10gen will be at OSCON, the Open Source Convention, this week to meet with other open source enthusiasts. Stop by Booth 706 to meet 10gen Engineers and pick up your MongoDB T-Shirt.
Catch talks from 10gen and the MongoDB Community at OSCON this week:
- MongoDB - From Zero to Sharded with Shaun Verch, MongoDB Kernel Engineer, 10gen on Monday, July 22 at 1:30PM in Portland 252.
- Choosing A Shard Key In MongoDB with Shaun Verch, MongoDB Kernel Engineer, 10gen Wednesday, July 24 at 1:40PM in E143.
- Creating a User Journey for Your Open Source Community with Francesca Krihely, MongoDB Community Marketing Manager, 10gen, Thursday July 25 at 2:30PM in E144.
- MongoDB on Amazon Web Services: Operational Best Practices with Charity Majors, Engineer at Parse at 10AM Friday in E145.
Deadline 6: Powered by MongoDB
Thinkbox Software recently announced Deadline 6 , the newest version of their render software, which is powered by MongoDB. Deadline is a render management tool, used heavily in the visual effects, broadcast and architectural industries. Thinkbox’s Deadline team chose MongoDB as their database of choice for its JSON-based document structure and speed at handling connections. A bit of background on render management for those unfamiliar: when making a film, production teams create and render thousands to millions of individual frames for the layers of their shots. Computers process your image data for compositing blue screens, characters or rendering fire, smoke and other special effects. “There are a lot of products that make this happen,” says Chris Bond, founder and CEO of Thinkbox Software. “They all render, control and work differently depending on your OS platform.” In the past, filmmakers or graphic specialists would manually split these jobs up between a number of machines to distribute the amount of data for processing jobs. There are thousands of frames in a shot, and thousands of shots in a movie. Some rendering processes could take 24 hours, while others could take 20 minutes. There wasn't the virtualization platform that could distribute these tasks and manage these processes, so they were typically done manually or executed by scripts. Deadline solves this problem as a management queue for rendering farms. Deadline 6's Monitoring Dashboard Deadline currently supports over 40 applications and operating systems across the board, and breaks up shots and frames into tasks across different machines. Many of this year’s summer movies such as Man of Steel, Iron Man 3, Oblivion, and 300: Rise of an Empire, are made with Deadline 6 and used MongoDB as the backend. The team switched to MongoDB in order to improve create a tool that could run fast while operating on tens of thousands of tasks at a time. Up until Deadline 5, the team was using an XML, file-based storage system which was easy for rapid development, like JSON, and it was schema-less, so they didn't have to worry about tables. “Deadline was designed as a ‘serverless’ architecture.” said Ryan Russell, lead developer on Deadline 6. “Rather than having a central application telling its clients what to do, the clients would go to a central data store, based on the data in there, it would take the next step.” The client would go to the storage location where these "jobs" are housed and would pick up and frame and then pick up another frame. “It was a solid backend for our software, because Deadline could never ’go down’ unless our server hosting that data went down.” But a file-based system is hard to scale and the team needed a way to help Deadline scale and hit higher performance numbers. When searching for a new solution, one of the developers stumbled across CouchDB. “It matched our document-based system, and when we investigated further, the team kept seeing MongoDB come up in searches and blog posts.” For them, the 1 to 1 XML to JSON mapping was a winning feature for both document stores, but to get a better understanding, they decided to build a prototype with each data store to see which one performed better. MongoDB won out in the end. “MongoDB handled hundreds of connections at the same time without any issue. CouchDB had a hard time because of the RESTful API overhead. The improved performance with MongoDB created such a great experience for the end-user. That was a huge thing for us.” Select clients recently went through a 6 month a beta program with Deadline 6, and after using it in production, were amazed at how much faster their system was with MongoDB as the backend. In Deadline, MongoDB functions as a task queue, and controls the management of third party render processes. Each day, a large film set might render over 25-30 Terabytes of data. MongoDB handles the process management of each job and controls the data movement. To the team MongoDB “seems like something we can stand on and scale in many orders of magnitude more than we have before.” Look out for a film powered by Deadline and MongoDB this summer.
How the Austin Chapter of MongoDB’s Women’s Group Built Community During the Pandemic
MongoDB is on a mission to create an inclusive workplace where every single employee can thrive. With a range of established affinity groups — and new ones forming regularly — MongoDB looks for ways to amplify those groups’ efforts and help support their overall mission. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced offices to shut down and employees to work from home, our affinity groups were challenged to find creative ways to support and grow their now-remote communities. As leaders of the MongoDB Women’s Group Austin chapter, we share how we pivoted this challenge into an opportunity. First, What's the MongoDB Women's Group The MongoDB Women’s Group is a community of MongoDB employees identifying as women, nonbinary, or trans. Our mission is to create a bold, visible, and united force for gender equality. To help us get there, the MongoDB Women’s Group hosts monthly members-only meetings as well as events open to both members and allies. Relaunched in 2018, the Austin-based chapter connects women and allies in our Austin office to a community of local companies and women’s groups that can support their growth within the tech industry. Pre-COVID, we gained a lot of momentum with our events, which included a live speaker series in the office, yoga, and events focused on subjects such as fertility and imposter syndrome. When COVID-19 hit, we faced a new challenge: how do we create a sense of community for our members when everyone works completely remote? Although initially daunting, the challenge of organizing remote events was an opportunity in disguise. It enabled us to kick off a speaker series for all employees, featuring prominent women in leadership positions across the country. Enter Angie Brown, from The Home Depot. Angie was the first woman to join our remote speaker series, and we couldn’t have asked for a better person to kick it off. She began her career at The Home Depot in 1998 as an entry-level software developer and now is Vice President of Technology — Merchandising, leading a team that develops solutions to support cataloging, pricing, and assortment capabilities at the giant retail chain. She also helps to mentor aspiring leaders in a number of ways, including actively participating in Atlanta’s Women in Technology association. Here, we share some highlights from our fireside chat with Angie during which she discussed her career and provided advice on what women can do to set themselves up for success. Fireside Chat with Angie Brown MongoDB: What advice do you have for those just starting off in their careers? Angie Brown: Opportunities can look like problems and not everyone wants to run into the fire, but avoiding problems can really be a missed opportunity. That’s one important lesson I’ve learned throughout my career. Although you should have a general idea of where you want to go, you also need to be willing to flex. Things might unfold in ways you didn’t expect. If you’re too prescriptive, you might miss out on them. So, you need to find a way to strike a balance. MongoDB: You took a role in leadership fairly early. How did you change your skills and evolve as you moved up? AB: When I talk to people considering moving into management, I ask them to look at the job and determine if the required qualities and responsibilities would make them happy. It’s not just about the title and pay increase. When you pivot from being an individual contributor to being in a leadership role, servant leadership is a huge part of it. If you look at management as a way to control, you won’t be happy. If you look at it as a way to serve others and help them be successful, then you’ll find joy in that career shift. I didn’t prethink this when I first moved into management and had a little bit of an identity crisis. I was used to being the one who got things done. All of a sudden, my role and life was all about going to meetings, and I didn’t look at meetings as tangible work. I was over it. Where was the joy in this? If your joy comes from having your hands on the keyboard and needing to do things your way, then being in management would be like fitting a square peg in a round hole. At first I felt invalidated and unsure of myself because it wasn’t my hands on the keyboard. I had to work through that and do a little soul-searching. I reframed my thinking to be happy leading a team and helping them solve their problems, even if it meant I wasn’t solving them myself. I had a lightbulb moment when I moved into a director role when I realized I was still solving big problems by helping my team tackle them. There’s nothing wrong with where you find your joy and no judgement if your passion aligns as an individual contributor; we need amazing developers! Always be aware of the work itself and make sure it aligns with what you enjoy. MongoDB: How have mentors played a role in your success? AB: I wish I had invested in mentors much sooner. In the early stages of my career, I didn’t think I needed help and believed I could just figure it all out on my own. I thought asking for help was a sign of weakness. In hindsight, my mentors have absolutely formed part of who I am today. I don’t have just one mentor. Instead, I look at a topic and focus on finding a mentor for that specific topic. With that approach, I have ended up having a number of mentors. Thank you again to Angie Brown! We appreciate your insight and inspiration. If you are interested in joining MongoDB, explore our career opportunities and join an innovative team that is disrupting the database industry every day.