Learning About the Open Source Community, DevRel, and how to Make Databases cool - Percona Podcast 54

by Lorna Mitchell, Matt Yonkovit

Link to listen and subscribe: PodBean

The Head Of Open Source Strategy at Percona, Matt Yonkovit, sat down with Lorna Mitchell, Head of Developer Relations at Aiven to talk about all things Open Source, DevRel, and Databases. During this episode learn some of the tips and tricks in the DevRel space as well as some interesting things happening at Aiven. Find out more about how to measure success in DevRel, opensource business, and getting people excited about contributing to open source.

YouTube

Link: https://youtu.be/O-HPWxQnsr4

Lorna Mitchell

Head of Developer Relations, Aiven

Lorna Mitchell is currently working as ead of Developer Relations at Aiven. Lorna is a Developer Experience and Open Source specialist. She writes, speaks, and codes, enabling and educating developers everywhere.

See all talks by Lorna Mitchell »

Matt Yonkovit

The HOSS, Percona

Matt is currently working as the Head of Open Source Strategy (HOSS) for Percona, a leader in open source database software and services. He has over 15 years of experience in the open source industry including over 10 years of executive-level experience leading open source teams. Matt’s experience merges the technical and business aspects of the open source database experience with both a passion for hands on development and management and the leadership of building strong teams. During his time he has created or managed business units responsible for service delivery ( consulting, support, and managed services ), customer success, product management, marketing, and operations. He currently leads efforts around Percona’s OSPO, community, and developer relations efforts. He hosts the HOSS talks FOSS podcast, writes regularly, and shares his MySQL and PostgreSQL knowledge as often as possible.

See all talks by Matt Yonkovit »

Transcript

Matt Yonkovit:
Hi, everybody, welcome to another HOSS Talks FOSS. I’m Matt Yonkovit, the Head of Open Source strategy at Percona. And today, I’ve got an extra special guest, Lorna Mitchell from Aiven. Hi, Lorna, how are you?

Lorna Mitchell:
Hey, how’s it going? I am very well, we were just celebrating that slack is currently down while we’re recording. So has it improved my day?

Matt Yonkovit:
Well, I’m sure that there are some riots and some buildings, burning cars being overturned, because of that somewhere. People are going crazy. But we will, we will just go with it and be happy that we have a little bit of quiet time to do this, this chat. And here’s the funny thing. stuff like Slack going down, you don’t think that that is something that would happen in the modern times, right? Like, you think of a company like Slack or AWS, or any of these massive companies. And when they have issues, you’re like, are you having issues? Or you’re supposed to know how to not have issues? How are you having issues?

Lorna Mitchell:
I know, right? But it happens. And we always have to plan for these things. The thing you think won’t happen, inevitably will.

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah. Yes. Everybody is having a bad day now. And then it’s just how do you mitigate that bad day and overcome it. Lorna is the head of Developer Relations at Aiven. So she is here because we had connected at FOSDEM. This is actually the second year in a row she attended my talk. And she thought it was okay enough to reach out and talk to me afterward. So I’m like, Cool. I’ve got a couple of people who like to talk to me. And so I invited her to come on and have a chat publicly because some of the questions and things we were going back and forth on are super interesting. But before we get to that, why don’t you tell me a little bit about Aiven in the DevRel team and some of the things you do?

Lorna Mitchell:
Oh, let me try and sum that up in a way that is not just a really long and boring story. Hi, I’m Lorna and I run Dev Rel at Aiven. Aiven is we do open source databases and things that are also not databases like Kafka and Grafana and another fun thing Flink as a managed service on all of the clouds. So it’s a great sort of intersection of open source and data technologies. And your talk was all about the open-source databases. And there were lots of interesting topics there. Aiven has actually only had Dev Rel for just over a year but will be 10 people in a couple of weeks. So it’s growing super fast. My team is amazing. The company’s amazing startup growth is new to me. But seeing those open source communities and the businesses around them and how those things work together has been incredibly interesting. That’s just an exciting time.

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah, that sounds like it. So 10 folks, I mean, so is each person kind of dedicated to different technology?

Lorna Mitchell:
No, we haven’t started it like that at all. So we have some different skill sets in the team. We’re still mostly advocates, we also have specialist educators, people who create more written content, and also can do our editing, but understand the technology as well. This is a rare combination. In the last couple of years, we have had to do more digital content, but I am way more of a writer than a speaker. And so actually, I think written content is king. And I’m super excited to have those people on board. And then we also have an Events Manager starting soon I have a community manager. And between us, we have different backgrounds. So I’m from a software engineering background, which is a really mainstream boot into dev rel, but we’ve got people who’ve come from different places and especially because we have such data-heavy products on the platform then we have our next escape Would you mind being called Escape data analyst

Matt Yonkovit:
Escape data analyst, I was not a data analyst. I was a DBA, and then did all kinds of other stuff but no, I think you can say that you won’t offend me because I wasn’t that.

Lorna Mitchell:
Yeah, definitely, we will escape from somewhere into developer relations wondering what to do with our weird, very multi-skilled skill sets. So yeah, people coming from different technology backgrounds and different parts of the industry, mostly technical, but because we serve quite a big slice of the industry, like the DBAs, the ops people, also the data analysts, data science, as well as the developers, then when more sort of thinking about it from an audience line, all of us use multiple products, and usually a few different tech stacks.

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah, and it’s, it’s interesting, you said, the written content is king and there is this weird divide, depending on the stack, and the audience like different programming languages, different databases, they have different preferences for learning. And so, it’s interesting that a lot of people who, let’s say, use JS, Mongo, and a few other technologies tend to gravitate more towards video and tend to gravitate more towards live streams or more kind of walkthrough visual hands-on type activities, whereas a lot of the Postgres or the MySQL, or some of the more established technologies tend to be more, I just want it written. Don’t bother me. I don’t want to hear you talk.

Lorna Mitchell:
Yeah, there’s definitely a divide. Someone tried to tell me recently, it was a generational divide. I’m not sure I agree with that. And I enjoyed both formats myself. I mean, yes, I’m more of a reading writer, it’s much more efficient, I can skip reading much faster than I can find the right place in your video. So in terms of developer efficiency, I think the written content has to be the starting point, the search engines can find it, you can skip to it in the page, copy the code sample, and be gone again. But when you’re particularly learning concepts, I think the videos are really important. I’m a streamer myself. So I like to Yeah, just let me show you around. And try to one of the big things to talk about in developer relations is repurposing content. So just make sure that that’s available in the flavor that’s going to work best for your brain. And the video content side is just sort of getting going, Aiven. But it’s something that I’ve been shipping out new video equipment to some of my team, so it’s yeah, it’s happening.

Matt Yonkovit:
I saw you get really, you’re like, oh, new video equipment? video equipment? Yeah, I mean, I think that’s the interesting thing is, you can do a lot with video nowadays. Especially when you’re trying to show somebody how to do the basic concepts, maybe it’s to set up a replica, or set up high availability, or deploy some technology and walk them through it. And I found it very easy to use transcripts to use snippets over and over again. We just started a series where we’re planning to walk through basically, like 20 weeks of Postgres, where it’s like, first one is installed. The second one is configured. The third one is set up backups, the fourth, right, and so you go through, and if you have a live stream for each one of those, that’s an hour worth of content for each one, which honestly, nobody’s going to watch 28 hours. Yeah, maybe they will. I mean, you never know, maybe somebody likes to sit down and watch 20 hours. But I think that then gives you the idea that if somebody wants a specific topic, they can jump in. They can also then check out the transcripts if there are transcripts for it. And if we do follow-up blogs or other activities that are always super awesome and helpful.

Lorna Mitchell:
Yeah, and that piece about the content reuse and making sure that it’s maybe also written down and just creating videos that have the transcripts, the chapter headings, the extra pop up information, the metadata, that means you can find the pieces that’s the magic of both worlds.

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah, so for you, it’s gonna be hard with so many databases under Aiven’s kind of footprint, they’ve got a plethora of different technologies. Your background is Postgres if I recall. So how did you come up to speed on all these different technologies and all the different ways that they operate?

Lorna Mitchell:
So I’m a technology omnivore. I am queen and have never heard of it. I mean, leave it with me. Like, come here. I will coax you. And especially in developer relations where you are. You only need to give your really expert audience enough to go on. They already understand a lot of the concepts. We’re not going to run my stuff in production. But when you’re new to a concept, I need to show you enough that you can do what you need to do. So it’s very I see it, there’s a very enabling role. My background is more in web development. So yeah, lots of Postgres, but in MySQL and Redis pretty well, I’ve done a different search and queueing type of platforms. So it kind of has a lot of concepts already. I work to compose. So I’ve seen some of these various databases, I just really liked databases.

Matt Yonkovit:
That’s unusual for developers. Like, honestly, developers are generally like, oh, databases. so I get that it’s funny, and it’s refreshing that other people like databases, I like to talk to database people, database people myself. But yeah, it isn’t an unusual thing. So how do you kind of approach that conversation with a developer who’s like, I just want to dump data?

Lorna Mitchell:
Lots of people go far in their careers with that, don’t they, they just put an ORM in. And they never do more than that. They never really use any of the database features, they might as well be writing to a file. And Tech is a very inclusive industry. And that also has to be fine. And if it gets you paid, and gets the job done, and I respect it, but it’s, I have always enjoyed just helping people to unblock things. I was interested in this stuff. As a web developer, I was a consultant for a while especially when you’re optimizing those old web projects, a lot of it is in the database, a lot of it. So you’ve outgrown your indexes, and you find your DBA, two years ago, or they went skiing and never came back, or whatever it is, that happens to DBAs, they’ve always gone somewhere more interesting. And so being able to share those tips and just help people make more of the platform that they already have has been magical. And I felt like I learned more every time. Now I do it for a job, which is awesome.

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah, that’s Yeah, that’s great. And by the way, I think there’s actually a mountain all DBAs go to, and there’s just the littered body of frozen DBAs at the top.

Lorna Mitchell:
I think you are saying an amazing party at the top with all DBAs together?

Matt Yonkovit:
One day the frozen DBAs are out and they will join us once again. But we had been talking a little bit about the open-source space, and how we can effectively measure and we touched on a lot of different topics. And so one of the things that I’m curious about is Dev Rel is classically a difficult job to kind of quantify to management, right, like so. So like, from a metrics perspective, and I’ve had this conversation with several folks where it’s like, how do you measure success? Because you’re out there, and you’re like, hey, user stuff. And then if they use your stuff, it’s like, well, how do we know, Lorna told us to use our stuff, right, like in that connection is often a challenge. I don’t know if you figured that out. But that’s one of the things that I’ve spent a lot of time kind of pondering the last few months or actually the last few years, which I still don’t have an exact answer for. I’ve got some ideas. But it depends on the company you go to, too?

Lorna Mitchell:
It is, so I definitely was able to run a small team and a lot of goodwill without too much attention. Aiven, when we first got started, no one really had expectations. So that was quite magical. And we’re doing the usual sort of metrics, things like did you publish your blog post? Did anybody want to read what you published or not? And that kind of what I would call the easy things, the organic traffic publications. One thing I would thoroughly recommend, which has worked really well for me is having a big incoming sales lead that phones up and says, I saw Lorna give a talk, and I thought she was great. So I’d like to buy your services, because I reckon I can run another three months, just off the back of that. So thank you to the client that I won’t name who is also awesome. So I just phoned up sales. I was like, I saw your person and yes, I’m here now because she said it was the right thing. Okay. And I’m sort of telling this funny story, but there’s a nugget there of doing the things that your organization values and can measure it can see and that might be organic traffic, or it might be something else stars on your GitHub repository signups I don’t know. It’s different for every organization, but understanding what your organization values and doing enough of that, you can also do the things you see that your community also needs. Is that’s my recipe is that I try and do enough of the required things that there’s room for the things

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah, it’s interesting because depending on the company, it changes, right, like the goals of not only Dev Rel, but community teams, I suppose whatever it is, tend to alter based on the current kind of dynamics. And it’s, it’s interesting because some are just let’s get adoption. Others are, let’s just get awareness. Others are, let’s get code contributions. Right. And so all of them tend to need to be satisfied. It’s just the level at which one companion ends up looking is potentially vastly different. Right. And I’ve had numerous guests on the podcast and other places where they’re like, Yeah, we just care about contributors. Okay, cool. We just care about getting people to use our stuff, okay. And that’s where you really need to align kind of the goals of the team and the personalities of the team often to match that. Because it’s hard for a lot of folks doing either a dev rel type role or community if they have, like, web developer skills, it’s not necessarily that they can contribute C code to Postgres, for instance. It’s not like, they’re not even both. I don’t know, dude,

Lorna Mitchell:
No, no, not really, I think I’m definitely above average technically for developer relations roles, even people who’ve been coders because I was an engineer for such a long time. And I was always quite eclectic. So I’ll happily try and run your C code, or like, I operate the local dev platform of the Ivan platform, like, Okay, I don’t understand all of it. I don’t come very often. But having some idea of how that all goes together, is important. And I think those different perspectives sometimes depend on where in the organization your team is. So over it, Aiven, we have several reports up into marketing, whereas you have it alongside the open-source side. So I think maybe, do you think that’s quite different?

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah, I think from a marketing perspective, typically, marketing is very focused on generating leads and trying to move people through the pipeline, right. And so in that so that starts with the top of the funnel Dev Rel tends to be the very top of the funnel, where it’s driving awareness, trying to get people who will try the product, take that trial, turn it into something that is an actionable thing that sales can either follow up on or an automatic sale if it happens to be an as a service offering. And they could just fill in a credit card, and then kind of move along that pipeline. When you’re focused more on the product side or the open-source side, you tend to focus more on the overall adoption. And let someone else worry about funnels in this way. Because if you look at most open source projects, the conversion rate from a user to a paid user is pretty slim, right? So you could have a million like users and might only have 1000 customers. And that, that funnel, there is a very important thing that I think is often overlooked, that just because you throw open source in the title of your project, and you try to follow open-source principles doesn’t necessarily mean everything’s going to convert that way. People have to see the value, and they have to see the benefits of your particular product and offering and the value of a subscription. We did a survey last year where we asked are you willing to pay for any open source? And two-thirds said, No, we’re never gonna pay for open source. Doesn’t matter what you have. So you’re that people there, a lot of people just don’t want to pay.

Lorna Mitchell:
Yeah, and I think it’s as businesses that operate in the open-source world, and we have quite a sort of similar setups, where it’s, it’s an open-source tool, and then it’s the open-source tool, and so much more on our different platforms, then we also have the responsibility to the upstream projects, and to be part of their ecosystems in a way that’s useful. I get very excited when the new releases come down the pipeline. And there we’ve got new features that were in the upstream project, and Aiven has the proposal that sometimes we’re contributing some of those features, or maybe some of our documentation or our blog ecosystem helps adoption of the wider project. I really feel part of something bigger.

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah, and I think that that’s where you, as a community, often overlook some of the best contributions and the best ways to help these open source projects. Again, whether you’re in marketing or product or you’re kind of on your own. We often think code or paid users are the two most important contribution paths, right? Either we’re going to get code contributions upstream, or we’re going to get them to do what we want. And make sure our product needs are there, or we’re going to get new users paying for our product. But a lot of the best value that open source projects can get is really on feedback, documentation. And just content, you mentioned content earlier. But I go back to the fact that the education of people is so important, being able to show them how to do something. It’s critical. And I think that that’s where the next step in the evolution of whether it’s the open-source Dev Rel or OSPO role, or just open source in general, is really recognizing those who aren’t just contributing code, but are furthering projects through becoming advocates for us. So enabling them to be successful, and then go tell people how awesome and how to do things with our products.

Lorna Mitchell:
Yeah, and when you work on an open-source platform, I don’t need to explain to people that Postgres is great. Like they got that part. And just showing them maybe something new or a cool integration, or something else that they maybe they’ll use on our platform or someone else’s on their own. And it’s, it’s just part of the big story.

Matt Yonkovit:
no, totally. And I think for, like, for me, my, my goals for the team here are contributors. And it’s not contributors that are code contributors, yes, that’s a portion. Right. And so we track things like, have people created blogs about Percona products, Have they spoken at conferences about ours? I think even reviews on review websites have forked code, merged it elsewhere, taking it. So we try to look holistically across the board. And our goal is to grow the ecosystem as a whole, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these people will ever buy anything from us. In fact, many of them probably won’t. But we just want to make sure that people feel like they’re part of a very inclusive community.

Lorna Mitchell:
Yeah, and the health ecosystem is really good for business. So it works for everybody.

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah, of course. Right. I mean, and I think that the bigger the open-source ecosystem is for all of us, the more opportunities we’ll all have. And I think that that’s an important thing for everyone in the community, all the different companies who contribute to work in that space. Yeah. Now, I’m interested. So having listened to my talk the last couple of years, was there any area that you’re like, Wow, that’s crazy, that you want to talk about while we’re here. And you can ask publicly whatever crazy thing that I said, you could call me the carpet on you can say like, wait, that was weird. Or you can say like, let’s talk about that.

Lorna Mitchell:
So I think there’s one thing that we touched on briefly when we were chatting at FOSDEM, and you’ve touched on today as well. And that’s about like, how do we let people know that databases actually are very cool, and will really change their applications? How should we tackle this problem? I want to know.

Matt Yonkovit:
Well, that’s an interesting thing. So keep in mind that we have this weird space where we are trying to make databases a commodity. Right. So and let’s be honest, what Aiven does, what Percona does, what AWS does, what everybody does, is, we’re trying to make it easy, right? We want to lower the barrier of entry. But what we often don’t do a good job of is making sure people know that the lower barrier of entry doesn’t mean any entry. Right. Right. And so, where I see a lot of bigger cloud providers like to use the term fully managed, which is a term that when I hear causes some weird assumptions in my head, right like you say, fully managed, and that’s great. Except there are all these other things that they don’t manage. Right? So oh, well, so I just threw my data in there, like you said, a flat-file. This is a flat-file thing. Right? So I just wrote out everything in there and it should just work. Yeah. Right, you know that there’s, there’s still a certain amount of activity that you’re responsible for. And it’s that shared responsibility. That’s critically important. And I think that part of that is in education. Right. So the focus, often when we talk about anything, as a service, is really on the operational aspects, which are really honestly the boring parts, right? That area, that database backup, yes or no? Yes. As a developer, you probably don’t care. Maybe you care that it is backed up. But you don’t want the details? Right, like, so that’s not like something that’s really all that interesting to you. Yeah, my replication is up and running. I want to develop code, I want to develop cool things. So a lot of this is, in my opinion, how do you show the cool things you can do in the databases, some of the features, educate people on how to get more out of their environment because there is not a developer or an SRE out there who isn’t gold, or has some sort of performance or optimization goal, right? So we all have to expect this code or this thing to be able to respond in less than this webpage in less than a second, right? So everybody has those targets. And the database is one component, but it is a supercritical component. And so showing kind of those, those connections on what sort of activities or decisions can really impact you are supercritical. Now, I don’t know about you, but I mean, that’s one way and move it over there. But I think the more we can visualize, and the more we can show people what that looks like, and connect with them in different ways, the better off we are. I started actually putting on an arcade controller. I don’t know if you’ve seen it on any of my videos. But the arcade controller lets you turn up a knob, and it adds users to the database. And like the application, and then like, you’ll watch the database graphs in Grafana, or PMM. And you’ll watch them go like, whoa, and you’ll say like, well, now what if we change the workload? So we had a reporter, somebody running reports at the same time, and then you’ll want to do something else? And then what if we change the data types, and you click a button? And it’s something that you’ll see a connection in someone’s head, right? Where it’s like, I don’t care about the database, it’s a black box, and then you put it into terms that it’s like, well, you’re gonna write reports, right? Are you gonna have some analytics? Oh, of course. Okay, well, let’s see what happens when you turn it into this. And then you watch the number of users the application can support go in half, and you’re like, Whoa, why did that happen?

Lorna Mitchell:
Yeah. And I think that’s one danger with really awesome managed services, we don’t necessarily have the dedicated DBA talents in every team that we would have had when they had to manage the server as well as the inside of the database. So we start to see that we don’t, not every project has that same level of expertise that at one time every database could have had because you had to be able to operate the thing at scale, you have those people in your organization. And now a quick startup couple of coders you get your favorite managed service, you scale it up, and then at some point, it just stops performing well.

Matt Yonkovit:
Well, but that’s where most people then let’s go to the next instance size, right until you run out of the instance sizes, which is a scalable solution to a point, it scales with how much ever money you raised as a company. So the more money you raise, the more you can scale that way until you run into the largest size instance. But this is where there’s been a lot of work. And I’ve given a talk on database design and development a few times. And the thing is, you can get almost any database to perform for almost any workload. It just requires you to design it properly, and it will vary on the level of effort to get it to work. Right. So if you want to use Postgres as a column store with all kinds of analytics components, you can absolutely do that. You just have to design it to do that. Right? If you want to use MySQL as a caching solution. You can do it. Yeah, you might not want to do it, but you can do it and you can make it work, mostly if you do it right. Yeah. And this is where it’s like, you have purpose-built databases now, which are awesome. Right? And you would have logical choices. It’s just how easy do you want to make it? So yeah, if I’m gonna cash I’m going to use Redis or memcached? In the past, right? so, okay, that’s the logical choice. But I think right now, people are so afraid sometimes of saying things like, Oh, I have to design something to make it work right here. I’m just going to choose another technology. And hope that covers my use case.

Lorna Mitchell:
Yeah. And sometimes you don’t know your use case upfront, right? You design some even you designed it, and you built it. And then I don’t know, something unexpected happened. And now you’re wildly more popular than you thought, or you’re offering a new product line that wasn’t particularly planned for, then being able to come back and revisit those design decisions or move your application, evolve it forward. Rather than having to start again, I think are those skills we need more of?

Matt Yonkovit:
Absolutely. I think that I actually gave a talk this morning webinar on testing and QA. This kind of reminded me of, because those, there’s, there’s, there are two types of reasons you would go back and redesign your infrastructure. Right and you mentioned kind of to write, you became more wildly popular than you could have imagined. And then number two, because there was some sort of business launch change like you changed or added something. Now, the first one, I think, is something that we should be able to mitigate or overcome through proper design and testing. You should never have to go back and redesign your entire application for scalability. You should think about scalability at the front. Fine. And I think all too often we will over design or will under design? And because you can over-design as well, yeah, I don’t want to say that’s not a problem. But people will say I need to have 100 users a second. If that’s what my throughput needed to process 100 users a second, they’ll test their system at 100 users a second, it’ll be like, good. And then it gets 150. And then they’re like, Ah, I don’t know what to do. But when you’re setting that up, you should be testing. Okay, I hit 100 users a second. What’s my limit? Yeah, right. And so what’s that theoretical Redline and so if it’s, if it’s 200 a second, and you’re at 100, and you start to see it creep up, then you need to upgrade quicker. But you should also be able to say, okay, when it reaches double this or triple this, what does that look like? What’s my plan? And the plan could be, to go to the next instance, size. Yeah. And you should test that. And then you should go to the next instance size and test that and say, like, Okay, now, how many users a second, am I supporting? And then you go to the next one, how many users a second, am I supporting? Right. And I think that that’s where we often as a developer, DBA, whatever we look at, like, we hit the number are good. And so I think that that’s where doing that performance testing at scale. And finding out the limitations of the system can go a long way to making sure you can overcome that first type of architectural change. Because the most painful thing you can do to fix a performance problem is re-architecting. Right? That’s the worst. Yes. So I can add more hardware, I can add more resources, I can add more servers, I can cluster things. But if you have to re-architect it often means rewriting code. So yeah. Want to avoid that. But the second one, when the business changes, that’s a whole nother thing. And that I think you have a bit more flexibility on because as new products get launched hopefully, again, if you’ve got things set up correctly, the name of the game, and a lot of this is observability. Right? you can see as things start to get deployed in test and QA, like, ooh, this has drastically changed things. Anyways, that’s my opinion. I talk a lot by the way. I don’t know if you knew that.

Lorna Mitchell:
It’s good. I’m having an entertaining time.

Matt Yonkovit:
Oh, lovely. Great. Great. Happy to hear. But no, so that’s where I kind of think that making databases cool for people is a lot of kind of articulating the problems, showing them things, letting them have some examples that they can really sink their teeth into, but giving them the tools to find and quickly overcome them. So it’s a bit of an education thing. But I also think it’s also, as you mentioned, you’re going to start doing more videos, meeting them where they are. Yes. Right. And that that could be with Discord. So hey, we’re hanging out in Discord and come and ask us questions. It could be video, it could be live streams. It could be podcasts, it could be blogs, who knows?

Lorna Mitchell:
Yeah, and it’s probably all of those things with different things for different people because the databases can support so many different applications. And it’s one of those things that I really like about working in this space. I mean, Aiven also has a big selection of things. But even if you just look at any one product, the different use cases, the different industries, the different things that people build, it’s so interesting. So I really enjoy hearing their stories.

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah, I mean, I think that is one of the more powerful things that we can do as a community is articulate the successes and how people have used these technologies to do cool things. Inspire. Yeah, right. So the more that we can say, this cool thing, use these features. And here’s how they did this cool thing. The more people will want to use it, the more they’ll try it. You just never know.

Lorna Mitchell:
Yeah, and some of that I say, is education, just knowing what’s out there, and how to tell that their problem could be solved by this combination or this tool? If you don’t know, then you can’t begin to look up how to do it.

Matt Yonkovit:
Yeah, I know, a lot of companies are very shy about sharing that because they’re like, oh, that’s our secret stuff. I mean, like, like, we can’t, we can’t share what we use Postgres. My God, other people might use it, I will be more successful than we are. We can’t do that

Lorna Mitchell:
Right. Yeah, it’s, it is a problem. But one of the things that I like to do is to think of you seeing something very cool in the retail sector. And then I’ll create a little tutorial where we’re like running a cupcake shop. Obviously, it wasn’t a cupcake shop originally. But the problem is nice and small, and you can think about it, and then apply that pattern to your own, whatever retail thing you do. And hopefully share the ideas by making them smaller, and easier to take in and then sending them out in suitably silly clothing. To entertain, but also as humans, we are really well evolved for sharing information by telling stories in a memorable way. And sometimes that is the best way to deliver the lesson.

Matt Yonkovit:
Yes, transformers, for instance, have great use of transformers and Lego in mind, and Star Wars in my presentation. So, Lorna, I wanted to thank you for coming to hang out a little bit, having a quick chat with me. I do appreciate the time. anytime you want to come on and chat about something specific, feel free to reach out. If you haven’t checked out Aiven, I would encourage you to head to their website. They’ve got a lot of cool and interesting tools. If you’re looking for a database as a service provider on a variety of different open source technologies. It’s a good place to go check out.

Lorna Mitchell:
Fantastic. Well, this has been lovely. Thanks for having me.

Matt Yonkovit:
All right, no problem ∎

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