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MongoDB Radio: Our New Podcast Project
This is for our previous Podcast series. We've launched a new one since this post went live. Find out more information here: https://www.mongodb.com/blog/post/mongodb-podcast-has-launched . Welcome to the inaugural post of MongoDB Radio, our new podcast project. We’re very excited to bring you great content about MongoDB, the people who build it, and the people who use it. Throughout this series we will feature interviews with MongoDB engineers, experts in the field of distributed computing and databases, stories from our community and trends in technology, and much more. The world of distributed systems and next generation applications is a fascinating place, and we can’t wait to share it with you. In episode one we spent time with Luke Lovett, a software engineer on the driver’s integration team at MongoDB. Among many things, Luke is responsible for maintaining one of our most popular projects – the Hadoop connector for MongoDB. The connector allows you to plug MongoDB into the Hadoop ecosystem of tools and perform sophisticated processing against the data within MongoDB. We spoke with Luke during our developer conference in San Jose, where he was delivering a talk on some of the new features available on the connector. We discussed the connector in depth, what it’s like to work on an open source project with the community, and how he got started at MongoDB. Join us for two days of GIANT thinking. Learn more about MongoDB World About the Author - Bryan Reinero Bryan is US Developer Advocate at MongoDB fostering understanding and engagement in the community. Previously Bryan was a Senior Consulting Engineer at MongoDB, helping users optimize MongoDB for scale and performance and a contributor to the Java Driver for MongoDB. Earlier, Bryan was Software Engineering Manager at Valueclick, building and managing large scale marketing applications for advertising, retargeting, real-time bidding and campaign optimization. Earlier still, Bryan specialized in software for embedded systems at Ricoh Corporation and developed data analysis and signal processing software at the Experimental Physics Branch of Ames Research Center.
The Rise of the Strategic Developer
The work of developers is sometimes seen as tactical in nature. In other words, developers are not often asked to produce strategy. Rather, they are expected to execute against strategy, manifesting digital experiences that are defined by the “business.” But that is changing. With the automation of many time-consuming tasks -- from database administration to coding itself -- developers are now able to spend more time on higher value work, like understanding market needs or identifying strategic problems to solve. And just as the value of their work increases, so too does the value of their opinions. As a result, many developers are evolving, from coders with their heads-down in the corporate trenches to highly strategic visionaries of the digital experiences that define brands. “I think the very definition of ‘developer’ is expanding,” says Stephen “Stennie” Steneker, an engineering manager on the Developer Relations team at MongoDB. “It’s not just programmers anymore. It’s anyone who builds something.” Stennie notes that the learning curve needed to build something is flattening. Fast. He points to an emerging category of low code tools like Zapier, which allows people to stitch web apps together without having to write scripts or set up APIs. “People with no formal software engineering experience can build complex automated workflows to solve business problems. That’s a strategic developer.” Many other traditional developer tasks are being automated as well. At MongoDB, for example, we pride ourselves on removing the most time-consuming, low-value work of database administration. And of course, services like GitHub Copilot are automating the act of coding itself. So what does this all mean for developers? A few things: First, move to higher ground. In describing one of the potential outcomes of GitHub Copilot, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott said, ““It may very well be one of those things that makes programming itself more approachable.” When the barriers to entry for a particular line of work start falling, standing still is not an option. It’s time to up your strategic game by offering insight and suggestions on new digital experiences that advance the objectives of the business. Second, accept more responsibility. A strategic developer is someone who can conceive, articulate, and execute an idea. That also means you are accountable for the success or failure of that idea. And as Stennie reminded me, “There are more ways than ever before to measure the success of a developer’s work.” And third, never stop skilling. Developers with narrow or limited skill sets will never add strategic value, and they will always be vulnerable to replacement. Like software itself, developers need to constantly evolve and improve, expanding both hard and soft skills. How do you see the role of the developer evolving? Any advice for those that aspire to more strategic roles within their organizations? Reach out and let me know what you think at @MarkLovesTech .