Announcing The William Zola Outstanding Contributor Award



Nominate a community champion for the William Zola Outstanding Contributor Award here

We place a tremendous value on community engagement at MongoDB, specifically around working with you on your toughest technical problems. Even in the early days of the project, MongoDB’s co-founders Dwight and Eliot were committed to the success of all users, and we want to continue that spirit as the community grows.

Today we are pleased to announce the William Zola Award for Community Excellence to honor those whose support contributions make a significant difference to users around the globe.

It’s not easy to be a champion at community support, and yet, at MongoDB we see it every day, from community members who provide advice on the MongoDB User Forum, to our own engineers who diagnose and debug problems for users around the globe.

One of our strongest Community Support advocates was William Zola, who passed away unexpectedly this past summer. William, Lead Technical Services engineer, had a passion for creating user success, and helped thousands of users with support problems, much of it on his own time. William was so effective at meeting users in their time of distress that people often asked for him by name on the MongoDB User Forum. Most engineers at MongoDB went through his customer skills training to learn how to create an ideal user experience while maintaining technical integrity. William taught us:

  • How the user feels is every bit as important as solving their technical problem
  • We should work to solve the problem and not just close a case or ticket
  • Every user interaction should drive the case one step closer to resolution
  • It’s all about the user

Over time, William’s advice and philosophy towards user success came to permeate MongoDB’s entire organization and community.

The Award

This December at MongoDB SF we will announce the first winner of what we will call “The Zola”, awarded to a user who has offered exceptional support to our community in line with William’s philosophy. The winner of the Zola will receive a complimentary trip to San Francisco to receive the award at the event along with a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card and an award plaque.

Today we open nominations and begin the search for the first winners of the Zola. MongoDB users who support others on StackOverflow, the MongoDB User Forum, and in person through ad-hoc or structured mentoring are all qualified to receive the award.

Nominations will be accepted until November 10 through this form, so please send in names of people who have positively impacted your experience with MongoDB during your time as a user. Individuals will be judged on the impact of their work and their demonstration of William’s values.

William’s extraordinary contributions are remembered in users like you who pass along your knowledge of MongoDB and do it with gusto. Even if you do not qualify for the Zola now, there is always an opportunity for you to contribute to the MongoDB ecosystem by sharing your ideas and experience on StackOverflow, the MongoDB User Forum and in your local communities.

Tell us who should receive the first “Zola.”

Discuss on Hacker News

MongoDB Employees are not eligible for the “Zola”