Hello, Cătălin. Can you tell us a couple of words about yourself?
Hello! I am Cătălin Beșleagă, and I was born and raised in Dorohoi. Around the age of 8-9 years old, with my brother, I learned what the format command does, and, later on, I discovered what the boot sector does, after having erased it trying to free some disk space. The first contact I had with development started when I was around 10 years old at "Clubul Copiilor", where I attended an initiation class in BASIC. I graduated IT at UBB and then I enrolled in an MA on Databases. I love to travel and learn about different cultures. I enjoy mountain trekking and photography, and I recently discovered I am passionate about flying.
MySQL is the most commonly-used open source relational database. Can you tell us a couple of words about your contribution to MySQL?
I joined the QueryOptimizer team approximately when MySQL 5.7 was launched and, during that time, I worked on a refactoring task whose purpose was making the current protocol more modular and facilitating the introduction of a modern protocol, which is modular and expandable, to be more specific: MySQL X. For MySQL 8, I introduced two functions to aggregate data in JSON format, I added three functions which facilitate the work with UUID and I also worked on expanding binary operators to facilitate working with IPv6 addresses.
More and more companies adopt open source. How does your daily work with MySQL differ from what you did in Cluj, as Java Developer?
The key word is flexibility: we work in a team distributed across three continents. Most people have a flexible schedule and work from home. The only thing that matters are the results. We meet face-to-face once a year, and, in the rest of the time, communication is largely done in writing. Work is done at an individual level, a task can last up to one year. This is the reason why there is a special focus on the analytics part, and, in the end, on code review. The functionalities that we implement are very much influenced by what the customers and the community around us want. The customers and the general public express their requests directly on our site, via blog posts or express their viewpoints throughout the meetings and presentations that we have at conferences. Moreover, once you have written a piece of code for a given functionality, you are responsible for it. The bugs that will arise are your responsibility.
You left Neusoft company in Cluj, and you are now working for Oracle. Why did you choose to move to Norway?
After I graduated from my BA studies, I wanted to leave the country to enjoy an international experience. I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and to be challenged, to understand things from a new perspective. I applied for an internship via a student organization, AIESEC. I was accepted in many places, but I chose Norway because I considered it sufficiently different, from a cultural point of view, to be an interesting and worthwhile experience.
Another reason for which I chose Norway was the wish to experiment the Scandinavian university system. As a result, in the second part of my internship, I attended some IT and Project management classes at the Technical University of Trondheim (NTNU). It was there that I had the chance to experience an educational system which is very well adapted to the requirements of the labor market, a system which encourages creativity, which supports innovation, despite the fact that Trondheim is twice smaller than Cluj. There are many successful startups here and more than half of the top 10 IT companies have their headquarters here.
What are your future plans and where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I would like to see more developers getting involved in open source projects and I would like to bring my contribution to achieving this.
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