Interview: Dave Stokes

Dave Stokes is a MySQL Community Manager for Oracle and previously was the Certification Manager for MySQL AB. He has worked at companies ranging alphabetically from the American Heart Association to Xerox, has three college degrees, enjoys riding his Honda Goldwing motorcycle, lives in North Texas, and started with UNIX in the Version 7 days. Dave is giving the presentation "Writing Better MySQL Queries for Beginners" on Friday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m. in room Century CD. The SCALE Team caught up with Dave for a brief interview.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: My name is Dave Stokes and I am a MySQL Community Manager for Oracle. I started with computers at a community college in San Diego and the training there helped me land a job with the University of San Diego as a night time computer operator. After earning two business degrees I jumped into the big business world at Xerox. I have since worked tracking submarines, calming the nerves of neural networks, keeping the network connected for a defense contractor, started the American Heart Association on the Internet and was the CIO for an online recruiting company as well as the MySQL Certification Manager.

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: Databases are the core of most web applications today but there is a serious shortage of DBAs and a lack of understanding of how databases work. The technologies are rapidly evolving and you need to know what's what.

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: This will be my third and it is the benchmark open source conferences. The staff and volunteers do an amazing job for the open source community in Southern California, which definitely has a vast cross section of tech workers. What I really appreciate is how SCALE attendees 'cross pollinate' or network at the show to provide motivation on projects. Other shows may approach SCaLE but none eclipse it.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A: SCALE is the show you need to show up at with an open mind as there will be several new things you will not see at other shows or for the first time here. And do not be shy, ask a lot of questions.
[SCALE Team interview by Scott Ruecker]