Building something interesting with MongoDB? Is your application leveraging MongoDB to addresses an important business need? Did you create something that wasn’t before possible?
We want to hear from you. Apply for the MongoDB Innovation Award, an annual award that recognizes organizations and individuals who create groundbreaking applications.
Innovation Award winners receive:
- A MongoDB Innovation Award
- Recognition at MongoDB World, June 20-21 in Chicago
- Photograph with MongoDB President and CEO, Dev Ittycheria and CTO, Eliot Horowitz
- MongoDB Atlas credits
All finalists will also get two passes to MongoDB World and an invitation to the VIP party.
Each year, we receive hundreds of nominations across dozens of industries. Previous winners include the startups and Fortune 500 enterprises, and companies like Facebook, Expedia, x.ai, Amadeus, and more.
Apply or nominate someone else today! In your submission, explain what the application does, how it leverages MongoDB, and the impact it has on the business. The deadline to submit is March 17.
MongoDB Certified Professional Spotlight: May Mascenik
We’re happy to introduce a new blog series interviewing MongoDB Certified Professionals . To kick off this series, we talked with May Mascenik , an IT Engineer and Project Manager based in Los Angeles at ITP . Headquartered in Japan and focused on information design, ITP utilizes new devices, creates content designed to match user activities, and researches IoT and other new fields and technologies. In 2016, May was selected as a MongoDB Diversity Scholar ; grateful for the opportunity and eager to contribute to and learn from the MongoDB community, she made the decision to become dual-certified by MongoDB as both a Developer and a DBA. We reached out to her recently to learn more about her certification story, as well as what being certified means to her. ![May Mascenik](https://webassets.mongodb.com/_com_assets/cms/may-mascenik-ahe3vttz5s.jpg) Eloise Giegerich: To start, I would love to hear a little about your background, and how you got into tech. Where do you currently work, and what do you like about your role? May Mascenik: Twenty years ago, I began working as a Project Administrator in the engineering department of the Standard Communications Corporation; because I admired the engineers’ work, I pursued an electronics course. I liked it, but the engineers recommended that I move to software in order to follow the tech trend. Later, I got a job at Hitachi Software (now Hitachi Solutions) where I was able to gain significant hands-on training. I started studying and obtaining tech certificates – one certificate per year – from Microsoft, Cisco, and ISACA, among others, mostly related to projects I was working on at the time. Since 2014, I’ve been working for a company called ITP in Los Angeles as an IT Engineer/PMP. In 2016, I chose to become MongoDB certified because I desperately wanted to be fluent in the database for the specific project I was assigned. I like my role at ITP because it always offers me opportunities to learn new technology, which in turn allows me to develop and utilize new skills. EG: How did you first discover MongoDB? What projects have you used or are you in the process of using with MongoDB? MM: I took over a web/mobile app project; the app was built with Meteor and used MongoDB as the backend. I became interested in MongoDB while working on this project, and completed the M102 DBA course through MongoDB University, then M202 and all the DEV courses (M101J, M101JS, M101N, and M101P). With my new experience and knowledge, I was able to update the app that the former developer at my company had left; I became excited after this, and began to use MongoDB for other apps. EG: What other databases have you worked with? How does MongoDB compare? MM: I have worked with Microsoft SQL, Pervasive SQL, MySQL, and Oracle; all are relational databases. When it came to MongoDB, I was amazed by the flexible and dynamic data model. I’m still handling multiple relational databases and supporting the structured and predefined architecture on my current projects. However, as our business grows toward e-commerce and CMS type solutions, MongoDB’s NoSQL database is preferred because it allows us to build an application without predefining the schema, and to add any types of data to the system with different iterations. EG: What inspired you to become MongoDB certified? Why both certifications? MM: Besides the above-mentioned reason (for my 2016 certification selection, I chose MongoDB), I was fortunate enough to be awarded the 2016 MongoDB Diversity Scholarship, and decided that getting certified was one way to continue to contribute to the MongoDB community. I worked on DBA and DEV certifications together because I work in both fields at my company, and wanted to prove that I could be dual-certified. EG: What was challenging about the courses? What was rewarding? MM: Most of the courses run for seven weeks. Though you can watch the lesson videos and complete the homework at any time, the modules have strict weekly deadlines. Having a full-time job with multiple projects, I needed to take more time for work some weeks, which gave me less time to study. But in the long run, the time crunch is good! The deadlines force one to learn without delay. I felt great when I completed each course and received the certificate of course completion; I still feel like taking more MongoDB University courses. EG: Since becoming certified, what have been some of the benefits, personal or professional, that you’ve experienced? How have you applied—or how do you intend to apply—what you’ve learned to your future projects? MM: Since becoming certified, I have become more easily recognized through the MongoDB Certified Professional Finder and Advocacy Hub websites. I also now have a strong understanding of the challenges that the other certified professionals faced; because of this, I am eager to share my own experience and contribute to MongoDB alongside its other enthusiasts. Regarding current projects, I recently started looking into using MongoDB with AEM (Adobe Experience Manager), and am eager to continue my research. EG: Looking back now, can you share any advice for those studying for (or retaking) their exam(s)? Are there any specific preparation strategies you found useful? MM: First of all, for exam retakers, I’ve passed many certification exams on my first attempt, but not MongoDB’s – so if you fail, do not get discouraged! Instead, think of the Performance Report as another lesson to consider; the exam result is not an indicator of failure, but of weak points to continue to work on. For DEV, I strongly encourage hands-on practice. When you complete the weekly homework and practice, it can be helpful to type out all of the answers and try them – run the code, verify the app or web functions – on a terminal so that you can understand what MongoDB finds acceptable. And for both DBA and DEV, stick with the official exam study guide, which provides many links to the information you should absorb. If the online courses are still one version older, cover the difference by watching the What’s New in v3.4 (or vX.X in the future) video, and read the release notes to learn about the different features that have since been included. EG: To close, I would love to know what has been your greatest takeaway from your experience getting certified. Why would you encourage others to pursue certification? MM: If I can do it, so can you! In case you lose Internet connection or get disconnected from the test site for any reason during the exam, don’t panic. It happened to me once, but all of my answers were saved and I was able to resume the exam without starting from the beginning. I would strongly encourage others to pursue a MongoDB certification; my certifications have given me great confidence and recognition thanks to my listing in the Certified Professional Finder. I am happy to receive messages and invitations from people not only in the US, but from all over the world! Thanks to May for sharing her story! If you’re interested in getting professionally certified, you can learn more about the MongoDB certification process . If you’re already certified and would like to be featured in a future blog post, let us know at email@example.com .
Splitit & MongoDB Atlas: Racing to Capture a Global Opportunity
Splitit is a global payment solution that allows businesses to offer installment plans for their customers. Unlike with other buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions, Splitit shoppers can split their online purchases into monthly installments by using their existing credit, without the need for registration, application, or approval. “We have a very different proposition than others in this space,” says Splitit’s CTO, Ran Landau. “We’re not a financing company. We utilize the customer’s existing credit card arrangement, which allows us to accommodate smaller average deal values and a broader range of installment schedules.” Splitit works with online retailers across all market sectors and diverse price points, and recently raised $71.5 million in investment to fund global expansion. Following its IPO in January 2019, the business had seen strong growth as more consumers moved from brick and mortar to ecommerce. Then COVID-19 hit, and online shopping boomed. Landau recognized that the company needed to quickly scale its infrastructure in order to capture this large opportunity. The Need for Speed Landau joined Splitit in May 2019 and worked to modernize the company’s infrastructure. At the time, the team was using a traditional relational database. “As tech leaders, we need to make the right decision,” he says. “When I came to Splitit, I knew I needed a powerful NoSQL server so that my developers could develop faster and so that we could scale – both things that our relational databases were failing to deliver.” In the interest of getting up and running quickly, Ran’s team thought that they could move faster using a cloud-provider database that mimicked MongoDB functionality. He had used MongoDB before and saw that this solution offered the same drivers he was familiar with and claimed compatibility with MongoDB 3.6. Initially, the new solution seemed fine. But as the team started to migrate more data into the database, however, Landau noticed a few missing features. Scripts for moving documents from one collection to another were failing, and overall performance was deteriorating. The application became slow and unresponsive even though the load on the database was normal. “We were having issues with small things, like renaming collections. I couldn’t search or navigate through documents easily,” recalls Landau. Offline Database: A Breaking Point Then one day, the application was unable to communicate with the database for 20 minutes, and when the database finally came back online, something wasn’t right. Landau contacted support, but the experience was not very helpful. “We were not pleased with the response from the database vendor,” he explains. “They insisted that the issue was on our side. It wasn’t so collaborative.” Fortunately, he had taken a snapshot of the data so Splitit was able to revert back to an earlier point in time. But the incident was troubling. Other teams also had been complaining about how difficult it was to debug problems and connect to the database successfully. Landau knew he needed to find a better solution as soon as possible. MongoDB Atlas: A Reliable, Scalable Solution Landau believed that MongoDB was still the right choice for Splitit, and investigated whether the company offered a cloud solution. He discovered MongoDB Atlas and decided to give it a try. “The migration to MongoDB Atlas was so simple. I exported whatever data I had, then imported it into the new cluster. I changed the connection strings and set up VPC peering in all of my environments,” says Landau. “It was incredibly easy.” Not only was MongoDB Atlas built on actual MongoDB database software, but it was also secure, easy to use, and offered valuable features such as Performance Advisor . “It can tell you which indexes need to be built to increase speed. It’s such a powerful tool — you don’t need to think; it analyzes everything for you,” explains Landau. Another great feature was auto-scaling. “My biggest concern as I scale is that things keep working. I don’t have to stop, evaluate, and maintain the components in my system,” says Landau. “If we go back to doing database operations, we can’t build new features to grow the business.” Auto-archival Made Easy with Online Archive As a business in the financial services industry, Splitit needs to comply with various regulations, including PCI DSS . A key requirement is logging every transaction and storing it for auditing purposes. For Splitit, that adds up to millions of logs per day. Landau knew that storing this data in the operational database was not a cost-effective, long-term solution, so he initially used an AWS Lambda function to move batches of logs older than 30 days from one collection to another periodically. A few months ago, he discovered Online Archive , a new feature released at MongoDB.live in June 2020. With it, Landau was able to define a simple rule for archiving data from a cluster into a more cost-effective storage layer and let Atlas automatically handle the data movement. “The gem of our transition to Atlas was finding Online Archive,” says Landau. “There’s no scripting involved and I don’t have to worry about my aging data. I can store years of logs and know that it’s always available if I need it.” Online Archive gives me the flexibility to store all of my data without incurring high costs, and feel safe that I won't lose it. It's the perfect solution. Ran Landau, CTO, Splitit With federated queries, the team can also easily analyze the data stored in both the cluster and the Online Archive for a variety of use cases. Ready for Hypergrowth and Beyond Looking back, Landau admits that he learned his lesson. In trying to move quickly, he selected a solution that appeared to work like MongoDB, but ultimately paid the price in reliability, features, and scalability. You wouldn't buy a fake shirt. You wouldn't buy fake shoes. Why buy a fake database? MongoDB Atlas is the real thing. Ran Landau, CTO, Splitit Landau is confident that his investment in MongoDB puts in place a core building block for the business’ continued success. With a fully managed solution, his team can focus on building features that differentiate Splitit from competitors to capture more of the market. “We saw our growth triple in March due to COVID-19, but the sector as a whole is expanding,” he says. “Our technology is patent protected. Everything we build moving forward will be on MongoDB. As a company that’s scaling rapidly, the most important thing is not having to worry about my scaling. MongoDB Atlas takes care of everything.”