One cheap and easy way to try out features in different versions or forks of open source databases like MySQL is to set up local machines with VirtualBox.
We'll have a hands-on lab to set up VirtualBox, install a Linux operating system, clone VMs, set up networking between your laptop and the VMs, and install different databases (like Percona 5.6, MySQL 5.6, MySQL 5.7, MariaDB 10) on them.
Focus will be on having the various forks/versions running locally for your experimentation, so there's no prerequisite knowledge required of systems, networking, or coding.
If there's time, we'll also briefly cover how to use Vagrant as a helper.
Download VirtualBox ( https://www.virtualbox.org/ ) and the minimal CentOS .iso ( https://www.centos.org/download/ ) before the meetup if you'd like.
Bring your laptop!