Here’s what we’re reading this week at MongoDB:
Forbes: 16 Little Things You May Have Missed If You've Been Out Of The Tech Loop For 10 Years
TechCrunch: 10 Trends Transforming Enterprise IT
Slate: Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Wealthfront: 106 Career-Launching Technology Companies
260,000 Students Later: MongoDB University Celebrates its Two Year Anniversary
By Shannon Bradshaw , Director of Education at MongoDB We’re at MongoDB SF 2012 and Andrew Erlichson has a crazy idea. “Let’s create free online classes on MongoDB and make them available to everyone in the world.” CEO Dwight Merriman and President Max Schireson love the idea, and within days a small team at MongoDB begins building out the first two courses, M101 and M102 . In October 2012, we open enrollment for the first MongoDB University courses. Andrew and Dwight announce the courses over a webcast from New York City. By the time Andrew and Dwight walk from the webcast back to their desks 1,000 people have already registered for the inaugural courses. Two years later, we’ve expanded MongoDB University to help professionals around the globe build their MongoDB expertise from start to finish. With 260,000+ registrations, MongoDB University now hosts five online MongoDB courses, making it easier than ever to get started building and administering MongoDB. In collaboration with Udacity , we created a data wrangling course to help Data Scientists take advantage of MongoDB. MongoDB professionals can also formalize their expertise through our growing Certification program for Application Developers and Database Administrators. Finally, we expanded our in-person training to include classes on MongoDB Diagnostics and Debugging, Advanced Data Modeling, MongoDB Advanced Operations, and more. Through these courses, we reach thousands of individuals each year and help them get their MongoDB projects off the ground. Needless to say, we are excited about the next two years of MongoDB University . As we celebrate the two year anniversary of MongoDB University, I wanted to take this time to thank our students and the collaborators who have given us the critical feedback we need to build excellent online education and in-person training experiences. Over the next two weeks, we will be featuring stories from our alumni and MongoDB Certified Professionals to highlight the amazing things they are doing with MongoDB. Finally, a huge thank you to all of our MongoDB University instructors and teaching assistants who help our students complete their courses with success. If you haven’t started with MongoDB University, have a look at the course catalogue. The next sessions of MongoDB for Node.js Developers and MongoDB for Python Developers are still open for registration .
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 .