and every single one of these products shipped with at least someone strongly questioning the decision to ship. Every single one.

But we did ship, and the operating system ran millions of PCs and the telephone switch connected billions of phone calls and the database stored petabytes of data and the heart device saved thousands of lives and the warehouse delivered millions of gallons of beer.

And the bugs got fixed and then we moved on. We moved on. Never once did I question our ability to do so, and never once did we fail to do so.

So, in my experience, "Disagree and Commit" isn't just a feel-good platitude, it is a proven, practical approach that works. It is the hallmark of a mature organization, and it is the core principle of smart, successful teams that actually deliver.

Yet, despite all of the bluster, blather, and b.s. (mine included), the issue is really quite simple: If you can't be a team player, find another team.