Three Most Common Developer Skill Gaps Impacting Your Business

Sammi Reinstein

When we survey IT leaders about what's holding them back from adopting modern data platforms like MongoDB, skill gaps are a commonly cited top reason. And from our experience, most teams don't even realize that these skill gaps exist in the first place.

The past few years have been a time of rapid change for developers, with teams looking to simplify their architecture and increase agility to build smarter apps that meet the needs of their users.

To meet these demands and keep up with technology advancements like event-driven architectures, in-app analytics, and now AI, organizations have begun to look towards transformation and modernizing their legacy systems.

It's critical that when organizations do these transformations, they bring their people along with them. But according to Deloitte Insights, that doesn’t always happen. They reported only 30% of workers feel supported by their company’s skill development opportunities.

Figure 1: Dissatisfaction with professional development investments

The skills developers are equipped with are widening from what companies require, creating a skill gap and creating risk in their businesses — leading to increased costs through performance, productivity, and security issues.

To help companies close these skill gaps, MongoDB’s Instructor-Led Training team created a tool called MongoDB Skill Scanner. This tool has helped companies across industries to identify skill shortages and create data-driven training programs to improve MongoDB proficiency, increase productivity, and reduce risk and errors. Skill Scanner also helps save time and money spent on training by making these programs extremely efficient.

Now that several hundred developers at a variety of organizations have used Skill Scanner, we have early data on 3 of the most common skill gaps in developers that your team should be looking out for (and providing upskill opportunities for).

Skill gap #3: Aggregation

The third most common skill gap identified through MongoDB Skill Scanner is aggregation. An aggregation pipeline consists of one or more stages that process documents:

  • Each stage performs an operation on the input documents. For example, a stage can filter documents, group documents, and calculate values.

  • The documents that are output from a stage are passed to the next stage.

  • An aggregation pipeline can return results for groups of documents. For example, return the total, average, maximum, and minimum values.

Lack of knowledge on aggregations severely limits the type of queries that developers can create with MongoDB. This means developers end up creating more logic in the application server instead of the database server making applications become harder to maintain.

So what does this mean for your business? A skill shortage in this area can cause slow applications and operations by increasing the hardware size, which also creates more expenses for your team.

Aggregation pipelines, especially for non-JavaScript back-ends, may seem complex at first, but with native mapping in each driver, this takes processing capabilities to the next level, without having to leave your usual language.

Skill gap #2: Indexes and optimization

Indexes and Optimization are the second most common skill deficit we see among developers.

When an application is slow, teams will jump into action trying to diagnose what the problem might be. A common missed step is taking a step back and re-evaluating their indexing strategy, which is a fundamental element of managing any database.

MongoDB supports a wide variety of index types and language-specific sort orders to support complex access patterns. Understanding how to create the right indexes for your data structure (and when to remove unnecessary indexes) is crucial for efficient query operations.

A lack of knowledge in indexing and optimization can lead to a variety of technical issues including:

  • Lack of indexes, leading to slower queries

  • Excess or redundant indexes, which impact write performance and disk consumption

These issues are a common culprit to rising TCO and slower applications.

Skill gap #1: Security

Lastly, by far the most common developer skill gap we saw from Skill Scanner results is Security. This is also one of the most costly errors a team can make.

Compliance with security regulations avoids expensive audit findings and greatly reduces risk. Insufficient knowledge of proper security measures may lead to:

  • Non-compliance with industry regulations resulting in fines and legal penalties

  • Outages or disruptions, leading to downtime

  • Reputational damage

  • Data loss or breach

Ensuring developers know the basics of the applied security best practices ensures that no one accidentally opens up security loopholes.

Identifying team skill gaps

Before jumping into upskilling the team, it’s critical to understand where your team stands and what skills areas they need to improve on so that not only can you close the gap, but close it in a productive, data-driven way.

MongoDB Skill Scanner asks a series of multiple choice questions and then provides you with a clear understanding of each individual’s level of expertise across a set of technical skills that are critical for success working with MongoDB in their role.

To get started with MongoDB Skill Scanner, contact our team here to retrieve access for yourself or your team.

Closing the skill gap

Instructor-Led Training empowers teams through highly relevant training content, delivered live by expert instructors to maximize productivity and equip developers and DBAs with the skills they need to succeed — leading to higher employee retention, a better user experience, and reduced errors and inefficiencies.

Instructor-Led Training has courses for all skill levels and roles, meaning your team only learns what they need when they need it.

We have multiple training delivery methods to match your organization's needs including Private Training (classes are delivered on your schedule, onsite or remotely), Public Training (remote-only and open to the public), and Precision Learning Programs (white-glove MongoDB training initiatives with individualized learning plans).

For more information on course details, learning paths, and training schedules, view our Training Catalog. If you're interested in trying out MongoDB Skill Scanner or want to explore the MongoDB Training programs further, you can reach out to your account representative or contact us directly.