First off, I'm changing the title of the series to "In the trenches with..." because I'm finding that the best people are often not keen to sing praises to themselves (i.e., "Unsung heroes"). At any rate, while these people are, in fact, the heroes of open source, the series is designed to glean their expertise and provide a "trenches" view of commercial open source.
Hence, a new name.
Nowhere is super-capable humility in more abundance than MySQL. I love that company. I've yet to meet anyone there that I wouldn't enjoy sitting next to on a long plane ride. Mostly because they're somewhat quiet, and I hate talking to people on planes. But... :-)
I asked Zack Urlocker to suggest an "unsung hero" at MySQL and he suggested I chat with Gary Whizin, senior director of Engineering. (He suggested a few others, as well, which I hope will find their way to this series, as well.) Gary chafed a bit (he was insistent that his team, and not he, does all of the real work), but we eventually wrangled this response out of him:
Name, company, title, and what you actually do
Gary Whizin. Officially, I'm Senior Director of Engineering for the MySQL Enterprise Tools group. In reality, I run projects and manage a team like a baseball manager: I help figure out who works on which tasks; I help define our milestones and ensure we're on time; but then I try to let everyone have as much fun as possible because life is short and that's the best way to win anyway. I also ask oodles of "dumb manager" questions to make sure we're being as smart as possible, have the right priorities and are talking to each other.
Then I try to stay out of the way and admire everyone's work.… Read more