Monday, April 20, 2009


I started working with Derby in the summer of 2005. We use Derby internally as part of an internal tool called the Build Farm; I'll write more about that sometime. I was somewhat familiar with Derby, for I knew many of the Cloudscape team (Nat Wyatt, Mike Matrigali, Siuling Ku, Rick Hillegas, Martin Waldron, ...) from my time at Sybase. I had been searching for a way to gain more knowledge about Derby, and so when IBM open-sourced the Cloudscape software as Derby, I was eager to give it a try.

For 4 years, Derby has run nearly flawlessly in production use, and the more I learn about it, the more impressed I get. Among the reasons I enjoy working with Derby are:
  • It's a great community. People are respectful, pleasant, and dedicated.
  • It's a great piece of software. Derby contains some of the most sophisticated and elegant Java code I've seen. Some extremely talented engineers have worked very carefully on this code.
  • It's a database, and I'm fascinated by database software.
  • It's open source, and I'm fascinated to learn about open source.
I've been a Derby committer since 2006, and try to stay as active in the community as I can, given my time constraints. You can see some of the work I've done on Derby in the issue-tracking system and on the mailing lists.

For Derby 10.3, I worked on the ALTER TABLE support.

This winter and spring, I've been working on XPLAIN support.

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