Interview: Solomon Chang

Solomon Chang is a MySQL certified DBA and a former director of LAMPSIG. He works as a professional Database Administrator for Oracle Advanced Customer Support servicing Visa in Foster City, and is a co-author of the MySQL Cluster Certification Study Guide. His presentation, "RDBMS for puzzle solving," is at 1:30 p.m., on Friday, Feb. 22, in room Century CD.
Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
A: I'm primarily a DBA these days, but during my transition period from Microsoft Drone to Open Source advocate, I was an odd-job kind of guy, doing everything from advertising to truck driving.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk you're giving (unless you want to), can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: I'm not sure what to expect, myself.  I wanted to interject humorous bits, like smashing open a white cylindrical pinata full of credit cards (because all you flowchart people know that databases are physically white and cylindrical), but I'm trying to maintain a degree of professionalism.

Q: Is this your first visit to SCALE? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: First visit? No, shucks, I've been coming to SCALE since it was first in a basement at USC.  My impression is that it started as a place to have fun with Open Source, but it's become a much more serious place.  I don't goof around SCALE as much as I used to, so if you dig up some, er, compromising video of me from past SCALE events, I apologize ... Actually, no I don't.

Q: Are databases always so damn serious?

A: No. I've used RDBMS's to combinatorically solve puzzles, as well as build a way to query for interesting names based off of phone numbers... For example, finding out that my ex-boss' cell phone number spells "DR-1-THUD" and my own cell spells "FUZZEE-1" (area codes omitted intentionally). I'd say that was good recreational uses for databases.

 [SCALE Team interview by Hannah Anderson]