MongoDB Atlas, the fully managed cloud database, provides customers with pre-built and customizable alerts that can easily be configured for different channels, including Slack, Hipchat, PagerDuty, Flowdock, and more.
Due to popular demand, we’ve recently added Datadog as an optional endpoint for Atlas alerts. An increasing number of companies are using Datadog to monitor their entire application estate; this new integration will allow them to quickly get a sense of any database alerts from a dashboard they regularly view.
Setup is simple. Select a MongoDB Atlas Project, and click on “Settings” in the left-hand menu. Scroll down to “Datadog Settings” and paste in your Datadog API key.
Next, click on “Alerts” in the left-hand menu. You will see a screen that shows all alerting activity. Click on the green “Add” button in the upper right corner of your screen to create a new alert. You can now customize a new alert and specify “Datadog” as the endpoint.
To send an existing alert to Datadog, simply click on “Alert Settings” in the top navigation of your main Alerts screen. This will show you all of your existing alerts, and allow you to edit them using the same UI you use to create new alerts.
And that’s it. You should now start seeing MongoDB Atlas alerts in Datadog.
Not yet a MongoDB Atlas user? Create an account and get a free 512 MB database.
The Best Solutions Architects Work At MongoDB
Despite the bravado in the title, the purpose of this article is not to say that MongoDB Solutions Architects (SAs) are better than those working at other organizations. Rather, this article argues that the unique challenges encountered by SAs at MongoDB imply that successful MongoDB SAs are some of the best in the business. This assertion is derived from the unique challenges encountered by both supporting MongoDB customers and the MongoDB sales organization and breadth and depth of skills and knowledge required to be successful. To see why this is the case, let’s explore the role of an SA at MongoDB and the wide range of skills a Solutions Architect must master. A MongoDB SA (sometimes called a Sales Engineer in other organizations) is an engineer that supports the sales organization. The role is multi-faceted. A solutions architect must have: In-depth technical knowledge to both understand a customer’s technical challenges and to articulate how MongoDB addresses them Communication skills to present technical concepts in a clear and concise manner while tactfully dealing with skeptics and those more familiar with other technologies Sales skills to engage a prospect to learn their business challenges and the technical capabilities required to address those challenges Design and troubleshooting skills to assist prospects with designing solutions to complex problems and getting them back on track when things go wrong. The description above may make the MongoDB Solutions Architect role sound like other similar roles, but there are unique features of MongoDB (the product) and its competitive situation that make this role extremely challenging. We will explore this in the sections below. Technology While the strength of MongoDB and a major factor in its success has been the ease with which it can be adopted by developers, MongoDB is a complex product. Presenting MongoDB, answering questions, brainstorming designs, and helping resolve problems requires a wide range of knowledge including: The MongoDB query language Application development with MongoDB’s drivers in 10+ different programming languages Single and multi-data center architectures for high availability Tuning MongoDB to achieve the required level of performance, read consistency, and write durability Scaling MongoDB to manage TBs of data and thousands of queries per second Estimating the size of a cluster (or the cloud deployment costs) required to meet application requirements Best practices for MongoDB schema design and how to design the best MongoDB schema for a given application MongoDB Enterprise operations tools: Ops Manager , Compass , etc. Atlas : MongoDB’s Database as a Service Offering MongoDB’s various connectors: BI , Spark , and Hadoop Migration strategies from RDBMS (and other databases) to MongoDB This is a lot to know and there is a lot of complexity. In addition to the core knowledge listed above, knowledge of the internal workings of MongoDB is essential when working on designs for applications with high performance and scalability requirements. Therefore, most Solutions Architects understand MongoDB’s internal architecture, such as how the WiredTiger storage engine works or how a MongoDB cluster manages connections. To make the SA role even more challenging, organizations often choose MongoDB after failing with some other technology. (Maybe their RDBMS didn’t scale or it was too difficult to expand to handle new sources of data, or Hadoop processing did not meet real-time requirements, or some other NoSQL solution did not provide the required query expressibility and secondary indexes.) This means that MongoDB is often used for bleeding-edge applications that have never been built before. One of the roles of an SA is to understand the application requirements and help the application team come up with an initial design that will ensure their success 1 . It is probably obvious to experienced SAs, but SAs need to understand the capabilities, strengths, and weakness of all competing and tangential solutions as well. MongoDB’s biggest competitors are Oracle, Amazon, and Microsoft – all of whom are constantly evolving their product offerings and marketing strategies. An SA must always keep their knowledge up to date as the market evolves. Communication Being a great technologist is not enough. An SA spends at least as much time communicating with customers as they do working with technology. Communication is sometimes in the form of a standard presentation or demo, but it most often entails detailed technical conversations about how MongoDB works or how MongoDB can be used to address a particular problem. Concise technical explanations that address customer questions using language tailored to their particular situation and frame of reference are the hallmark of an SA. MongoDB SAs have to be comfortable communicating with a wide range of people, not just development teams. They must engage operations, line of business stakeholders, architects, and technology executives in sales discovery conversations and present the technical aspects of MongoDB of most concern at the appropriate level of detail. For example, an SA must be able to provide technology executives with an intuitive feel for why their development teams will be significantly more productive with MongoDB or will be able to deploy a solution that can meet scalability and performance requirements unattainable with previous technology approaches. Similarly, an SA must learn an operations team’s unique challenges related to managing MongoDB and describe how tools like Ops Manager and Atlas address these requirements. Public speaking skills are also essential. Solutions Architects deliver webinars, speak at conferences, write blog posts, and lead discussions and MongoDB User Groups (MUGs). Sales An SA is a member of the Sales organization and “selling” is a big part of the role. Selling involves many aspects. First, SAs assist the MongoDB Account Executives with discovery and qualification. They engage the customer in conversations to understand what their current problems are, their desired solution, the business benefits of the solution, the technical capabilities required to implement this solution, and how they'll measure success. After every customer conversation, SAs work with their Account Executives to refine their understanding of the customer’s situation and identify information that they want to gather at future meetings. Once the required technical capabilities are understood, it is the SA’s role to lead the sales activities that prove to the customer that (1) MongoDB meets all their required capabilities and (2) MongoDB meets these capabilities better than competing solutions. Most of the time this is accomplished via customer conversations, presentations, demonstrations, and design brainstorming meetings. Finally, customers sometimes want to test or validate that MongoDB will meet their technical required capabilities. This is often in the form of a proof of concept (POC) that might test MongoDB performance or scalability, the ease of managing MongoDB clusters with its operations tools, or that MongoDB’s BI Connector provides seamless connectivity with industry standard BI Tools, such as Tableau , Qlik , etc. SAs lead these POC efforts. They work with prospects to define and document the scope and success criteria and work with the prospect during the course of a POC to ensure success. Design and Troubleshooting I alluded to this in the “Technology” section: helping prospects with creative problem solving distinguishes SAs at MongoDB. Organizations will choose MongoDB if they believe and understand how they will be successful with it. Imparting this understanding (a big part of the Solutions Architect’s role) is typically done by helping an organization through some of the more thorny design challenges and implementation decisions. Organizations will choose MongoDB when they understand the framework of a good MongoDB design for their use case and believe all their design requirements will be met. Designing a solution is not a yes or no question that can be researched in the documentation, but is found through deep technical knowledge, careful analysis, and tradeoffs among many competing requirements. The best answer is often found through a collaborative process with the customer. SAs often lead these customer discussions, research solutions to the most challenging technical problems, and help craft the resulting design. Solutions Architects are also a source of internal innovation at MongoDB. Since Solutions Architects spend a significant amount of time speaking with customers, they are the first to realize when marketing or technical material is not resonating with customers or is simply difficult to understand. The pressure of short timelines and desire to be successful often results in innovative messaging and slides that are often adopted by MongoDB’s Product Marketing organization. Similar innovation often occurs with respect to MongoDB feature requests and enhancements. SAs are continually working with customers to help them solve problems and they quickly identify areas where MongoDB’s enhancements would provide significant value. The identification of these areas and specific recommendations from SAs on what product enhancements are required have played a big role in focusing the feature set of future MongoDB releases. Project Management Lastly, SAs often support a number of Account Executives and work on several dozen sales opportunities per quarter. This means that SAs are working a large number of opportunities simultaneously and must be highly organized to ensure that they are prepared for each activity and complete every follow-up item in a timely manner. It is not possible for an SA manager to track or completely understand every sales opportunity so SAs must be self-motivated and manage all their own activities. Summary Solutions Architecture at MongoDB is a challenging and rewarding role. The wide range of technical knowledge plus sales and communication skills required to be successful is common to SA roles. When you combine this with the need for SAs to design innovative solutions to complex (often previously unsolvable problems), the SAs have the set of skills and the track record of success that makes them the “best” in the business. If you want to join the best, check out the MongoDB Careers page . About the Author - Jay Runkel Jay Runkel is a principal solutions architect at MongoDB. For over 5 years, Jay has worked with Fortune 500 companies to architect enterprise solutions using non-relational document databases. Before MongoDB, Jay was a key team member at MarkLogic and Venafi, where he worked with financial services, medical, and media organizations to develop operational systems for analytics and custom publishing. He also has experience guiding large financial institutions, retailers, health care and insurance organizations to secure, protect, and manage their encryption assets. Jay has a BS in Applied Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. 1. My favorite part of the job is to get locked in a conference room and whiteboard for 4 hours with a development team to brainstorm the MongoDB solution/design for a particular use case. The most valuable end product of this session is not the design, but the development’s belief that they will be successful with MongoDB and that the development process will be easier than they expected. ↩
How to Prepare for Your Engineering Interview at MongoDB
MongoDB’s Engineering team is full of creative individuals who play an impactful role in building our industry-leading technology. Our interview process is designed to ensure that you and MongoDB are a great match, and, no matter how many interviews you have done in the past, being prepared is the key to being successful. At MongoDB, we do our best to make sure you have a great interview experience and an opportunity to learn about our company, culture, and the people you will be working with. To help you prepare for your technical interviews, we want to share some tips. Research is key Candidates who do research and come prepared for interviews at MongoDB are able to make the most of their interview process. People sometimes think they do not need to do research because they are already familiar with our products, but that will set you up for unexpected surprises. Before beginning your interviews, you should have high-level knowledge of our company’s mission, values, and goals . The in-depth technical information you can learn about MongoDB and the role and team you are interviewing for may also help set you apart from other candidates. MongoDB has a variety of products and Engineering teams, and this information will give you a chance to learn more about what we are working on, technical stacks we use, and what you’d be contributing to if you joined. Take a look at some of the resources below, and use them to your advantage. MongoDB Blog : Our blog is updated regularly with new posts about life at MongoDB, news, products, and events. MongoDB University : This platform was created to empower developers through education. We offer completely free online courses led by Curriculum Engineers for any learner, whether you’re just getting started or already familiar with MongoDB. MongoDB Documentation : The documentation page has detailed information about our products and tools that will give you an idea of what you will be working on as an engineer. MongoDB Developer Hub : The developer hub provides articles on and resources for how to get started with MongoDB. Learn from our Developer Advocates and the MongoDB community! Types of interviews After doing some initial research, it is important to prepare for the actual interviews. Our interview process usually includes one or two virtual interviews and then an onsite interview, which we are currently conducting via Zoom. This may change in accordance with company and COVID-19 guidelines. These interviews and what they cover will vary by team, so it is important to speak with your recruiter and ask for any additional tips or insight into what to expect. Our recruiting process is primarily team-based, which means you’ll interview for a role on a specific team, and many of your interviewers will be team members, as well as your manager. In general, you can expect to receive questions about your background, interest in MongoDB, and why you are interviewing to work with that team. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask your interviewers questions about all things MongoDB. Technical Interviews Technical interviews have a variety of areas that may be covered, including concurrency, distributed systems, algorithms, system design, and language-specific coding. An important part of the technical interview that often goes under the radar is the need for effective communication when talking through your thought process or discussing the problems that are presented. Below are some of the things our engineers look for in a good technical performance. Writing code: strong understanding of the language being used, code is concurrency-safe, works in edge cases, good object-oriented design Software engineering: understanding of data structures and algorithms, considering trade-offs (e.g., run time vs. memory), testing your code Collaboration: clear and concise code that is readable and organized, responding well to suggestions or hints, effective communication about difficulties faced Systems design: design a solution to scale to high levels of concurrency, throughput, and reliability. Does it avoid common bottlenecks, how do we prove its correctness, and what are the trade-offs or alternative solutions? Behavioral Interviews Behavioral interviews focus on how you may add to the culture we continue to build at MongoDB. Reviewing our code of conduct and core values will show you how we operate as a company and what we expect from our employees. Other topics of discussion you should expect in these interviews are successes and failures, what you have learned from these experiences, and what you are looking for in your next role. We will also ask you about your experience with mentoring and learning from other engineers and leaders, your goals and aspirations for the future, and your experience with owning or leading projects. What we offer There are a few things we can promise if you decide to interview for an Engineering role at MongoDB. First, you’ll have a speedy and transparent process with a single, dedicated recruiter. We tailor each of our interview processes to fit the role’s responsibilities and seniority level, and you won’t be asked any riddle questions that aren’t related to the work you’d be doing. Our interview questions are typically sourced from real problems we have had to solve. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with your future manager and some future teammates, and we hope you find that your interviewers are genuinely interested in you as a person and seeing you succeed at MongoDB. We believe different experiences, identities, and perspectives build a unique culture that helps us create and innovate the next generation of MongoDB. In short, following this guide will help prepare you for a successful interview at MongoDB. Ensure you have gained some knowledge about our company, mission, and goals; the role you’re interviewing for and the team you’d be working on; and the types of interview questions you may be asked. And be prepared with questions for us! We’re so glad you’re interested in joining our team, and we look forward to seeing you in the interview process. Interested in pursuing a career at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!