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Women Give Thumbs Up To MySQL

When contributing editor John K. Waters showed up at yesterday’ annual MySQL Developers conference in Santa Clara, Calif., he was struck by the large percentage of women in attendance.

"Take it from a guy who has been attending these events for a decade and a half," he said to me in an e-mail. "There were more women at this conference than I've ever seen at a tech trade show."

Though I found his observation interesting, I probably wouldn't have thought to draw attention to his off-the-cuff mention until I came across this eWeek article, "Where Did All The Girl Geeks Go?" -- which finds that the number of women in IT are on the decline.

Citing a survey by the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women account for just 26 percent of the IT work force, even though they represent 51 percent of the entire labor pool. The real issue however, is that interest in computer science as a field of study is on the decline.

All of that seemed moot at the MySQL Developers conference. Waters said he asked Ann Ruckstuhl, VP of sales and marketing at Zmanda, about it, who said she hadn't really noticed the ratio shift. "But if it's true, I'm not that surprised," she told him. "This industry is based on merit, and there are a lot of smart [people] out there of both sexes."

The company's products are on the long-running Amanda project (17 years to date). The popular open-source backup and recovery software is used by more than half a million servers and desktops running various versions of Linux, UNIX, BSD, Mac OS X and Windows worldwide.

Thanks, John, for sharing that with us. Also at the first conference MySQL Developers conference under its new corporate owner, Sun Microsystems, MySQL’s former CEO Marten Mickos, who is now senior vice president in Sun's Database Group, talked about the roadmap for the next release of the open source database MySQL 5.1. The release candidate is now slated for the end of June, he said.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/16/2008 at 1:15 PM

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