My story begins in Russia where I was born and raised. My father was a professor of
biochemistry at Moscow State University and later Karolinska Hospital in Sweden. My
mother also worked in the field of science and is now a research assistant Leicester
University in the U.K.
As a child, I was always trying to understand how things worked. I didn’t have a home
computer. So, I enrolled in different programming-related after-school programs. For
good measure, I taught myself programming, on paper, not on a computer. When I
discovered computers and programming, I was fascinated. I loved how quickly you can just
fix your code and try again, which really fit me well. I strongly believe in
self-education and encourage people to teach themselves.
I got my undergraduate and master’s degrees at Lomonosov Moscow State University Russia’s
oldest university, having been founded in 1755. If you’re thinking I’m a geek at heart,
you are correct.
I was still in university in 1999 when I co-started my first company – Spylog, one of the
early tracker systems, providing site statistics and usage. The company was purchased by
MasterHost in 2007.
I joined MySQL AB not long after its inception, eventually leading the company’s High
Performance Group. I stayed with MySQL until 2006, when Vadim Tkachenko and I founded
Percona. But I didn’t stop at Percona. More startups based on open-source technologies
followed – Altinity, Ivinco, MigOps, among others. I serve on the boards of these
Because of my advocacy for open source, I started the Open Databases Alliance, a nonprofit, vendor-neutral industry association with a mission to protect and grow the opensource and free software databases ecosystem.
Among my other accomplishments is co-authorship of “High Performance MySQL: Optimization, Backups, and Replication,” an extremely popular book on MySQL performance.
I also contribute to Forbes, Fortune, and DZone.
I currently live in North Carolina with my wife, daughter and son.