Goodbye SQL Server, Hello FileMaker…

The last weeks were very time consuming for me, because I had to make a very tough decision: staying independent and providing high quality SQL Server consulting and training services, or getting employed (again), and being part of a greater team to influence how the IT industry will be in future.

After a very long thinking time, I have made my decision, and joining starting today – on April 1 – Apple. I will be the lead architect for FileMaker, the relational database on the Apple platform. I will be in charge of the whole dev team, leading the various development teams in FileMaker and also coordinate the necessary changes within Mac OS X. Our goal will be the integration of FileMaker within the OS, making HFS a transactional file system – the vision of WinFS, which was discarded by Microsoft…

Why me? I have a lot of experience in the area of relational databases (I know how to write basic SELECT * queries, which was also the toughest part of the SQLMCM certification). And of course the another most important factor why Apple has chosen me over other candidates is my hands-on experience in writing operating systems. As you might know, I have written my own OS, which boots from a FAT12 partition (I have found some code somewhere in the Internet…), reads a key from the keyboard, and writes it out. Everything done in x32 Protected Mode, without any BIOS calls! Impressive, huh? Apple was really amazed by that piece of software, therefore we will also evaluate if that code can be used as the future basis for Mac OS X 15.1.

Of course, Apple screened a lot of different candidates for this position, and I had a very hard competition. In the final round we were only 3 people, and I was feeling like someone in the TV show “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” (Germany searches for the super star). I never heard anything about the other 2 persons, the 1st one was a guy called Bob, and the name of the other one was Conor.

Bob performed really amazing, but he had too less low-level experience. To understand that a little bit better, I want to give you an example: one task that we had to perform during the final round was to join 2 tables together. Very simple task when you know the concept of a cartesian product. But Bob was opening WinDbg, and was doing everything with a graphical hex-dump. He violated the rules, because we were not allowed to use any GUI front-end… And Conor? He talked the whole day about trees, and cardinality estimations… So my solution with the cartesian product was chosen over their approaches. I`m the lucky one!

So wish me luck in my new role, and let´s change the way how relational databases are working.

Thanks for reading and a happy 1st April!