According to a new Dice.com salary survey, MongoDB ranks as one of top-10 most highly compensated technology skills. Indeed.com rates MongoDB as the second hottest job trend. And DB-Engines.com, which ranks over 200 databases on their relative popularity, MongoDB is now the fifth-most popular database in the world, this month surpassing IBM's DB2.
All great, right?
Buried in the Dice.com data, as well as the Indeed.com data, is evidence of real confusion. For example, of the top-10 most highly compensated skills in Dice.com's survey is "NoSQL." NoSQL is not a technology. It's not really something a developer can "know" in any real sense. NoSQL is a movement that describes a different way of modeling data but, as Basho founder Justin Sheehy correctly noted, there are as many differences among so-called NoSQL databases as there are similarities.
As such, knowing Basho's Riak won't really help you understand MongoDB. Perhaps at a high, conceptual level, but expertise in one doesn't really translate into familiarity with another. They are different databases with different approaches.
Employers looking for generic NoSQL skills need to think more deeply about what their application requirements are. Looking beyond relational databases for modern application requirements is a good start, but looking to generic "NoSQL" is not sufficient. Organizations should be looking for a modern database that dramatically improves developer productivity, encourages application iteration and enables a new wave of transformational applications in areas like Big Data, Internet of Things, mobile and more.
That database is MongoDB.
Is MongoDB "NoSQL." Sure. But it's much bigger than that (based on what people search for on Google, many organizations already seem to understand this). MongoDB is the fastest-growing database in the world, not because it fits the NoSQL category, but because it significantly improves the productivity of developers and the organizations for which they work. So if you're looking to hire technology talent, you're far more likely to be successful hiring an experienced MongoDB engineer than a "NoSQL engineer." MongoDB, after all, is an actual database. NoSQL simply describes an important movement.
Meet Daniel Gottlieb: MMS Backup Engineer
Meet Dan Gottlieb, an engineer for the MMS backup team at MongoDB. What is your role at MongoDB? I’ve been working as an engineer for the MMS Backup team for just under two years. Where were you before MongoDB? Why did you choose to come to MongoDB? Immediately after college I took a position at ShopWiki, an internet shopping search engine, where I worked closely with Eliot Horowitz and Dwight Merriman, the co-founders of MongoDB. After six years, I briefly joined another startup before coming to MongoDB. The decision to join was easy. I really enjoyed my previous experience with its co-founders and I had a lot of respect for the way they start a company from the ground up; they both really care about the technology. What’s your hometown? I was born in Queens, but raised in Edison, New Jersey. My whole family is from New York and I always wanted live in the City. I want to think of myself as a New Yorker, but I'm not sure if one can ever shake the impressions of society that are formed growing up in the suburbs; reliance on cars, playing in the street and living in comparably larger houses come to mind as major differences. And knowing people in their thirties that grew up in the City and never had a driver’s license is a very foreign concept to me. Ultimately, I'm a Jersey guy. Did you have previous experience using MongoDB before you arrived? If so, how are things different now that you work at MongoDB? If not, how did you learn MongoDB and how was the education process? At ShopWiki, I was assigned to start taking data feeds of items sold from our shopping search engine. My introduction to MongoDB happened when we began using it to process and take stock of the items stores were selling from our search engines. Up until that point, ShopWiki was using data gathered from web crawling. It was a relatively simple use case, but we were able to begin inserting and updating hundreds of gigabytes of data each day. Since joining MongoDB, I’ve seen the amount of knowledge, brainpower and organization grow exponentially. Watching the company grow from five people to ten, to twenty and then suddenly to about a hundred, by the time I “officially” joined, was very exciting. Perhaps it’s a bit superficial, but having multiple PhDs on staff makes me confident that we’re making a real difference in the database space. Bike or public transportation to work? I actually walk to work. I live six minutes away when the traffic lights align. What’s a typical day (or week) for you? I definitely have a more typical schedule now than I did when I joined. I usually have a couple of meetings a week and have a few issues to look into carefully. Then most of the week is working on development with some recruiting here and there. What do you love most about MongoDB? The people! It’s the best team I’ve ever worked with. A shout-out to Steve, Cory, Cailin, Rhea and John, they make everyday a pleasure. Everyone is incredibly smart, and particularly with the backup team we communicate really concisely and cohesively. I love that there's a lot of lateral flexibility with regard to the roles at MongoDB. Having a flourishing developer community there are plenty of opportunities to give talks at meetups/conferences, attend hackathons, or get involved with college recruiting efforts where many students actually know who you are. And the managers do a great job at matching engineers with their skill set and interests, while giving developers time to try something a little bit new when deadlines are more relaxed. What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? We take client data very seriously, especially in the MMS backup service. I’ve been working on a number of additional features to further improve the way we store and manage snapshots of client data. The big challenge is maintaining the discipline to properly plan, test, document and review code. It’s important to simultaneously develop the specs, tests and documentation with the code so that others reviewing the code can verify correctness. We do a lot of iterative testing and code review to make sure our code is as perfect as possible before shipping. What’s one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had working here so far? I’d say the most challenging aspect of my job is also the most rewarding. It’s hard work, but after the functional spec, the refactoring, the coding, the testing, the fixing, the documentation, the code review, the QA and the stress of "waiting outside the delivery room" during its inaugural run, there's nothing better than hearing that a project worked. What’s your favorite Seamless lunch order? I usually don’t eat breakfast so it’s the restaurant that delivers at 11:45. I’m not really picky about what food it is. That being said, I usually end up with a Chop't salad, though these winter months have made anything with soup popular. Particularly, chicken and broccoli with wonton soup or a Dig Inn platter with soup on the side. Name one secret skill you have, unrelated to work. I had a job in college working at the deli counter in a supermarket so I’m actually a great deli slicer. To be fair, the real skill is caring to do the job right and being aware of each slicer’s particular quirks. One customer would come in every Monday morning to have me cut up to two pounds of pepperoni sliced paper thin because I was the only one that wouldn’t switch to a thicker slice partway through. My personal preferences are as follows: pair roast beef with cheddar or american, turkey with american and ham with provolone. I always prefer white to yellow american and kaiser rolls are a must. I strive for a quarter to a third of a pound of meat per sandwich. Consider trying hard salami instead of genoa; it tends to be smokier and less chewy. At optimal thickness, there’s eight slices of american cheese in a quarter pound. Here’s my go-to lunch sandwich: Black Bear London broil roast beef, Black Bear extra sharp cheddar, on a kaiser roll with yellow mustard. Kindle or book? What’s your favorite book? Both. I have some great programming reference books but they’re too heavy to read anywhere but on a dedicated reading surface. So I keep reference books on the Kindle. However, there's nothing quite like the experience of finishing the last few pages of a great book and then turning it over to look at the back cover and feel that it’s over. In an effort to spread the word on a newer series, check out out the (unfinished) Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I highly recommend the first book, Name of the Wind. Fastest 736 pages I’ve ever read. Favorite book series? A more classical answer: I loved Ender’s Game/Speaker for the Dead. The last two books of that series were okay, but the first two were amazing. I also feel compelled to mention A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Describe your perfect weekend. Despite (or perhaps because of) living in New York, I enjoy outdoor activities, but I hate the travel time involved. So if we lived in a world with instantaneous teleportation, my perfect weekend would be as follows. Snowboarding in the morning, then a game of softball, followed by finishing a book, learning something new and eating a Pollo Asado Calexico Burrito (with crack sauce mixed in). Are you a burrito expert? I love burritos but honestly the Calexico food carts have the best in the city. I don’t even bother with the others. If you want to learn more about MMS, visit the MMS page on the MongoDB website. If you're interested in joining the MongoDB Team there many open positions available in Engineering, Sales, Marketing, and Business Development. If you're inspired by Dan, MongoDB is looking for a Java Engineer and MMS Technical Account Manager to join the MMS team. To learn more about open roles at MongoDB, please visit the MongoDB Careers Page .
Hear From the MongoDB World 2022 Diversity Scholars
The MongoDB Diversity Scholarship program is an initiative to elevate and support members of underrepresented groups in technology across the globe. Scholars receive complimentary access to the MongoDB World developer conference in New York, on-demand access to MongoDB University to prepare for free MongoDB certification, and mentorship via an exclusive discussion group. This year at MongoDB World, our newest cohort of scholars got the opportunity to interact with company leadership at a luncheon and also got a chance to share their experience in a public panel discussion at the Community Café. Hear from some of the 2022 scholars, in their own words. Rebecca Hayes, System Analyst at Alliance for Safety and Justice I did an internal transition from managing Grants/Contracts to IT and just finished a data science certificate (Python, Unix/Linux, SQL) through my community college. My inspiration for pursuing STEM was wanting to understand how reality is represented in systems and how data science can be used to change the world. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? Most impactful were the conversations I had with other attendees at the conference. I talked to people from all sectors who were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about shaping the future of databases. The opportunity to hear from MongoDB leaders and then understand how the vision behind the product was being implemented made me feel inspired for my future in STEM. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? MongoDB World inspired me to understand the real world applications of databases. I left knowing what's possible with a product like MongoDB and the limits of SQL and traditional databases. After the conference, I wrote this article on Medium reflecting on what I learned at the conference. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? Embrace what makes you unique. Just because things take time doesn't mean they won't happen. When learning programming and data science, think about how your work relates to the real world and share those thoughts with others. Seek out new perspectives, stay true to yourself, and keep an open mind. Delphine Nyaboke, Junior Software Engineer at Sendy I am passionate about energy in general. My final year project was on solar mini-grid design and interconnection. I have a mission of being at the intersection of energy and AI What inspired me to get into tech is the ability to solve societal problems without necessarily waiting for someone else to do it for you. This can be either in energy or by code. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience, apart from attending and listening in on the keynotes, was to attend the breakout sessions. They had lovely topics full of learnings and inspiration, including Engineering Culture at MongoDB; Be a Community Leader; Principles of Data Modeling for MongoDB; and Be Nice, But Not Too Nice just to mention but a few. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? MongoDB World has inspired me to keep on upskilling and being competitive in handling databases, which is a key skill in a backend engineer like myself. I will continue taking advantage of the MongoDB University courses and on-demand courses available thanks to the scholarship. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? STEM is a challenging yet fun field. If you’re tenacious enough, the rewards will trickle in soon enough. Get a community to be around, discuss what you’re going through together, be a mentor, get a mentor, and keep pushing forward. We need like-minded individuals in our society even in this fourth industrial revolution, and we are not leaving anyone behind. Video: Watch the panel in its entirety Raja Adil, Student at Cal Poly SLO Currently, I am a software engineer intern at Salesforce. I started self-teaching myself software development when I was a junior in high school during the COVID-19 pandemic, and from there I started doing projects and gaining as much technical experience as I could through internships. Before the pandemic I took my first computer science class, which was taught in C#. At first, I hated it as it looked complex. Slowly, I started to enjoy it more and more, and during the pandemic I started learning Python on my own. I feel blessed to have found my path early in my career. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience was the network and friends I made throughout the four days I was in New York for MongoDB World. I also learned a lot about the power of MongoDB, as opposed to relational databases, which I often use in my projects. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? The MongoDB World conference was amazing and has inspired me a ton in my learning path. I definitely want to learn even more about MongoDB as a database, and in terms of a career path, I would love to intern at MongoDB as a software engineer down the line. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? My advice would be to network as much as you can and simply make cool projects that others can use. Evans Asuboah, Stetson University I am an international student from Ghana. I was born and raised by my dad, who is a cocoa farmer, and my mum, who is a teacher. I got into tech miraculously, because my country's educational system matches majors to students according to their final high school grades. Initially, I wanted to do medicine, but I was offered computer science. I realized that computer science could actually be the tool to help my community and also use the knowledge to help my dad on the farm. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? The breakout room sessions. As scholars, we had the chance to talk to MongoDB employees, and the knowledge and experiences changed my thoughts and increased my desire to persevere. I have learned never to stop learning and not to give up. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? Meeting these amazing people, connecting with the scholars, being at the workshops, and talking to the startups at the booths has made me realize the sky is the limit. I dare to dream and believe until I see the results. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? 1. Explore MongoDB; 2. You are the only one between you and your dream; 3. Take the initiative and meet people; 4. Never stop learning. Daniel Erbynn, Drexel University I love traveling and exploring new places. I am originally from Ghana, and I got the opportunity to participate in a summer program after high school called Project ISWEST, which introduced me to coding and computer science through building a pong game and building an Arduino circuit to program traffic lights. This made me excited about programming and the possibilities of solving problems in the tech space. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience was meeting with other students and professionals in the industry, learning from them, making lifelong connections, and getting the opportunity to learn about MongoDB through the MongoDB University courses. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? This conference has inspired me to learn more about MongoDB and seek more knowledge about cloud technology. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you want to learn from, and create projects you are passionate about. Build your skills with MongoDB University's free courses and certifications . Join our developer community to stay up-to-date with the latest information and announcements.