As we said on Day 1, MongoDB World is a developer-focused event. And on Day 3, we really set out to prove it.
The day got going with a keynote from best-selling author, pioneering inventor, and futurist Ray Kurzweil. His encyclopedic knowledge covers a wide range of topics and subject areas, and his talk was equally broad and freewheeling, touching on everything from computational power to vaccine trials to life expectancy and literacy rates. Kurzweil’s general viewpoint was overwhelmingly positive. He cited global poverty and literacy rates, per capita income, and the spread of democracy as examples of how the world is steadily becoming a better place to live.
Not shy of making predictions, Kurzweil anticipates computational power roughly doubling each year, bringing AI ever closer to emulating human intelligence. In fact, he predicts that some AI systems will be able to pass the Turing test by 2029. And he sees humans eventually connecting directly to AI systems, expanding our emotional and intellectual intelligence far beyond our current state. He refers to this eventuality as the “singularity” and with it, human life will be changed forever.
Minds were blown, but not so much that the developers in attendance weren’t ready to get down to doing what they love to do: building apps and writing code. Immediately after the keynote, Builder’s Fest kicked into gear in the Partner Promenade. The floor of the Jacob Javits Center was transformed by dozens of pods where MongoDB experts, partners, and customers gave hands-on tutorials showing how their services and applications integrated with the MongoDB developer data platform. Booming over the main sound system was a super-sized, four-person Mario Kart battle royale, where the victors won prizes like a Nintendo Switch. Another pod hosted a Price is Right–style game show, The Database is Right, where contestants drawn from the audience answered trivia questions about MongoDB, document databases, and database functions.
Adjacent to the Bob Barker cosplay, MongoDB senior product manager Rob Walters gave an eager audience a live demo of how to configure the MongoDB Connector for Apache Kafka to use MongoDB as a source or a sink. Our Kafka connector enables developers to build robust, reactive data pipelines that stream events between applications and services in real time.
Over on the Google Cloud Coding Stage, four developers competed to see who could build the closest version of the Google homepage in 20 minutes — without previewing their work. The blind coding test resulted in some fairly primitive approximations of the real thing, but all four contestants were praised for their high pressure creations. The winner of each round took home a limited edition MongoDB track jacket.
MongoDB CTO Mark Porter joined in a number of Builder’s Fest activities, delivered several short talks, and often drew a crowd for impromptu Q&A. At one point he gave a “Chaos Presentation” — an improvised talk guided by randomly selected imagery — about the outages that inevitably occur in the public cloud, despite the exceptionally resilient infrastructures and high service levels. “Mirror image is an illusion,” Porter said. “A laptop is not staging, staging is not production, and production is not production.” Different regions have different hardware and configuration patterns that can build up over time, he said. “Staging has had far more rollbacks than production,” he said. “Find weaknesses in your architecture by doing post-mortems after an outage. Make staging environments reproducible by blowing them away from time to time. By making staging more predictable, over the course of a few years, you can make production more predictable.”
In response to an audience question about what’s more important, implementing a culture of committing to rollbacks or automating it, he said, “The culture of rollbacks is what’s important, but at scale — meaning a couple thousand engineers — culture won’t be enough. You’ll need to automate some of it. But make it so rollbacks are not a bad thing.”
A few pods over, developer advocate from Prisma, Sabine Adams, gave a talk entitled, “Giving MongoDB Guardrails.” His talk included step-by-step instructions, using the brand new MongoDB Atlas CLI, on how to ensure data consistency by providing an easy-to-read schema and a type-safe database client. First, he set up a MongoDB cluster in the CLI, then he initialized a TypeScript project with Prisma to model the data, and then used the Prisma CLI to create and retrieve some data. The Prisma client provides an API for reading data in MongoDB, including filters, pagination, ordering, and relational queries for embedded documents.
If you want more highlights about MongoDB World 2022, read our Day One and Day Two recaps. For all those who attended the event, we’re happy you made it. For anyone who missed it, we hope to see you at next year's event.