In the News

7 simple rules for hiring great developers

Developer hiring rule No. 2: Stay away from "rockstars"

The other problem? Relying too heavily on a few top devs to carry the load can leave you vulnerable to the "run over by a bus" problem, notes Alvin Richards, technical director of performance and quality at MongoDB, an open source NoSQL database vendor.

"You can't be dependent on just one or two people, because if they are run over by a bus then you will be in a world of pain," he says. "You need redundancy and flexibility, and to have as many eyes as you can focusing on a problem at any one time."

VC funding reaches new peak

New York City surpasses Boston in venture capital fund raising for the first time since 2001 with a $1.2 billion haul.

Venture capital funding in the New York metro region posted its highest numbers since 2001 in year-end and fourth-quarter totals of 2013. Money invested in New York area companies in the fourth quarter of 2013 was valued at $1.2 billion, a 49% increase over the same period a year ago.

The MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association also showed a 74% increase from the third quarter of 2013, and the October-through-December period was the sixth straight quarter to see year-over-year growth.

The number of businesses receiving money jumped 11%, compared with a year ago, to 123. Among New York City-based companies, MongoDB scored the largest deal, raising $150 million.

Interview - Matt Asay: “MongoDB is the perfect fit… NoSQL in general is a better fit”

MongoDB, the open-source NoSQL database, was recently named "Database Management System of the Year" by DB-Engines – with good reason. DeveloperTech (DT) spoke with Matt Asay (MA), VP of Business Development and Corporate Strategy, about why customers should choose Mongo…

DT: Can you give a bit of background to MongoDB and why organisations should choose it?

MA: One of the things which is most interesting about MongoDB is the product was formed before the company was, and it was formed out of a need which a lot of enterprises need today. When the founders started in 2009, they were actually building a PaaS company.

At some point they decided, “this is too ambitious to build a PaaS system,” especially at that time, so they thought, “let’s focus on the area we think is strongest” … and that was MongoDB.

They looked at other systems - MySQL, PostGreSQL, and other open source systems – and ultimately decided they had to build their own in order to get the kind of scalability that they needed, and the kind of development flexibility that they needed.

So MongoDB is, as founder Dwight Merriman says, “the database he always wanted at his previous companies,” and he started DoubleClick – an early online advertising company he sold to Google for a few billion dollars – and he would have like it there for its scalability, flexibility, and ease of use.

InfoWorld Announces the 2014 Technology of the Year Award Recipients

35 winning products represent the best in information technology today, from cloud to data center to mobile computing

Framingham, Mass. – January 15, 2014 – IDG’s InfoWorld, the technology media brand devoted to modernizing enterprise IT, has announced the winners of its 2014 Technology of the Year Awards (click to Tweet). Selected by InfoWorld Test Center editors and product reviewers, InfoWorld’s annual Technology of the Year Awards celebrate the best and most innovative products across the IT landscape.

The 2014 awards recognize 35 products from nearly every corner of information technology including application development, Web and database technologies, cloud computing and software-as-a-service, business intelligence and big data analytics, mobile computing and desktop productivity, and data center hardware. These winning products represent not only the best hardware and software available to IT professionals, but the most important information technology innovations to businesses today.

Exclusive: MongoDB Gets Huge Endorsement From Risk Management Insurance Company RMS

In MongoDB news today, the company announced with RMS the first cloud-based real time risk management platform ontop of MongoDB.

RMS was founded at Stanford University in 1988 and has grown to be a leader in the risk management space. Now they provide the technology to the top insurers for risk pricing, management, and transfer. In an industry known for resisting change, RMS is shaking things up in a big way with its investment in emerging technology.

RMS has for many years centralized all the information insurance companies need to manage and quantify risk from natural catastrophes, such as Hurricane Katrina or the recent tornados in the U.S. Midwest region. The platform can now be accessed by RMS competitors, customers and industry partners, with the goal being to build a risk management platform where all the risks in the world and all the exposures in the world would live and be updated in real time.

This is a huge validation for MongoDB in terms of credibility in a very conservative vertical.

NoSQL, Part 2: Grappling With Big Data

NoSQL databases are generally better-suited to handling Big Data than RDBMSes are. For example, in an RDBMS, data for a given record is spread across many tables, requiring joins and careful coordination of a transaction across them all, said MongoDB's Kelly Stirman. That means transactions must be very sophisticated and be able to address a variety of failure scenarios.

Billion-dollar baby boom: Sky-high valuations raise stakes for VCs

MongoDB Inc. CEO Max Schireson recounted a similar experience with his Palo Alto database software company’s $150 million funding round in October.

“We did not complete the full process, which probably saved us a couple of months,” he said. “When investors as strong as the ones we got came forward and at valuations that were very strong, we just cut the process short, took the money and went back to the work of running the company.”

Schireson said he is sure he could have gotten a higher valuation, but “It’s not about trying to run up the score. What I think about is making a great product and building a great company. We think we are building a company that is capable of being a strong standalone business for a very long time.”

Engineering Managers Should Code 30% of Their Time

Lose contact with the code, and you lose the connection to your team and the project. How then to make the time to manage and code? The cofounder of MongoDB explains his approach. No software engineering manager at a tech company should spend less than 30% of his or her time coding. Whether managing a team, a division, or all of engineering, when managers spend less than 30% of their time coding, they encounter a significant degradation in their ability to execute their responsibilities.

My claim stands in stark contrast to what I see as the expected path for software engineers who become team leaders. At each promotion, the engineer is expected to spend drastically less time coding, with a particularly steep drop-off when they go from a "lead" to a "manager" title. At that point, they're expected to maintain passing familiarity with their codebase. A director's coding is done, if at all, as a hobby.

Hadoop and NoSQL: Friends, not frenemies

The term Big Data is an all-encompassing phrase that has various subdivisions addressing different needs of the customers. The most common description of Big Data talks about the four V’s: Volume, Velocity, Variety and Veracity.

Volume represents terabytes to exabytes of data, but this is data at rest. Velocity talks about streaming data requiring milliseconds to seconds of response time and is about data in motion. Variety is about data in many forms: structured, unstructured, text, spatial, and multimedia. Finally, veracity means data in doubt arising out of inconsistencies, incompleteness and ambiguities.

Hadoop is the first commercial version of Internet-scale supercomputing, akin to what HPC (high-performance computing) has done for the scientific community. It performs, and is affordable, at scale. No wonder it originated with companies operating at Internet scale, such as Yahoo in the 1990s, and then at Google, Facebook and Twitter.

In the scientific community, HPC was used for meteorology (weather simulation) and for solving engineering equations. Hadoop is used more for discovery and pattern matching. The underlying technology is similar: clustering, parallel processing and distributed file systems. Hadoop addresses the “volume” aspect of Big Data, mostly for offline analytics.

NoSQL products such as MongoDB address the “variety” aspect of Big Data: how to represent different data types efficiently with humongous read/write scalability and high availability for transactional systems operating in real time. The existing RDBMS solutions are inadequate to address this need with their schema rigidity and lack of scale-out solutions at low cost. Therefore, Hadoop and NoSQL are complementary in nature and do not compete at all.

Meet the Open Source Trio Primed to Topple Oracle

Solid IT aims to determine to what extent these new databases are actually being used. That’s why it created DB-Engines, an index of the most popular databases that draws on several sources of information. For the past year, the company has mined everything from LinkedIn profiles and job listings to question-and-answer sites in an effort to get a handle on what companies are using. Its monthly rankings show which databases have the most overall market share, but its new ranking for all of 2013 takes a different tack. It looks at which databases are growing the quickest.

The open source NoSQL database MongoDB grew the most, and that’s no surprise. Last month, it was the most popular NoSQL database in DB-Engine’s rankings, and it ranked ahead of a few relational databases, such as Microsoft Access, SQLite, and Sybase. Second place in the growth standing went to PostgreSQL, an open source relational database that’s been making waves in recent years thanks to its versatility and how well it scales across machines. It probably also benefits from the fact that, unlike MySQL, it’s not owned by Oracle.