Closing the Developer Experience Gap: MongoDB World Announcements

Now is a great time to be a software developer or architect. Never have there been so many solutions, vendors, and architectural patterns to choose from as you build new applications and features. But the sheer number of choices creates another puzzle for developers to solve before they can begin to build.

Many of MongoDB’s efforts over the past year have been to help address the needs of the developer communities we serve, and one of the greatest needs we’ve seen in developer communities is improving the experience of being a developer.

At MongoDB World 2022, we announced several tools to help improve that experience and to boost developer velocity:

  • Atlas Data API — A serverless API that lets you easily access your Atlas data from any environment that supports HTTPS requests, including services like AWS Lambda and Google App Services. The Atlas Data API is fully functional upon generation, language-agnostic, and secure from the start.

  • Serverless instances — With MongoDB serverless instances, developers don’t have to worry about scaling up to meet increasing workloads or paying for resources they’re not using if their workload is idle. The serverless model dynamically uses only what it needs — and only charges for what it uses.

  • Atlas CLI — The MongoDB Atlas CLI is a completely new way to access Atlas in a non-GUI-centered environment. CLIs are often the interaction method of choice by developers, especially advanced developers who prefer control and speed over a more visual interface. Our new CLI gives these developers an easier registration experience with nearly instant free tier deployments in Atlas.

  • Time series — We have expanded our data platform so developers can work more easily with time series data in support of IoT use cases, financial analytics, logistics, and more. MongoDB time series makes it faster and lower cost to build and run time series applications by natively supporting the entire time series data lifecycle.

  • Facets in Atlas Search — Categorize data with facets for fast, filtered search results. With facets in Atlas Search, you can index your data to map fields to categories, then quickly update query results based on the ones relevant to your users.

  • Verified Solutions — The MongoDB Verified Solutions program gives developers the confidence to use third-party tools, such as Mongoose, by guaranteeing comprehensive testing of the tools as well as a base level of support from MongoDB Technical Services.

  • Change streams — Change streams enable developers to build real-time, event-driven applications that react to data changes as they happen. This allows them to build more complex features and better end-user experiences.

The paradox of choice for developers

Developers today have no shortage of tools to work with, but the abundance of options is itself a problem. And when there’s little or no central decision-making, developers are forced to figure out how to stitch together a patchwork of technology solutions to create the seamless user experiences that consumers have come to expect.

Developers had fewer choices when applications were built on a three-tier framework composed of a relational database, a J2EE stack, and an app or web server. Since then, however, application development has fragmented into different architectures, SDKs, and cloud services, leaving developers many more patterns to figure out. On top of that, the rise of DevOps has increased the pressure on developers to build and maintain the tools they’re working with, and serious development shops often take pride in building their own toolchains, backends, and databases.

Put it all together — the abundance of choices, the patchwork nature of solutions, the pressure to build and maintain toolchains, and the glue code keeping it all together — and it adds up to more cognitive load, elevated stress levels, and a lengthening of time to value. As Stephen O’Grady from analyst firm RedMonk explains, “Developers are forced to borrow time from writing code and redirect it toward managing the issues associated with highly complex, multifactor developer toolchains held together in places by duct tape and baling wire. This, then, is the developer experience gap.”

Having a lot of options is a good thing — until it’s not. One way we’re working to unwind the paradox of choice is by providing tools that exist in the same form whether in the cloud or on the client — that is, solutions that integrate with the way developers already work. This could mean plugging into a CLI first, abstracting provisioning, simplifying and securing the data layer so developers don’t have to worry about it, and unlocking the creativity of developers with a data model that maps to how data is actually going to be used. We’re also enabling developers to access the tools they need from within MongoDB without having to integrate myriad bolt-on tools (i.e., the paradox of choice).

Building at velocity

The key to unlocking developer productivity, as we see it, is giving developers the building blocks they need to create a whole workload from scratch, or to bring a new workload into their ecosystem — be it time-series, search, or analytics — and have them run on a single platform instead of having to stitch together disparate systems.

Our goal is to bring a modern data layer to modern applications. We want to bring that experience to more and more of what you work on. We know that modern applications have complicated data requirements, but that shouldn’t mean complicated data infrastructure. We want to serve most of your workloads with a single unified platform.