VB17 short-view: Vlad Mihalcea

He chose a spirit animal based on its performance, and he was sure he will not be a programmer when he was a kid – Vlad Mihalcea.

1/ What did you want to be when you grew up?

I certainly didn’t want to be a programmer. Back then, I used to imagine programming as something completely boring where you need to solve all sorts of mathematical puzzles using Pascal or Q Basic. When I went to college, I chose the Electronics and Telecommunications faculty because Mobile Phones were very trendy. After I studied OOP and Java in college, I knew that software development has been my calling all along.

2/ What is your spirit animal and why?

My spirit animal is a Cheetah because it’s a very high-performance machinery, and almost as fast as my data access code.

3/ Who is your tech hero?

Definitely, Michael Stonebraker. He’s been involved in the development of many well-known database engines like Ingres, PostgreSQL, Informix and VoltDB.

He’s both a very accomplished academic, having won the Turing Award, as well as a very successful entrepreneur.

Once NVM (Non-Volatile Memory) will become mainstream, databases like VoltDB will become even more popular and could even replace many traditional RDBMS engines.

4/ Why should people come to your talk at VDB17? Give us a punch line :)

In the famous Google Spanner research paper, the authors concluded that:

“We (Google) believe it is better to have application programmers deal with performance problems due to overuse of transactions as bottlenecks arise, rather than always coding around the lack of transactions.”

So, if it’s difficult for Google developers to program without transactions,

I guess it’s pretty much difficult for everyone else.

Contrary to what people expect to find at a software conference, my talk is about Transactions and Concurrency Control patterns which, 40 years later, are still surrounded by mist and mystery.

My talk is going to unravel this mistery while demonstrating that, although necessary, database concurrency control is rarely sufficient.

To find out why you definitely need to attend my talk, so see you there. It’s going to be awesome!