Database training now an Open Query

Low-cost certification can expand career options

As one of the early employees at global open source database company MySQL AB, Arjen Lentz has moved on and started Open Query to bring open source database training to the masses.

Based in Brisbane, Lentz was employee number 25 at MySQL AB, but after six years felt it was time to move on.

While Lentz is hesitant to rate other database courses, he told Computerworld Open Query will respond to consumer demand for shorter, less expensive training.

"Students have told me over the years [they] often prefer shorter courses, both for business reasons [and] prevention of 'information overload'," Lentz said. "Students like the small (8-12 people) and very interactive nature of my classes, and appreciate the background details, as well as references to relevant implementations elsewhere."

Open Query mostly offers MySQL training and consulting, and offers open source business and community strategy advice, but that is more a "secondary activity".

Lentz plans to license training material and offer more related courses under the Open Query name.

"This could mean training in other open source topics, by trainers who are expert in that particular field," he said.

Originally from Holland, Lentz believes the main opportunity for Open Query is with the local SMB market because the offerings are specifically tailored to suit their needs, for example by offering one-day training modules rather than only week-long courses.

"Although it's quite possible that this also proves to be popular with bigger organizations, we'll find out," he said. "Most Web sites, and many other business applications, are backed by databases now, and very often that database tends to be MySQL because MySQL is so easy to install and work with."

"Many people now have the basic skills; however, when an application and its dataset grow over time, or when the number of users grows on a Web site, this brings to light many challenges and at that point those basic skills are not enough. So, to help all these users, training and consulting is now available to make that growth possible and less painful."

On the consulting side, Lentz said Open Query can help companies considering a new application before making decisions like hardware acquisitions.

"Although in an existing project hardware is actually the last thing we look at when optimizing, it can really hinder a project if unfortunate choices are made due to a lack of information on how MySQL can best perform for a given task," he said, adding Open Query does not resell hardware.

Courses are held in Brisbane and Melbourne but other cities will follow.

"We won't be neglecting any part of this region [and] we aim to bring our courses to places where others cannot," Lentz said.

Courses are $475 (ex GST) per day for intermediate level modules and $575 (ex GST) per day for advanced topics like MySQL clustering.

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