Here's what we're reading this week from the MongoDB community.
Business Insider: 21 Enterprise Startups to Bet On in 2014
MongodB News: RMS Revolutionizes Risk Management for Insurance Industry with Secure Platform Built on MongoDB
Silicon Angle: MongoDB Gets Endorsement from Risk Management Insurance Company RMS
InfoWorld: MongoDB Named to InfoWorld’s Technology of the Year Awards List
The MongoDB Blog: Meet Trisha Gee, Java Engineer and Evangelist
Asya Kamsky: Replication without High Availability
Asya Kamsky: Help! Someone Deleted My Database Files!
Asya Kamsky: The MongoDB Trap
Vlad Mihalcea A Beginner’s Guide To MongoDB Performance TurboCharging
Meet Trisha Gee: Java Engineer
We're excited to introduce you to Trisha Gee, a Java Engineer and Evangelist based in Spain. What is your role at MongoDB? I’m a Java Engineer. I work on the Java driver for the Developer Experience team. Where were you before MongoDB? Why did you choose to come to MongoDB? I’ve been a Java engineer for twelve years since I graduated in 2001. Before joining MongoDB just over a year ago, I was working for company called LMAX Exchange, a financial exchange in London focusing on low latency, high performance trading. I came to MongoDB because I had spent a lot of time working in finance and I wanted to work for a company with a product. The evangelism within the MongoDB community was also big part of the draw. At previous positions I’d mostly done coding with only a bit of outreach on the side, but I was interested in doing more. At MongoDB, I had the opportunity to continue with coding and development but take on more speaking and evangelism roles. I also really liked the vision the executives had for the product and the company. Where are you from? I recently moved to Seville, Spain but before that I was in London. Why did you decide to move? My boyfriend is actually from Spain. Back in March we were looking ahead to the rest of the year, and decided we needed a change of scenery and a change of weather! And honestly, it doesn’t matter where I live because I’m either travelling for evangelism events or working from home. 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? I didn’t have much experience with MongoDB. But when I started in London we had a basic overview of the product, and then I went to the weeklong boot camp in New York. There was a lot of intense technical information, but it was good to have it all as a reference. And meeting the people in the New York offices was great. I learned a lot on the job, mostly when we were working on community support. Handling the challenges of clients using our product in the real world gives you a great idea of how the product functions. Supporting other MongoDB users taught me a lot about how to use it myself. What’s a typical day (or week) for you? I have two different kinds of days: the ones when I work from home and the ones when I travel. When I’m at home, I go out for a nice breakfast to get out of the house and sit out in the sunshine. My boyfriend is also a Java developer so we’ll have a mini “standup” where we talk about what we’re hoping to accomplish that day. Then the mornings are focused mostly on administrative tasks, code review, catching up on email, booking my next trip, etc. In the afternoon is my coding time, although most days I’ll also have a video conference with my team or department. When I’m travelling it’s totally different. On my way to a conference I always try to write a blog but I’m usually preparing for my presentation instead. I get up very early and go to the gym. I always make sure to get a good breakfast (you never know what your meals could look like when you’re at a conference). I go through one more dry run in my hotel room before presenting. Then I usually give my presentation and take notes on others to include in blog posts later on. On the flight home I’ll try to write a post, but I often end up watching movies. What do you love most about MongoDB? I like that I’m never bored! I jumped around between several companies before MongoDB because I wanted more to do. There’s always something to work on, and everything is flexible so you can focus on what you’re great at or what you’d like to improve. There’s a lot of variety so you can move around between projects. And the people are amazing. What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? At the moment we’re trying to rewrite the entire Java Driver from scratch. Project rewrites are always a lot of work, and on top of this big project I’m still managing my schedule of evangelism trips. It's challenging to switch between the contexts of coding and community outreach. What’s one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had working here so far? I actually love our review process. It’s so constructive to sit down with your manager and have them say, this is what you’re great at and this is what you could be even better at. They help you come up with ways to improve and be more effective. I’ve worked at lots of different companies and never have had as constructive a review process than at MongoDB. What’s your favorite Seamless lunch order? When I’m in the NYC office I often order salad, which is weird since I’m not that fond of salad. I guess I like that I can put everything I want in there and nothing more. Favorite breakfast? My favorite breakfasts are always in New York (I lived there for a year five years ago). I love diners and I usually get something simple like eggs and sausage. My perfect breakfast, if I’m going to treat myself, is eggs benedict. Name one secret skill you have, unrelated to work. I’m an expert at putting together IKEA furniture. And given how much I’ve moved around, it’s extremely useful. Kindle or book? What’s your favorite book? I love books but since I travel so much having a Kindle is fantastic and I use it all the time. You can sync all your devices and read a technical book and a novel at the same time. It’s great. My favorite book is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Describe your perfect weekend. A few years ago I would have said a visit to Prague or another city. But since I get to travel all the time now, I want to be here in Seville, go on a bike ride, meet friends and family for food, and have the time to do stuff around the house. I’d end the day with a movie and a glass of wine. Favorite airline? The staff on Virgin Atlantic are always so nice and friendly, but I often fly British Airways because they let you take hand baggage on board and go to a lot of different locations. Craziest flying experience? On a flight from New York to San Francisco in September, we get to JFK and our flight was delayed. When we finally get on the flight we sat around for hours, before taxiing back to the terminal. Apparently there was a grinding noise so they didn’t want to fly. So we waited about two hours for another plane, get on the plane, and sit there for a few hours before finding out this one also has a mechanical problem. I had to go back to Manhattan for the night and fly out the next morning. 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 Trisha, we’re looking to fill the positions of a Java Engineer/Evangelist , a Java Application Engineer , and a Web Applications Developer . To learn more about open roles at MongoDB, please visit the MongoDB Careers Page .
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.