Driverless cars and MySQL

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about driverless cars. Google and the large car makers have been creating cars that doen’t need a human driver. This is tremendous news. Over 30,000 people die in car crashes every year in the US. While not all of those could be prevented by removing the meatbag driver, a lot of them could. Driverless cars are the right way forward and I can’t wait until they come. Every time I see a car wreck or hear about a drunk driver, I wish we had this tech right now.

That said, our teens shouldn’t stop learning to drive defensively, our cops shouldn’t stop handing out DUIs, and our car manufacturers shouldn’t stop working on airbags and crumple zones. Human-driven cars will be with us for a while yet.

The same is true for MySQL. Without question, MySQL has the worst reputation of the widely-adopted relational databases. Its quirks, its odd architecture, its divided future, and its penchant for loose data typing make it very dangerous, especially in the hands of inexperienced developers under deadlines. Just like driverless cars, PostgreSQL offers a much safer alternative for those who want a free, open-source database. Even though there’s wide adoption and enthusiasm for Postgres, MySQL still holds sway over the FOSS database market.

MySQL will be with us for a while. I won’t stop educating people on the right way to use it as long as there’s ongoing use. I don’t think you can pull a Microsoft and ignore something that has such a large install base, even if you think it’s an inferior technology.

That’s one reason I’m writing a book on using MySQL the right way. I’ve thought of titling it, MySQL: The Good Parts, as an homage to Douglas Crockford’s work on JavaScript. Just as with JavaScript, there are really productive aspects to MySQL, along with depressing design mistakes. Regardless of its flaws, MySQL is a powerful and ubiquitous tool and people have built billion dollar businesses on it. You too can build robust, safe applications on top of MySQL that make money and please users.

I can be incredibly close-minded and partisan when it comes to programming languages, databases and operating systems. I used to despise MySQL, as if it had personally offended me. I then realized it’s just a tool and I was only harming myself when I declared that I won’t ever use a Microsoft technology again or that Linux is not an option. Every technology has tradeoffs. I want to show you what I’ve learned: that you can use the good parts of MySQL and stay away from the snares and traps. Sign-up below to learn how to use the good parts of MySQL.

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