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 .
解決失業問題：DWP Digital 和 MongoDB 如何攜手合作，以增強開發人員的能力，並應付英國面臨的一些巨大挑戰
技術和企業是為了維持社會正向發展而存在。我們都有帳單要付，家庭要養，但除此之外，它遠比企業盈利更加重要。我也相信，開發人員尤其對一個組織所能取得的成績，包括社會影響和盈利水準，有著巨大的影響。英國就業與養老金部門的數位團隊 (DWP Digital) 是完美典範的團隊，該團隊理解並接受開發者人員在解決重大問題上可以發揮的重要作用。今年，我們有幸與 DWP Digital 及其開發人員合作，最終希望能夠應付英國面臨的一些巨大挑戰。 就業與養老金部門 (DWP) 是英國最大的公共服務部門。該部門負責向有需要的人提供政府援助，其中包括一系列福利，例如國家養老金、殘疾津貼等。超過 2200 萬位公民依靠 DWP 每年發放的 1680 億英鎊維持生計。 DWP Digital 團隊負責建置並支援使這一切成為可能的各種應用程式。他們運作 1,000 多個應用程式，並且據估計，他們已經為這些應用程式撰寫了超過 5,000 萬行程式碼。目前，DWP Digital 正在發生重大轉變，因為大部分最重要的工作已逐漸轉回到內部運作，而開發人員正在採用更敏捷的交付方法。其目標是提供更優質、更高效且更以客為尊的服務；如果沒有一支敬業、熟練和富有創造力的開發人員團隊，他們就無法做到這一點。 Hack the North:Hack the North：MongoDB 贊助 DWP Digital 的曼徹斯特基地黑客松 (Hackathon) Hack the North 對於那些不明就理的人來說，黑客松(Hackathon)是一項讓開發人員有機會嘗試新技術、解決新問題和試驗新方法的活動。基本上，您會想從黑客松(Hackathon)中獲得三樣東西：學習新知、玩得開心，以及努力回饋社會。然而，在我們進入黑客松(Hackathon)之前，有些統計資料表示：曼徹斯特城及其周邊地區有超過 75,000 名失業者在此生活 (資料來源：DWP 的丘吉爾申請，2017 年 6 月)，整體失業率高於全國平均水準，居民失業率為 5.5% (資料來源： Nomis，官方勞動力市場統計資料 )。科學、研究、工程和技術專業等領域的工作，僅佔曼徹斯特總勞動力的 4.69%。然而，該類別的職位空缺占公布的職位空缺總數的 18% (資料來源： 2016/2017 年第一季度市議會經濟儀表板 )。 因此，當 DWP Digital 決定在 2018 年初曼徹斯特數位中心開業之前舉辦一場黑客松(Hackathon)時，他們想要解決的重大挑戰是顯而易見的。Hack the North 是一場為期兩天的公共黑客松(Hackathon)，專注於尋找解決方案，以協助解決該市的失業問題。它通常在場外進行，以便讓使參與者脫離日常活動的思維空間。那裡通常有很多食物 (披薩)、飲料和競爭性的玩笑。 The project board at Hack the North Hack the North 的計畫委員會 由於 DWP Digital 是 MongoDB 在歐洲最重要的使用者之一，而且我們的開發人員宣傳團隊擁有舉辦黑客松(Hackathon)的經驗，因此我們的一些團隊與其他贊助商 ThoughtWorks 及 TechHub Manchester 一起支援這項活動。過去這幾年以來，我參加過好幾次黑客松(Hackathon)，老實說，這是我參加過最精彩的一次。所有參與者的想法、執行力和熱情，都非常的蓬勃煥發。 我們在現場有 70 多人，分為 10 個不同的團隊，每個團隊的任務就是在短短兩天內利用 Churchill (DWP 的公共資料儲存庫 – 也是建立在 MongoDB 上) 等公共來源的可用資料，開發出一個全新的就業解決方案。 "I’d expected DWP to be quite corporate, but the people I’ve met here really want to make a difference to the world.” Our @dtanham on the innovation & creativity on display at our #HackTheNorth #hackathon in #Manchester 🐝 👉🏽 https://t.co/NPbqhiSy6H pic.twitter.com/t2kmurOa5O — DWP Digital (@DWPDigital) December 11, 2017 最終的解決方案面面俱到、富有創意，並且令人印象深刻。我們擁有一切，從協助新失業者入職過程的引擎，到將簡歷和能力測試遊戲化的平台。然而，最終獲勝者是一支名為 UpSkill 的團隊。UpSkill 採用 MongoDB Atlas 建置了一個應用程式，可以將求職者的技能與雇主的要求配對，還有一個 API 允許求職者存取各種資源來提高他們的技能。這是一個非常靈巧、執行順暢的最終產品，在眾多創意中獨樹一幟。 誠然，我們還沒有完全解決曼徹斯特的失業問題，但在我看來，為期兩天的活動取得了巨大的成功，開發人員學到了很多東西，並建立了一些強而有力的概念驗證。如果想要瞭解更多資訊，請查看 #HackTheNorth Twitter 新聞 ，或我的評委同事 Dan Tanham (DWP Digital 的副主任) 撰寫的這篇優秀 部落格貼文 。 教學相長 直到您可以把所學傳授給別人，才是真正學會了這一課。除了黑客松(Hackathon)之外，DWP Digital 使其團隊保持在開發最佳作法前沿的另一種方式，就是讓他們在開發人員大會上進行演講。我們很高興有數十個 DWP Digital 團隊參加了去年 11 月在倫敦舉行的 MongoDB Europe 2017 ，但真正特別的是 DWP Digital 的首席技術官 Rob Thompson 發表了一整個上午的主題演講。 您可以在下面看到他演講的完整影片，您不會被他的論點所震驚。在概述了 DWP Digital 之後，Rob 談到了 MongoDB 和敏捷開發如何成為協助英國最大的公共服務部門轉變其資料基礎架構，並在養老金、健康、福利和分析方面建置許多旗艦級數位服務的關鍵工具。Rob 堅信，在大多數計畫中，開發人員是決定成敗的關鍵。 在分組討論中，Rob 的同事 David Parry 更詳細介紹了 DWP Digital 如何在雲端中使用敏捷開發、Java 和 MongoDB 來建立微服務架構。這種架構使得從概念驗證快速重複到數百個服務成為可能，因為它們在全國範圍內推出。遺憾的是，我們無法拍攝每場會議，因此如果您想觀看這種類型的演示，您只能親自參加今年稍晚舉辦的 MongoDB Europe。 與 DWP 數位團隊如此緊密合作的幾個月，是一段十分愉快的時光。他們不僅以令人難以置信的強大方式使用 MongoDB，而且更重要的是，我親眼見證了該組織是如何以開發人員為中心的。您可能很難相信大型政府部門會成為開發人員創新的孵化器，但值得慶幸的是，他們確實可以。事實證明，DWP Digital 與矽谷的精英一樣具有前瞻性、敏捷性和以一般使用者為中心的理念，而社會也因此變得更加美好。 在 DWP Digital Jobs Twitter 帳戶 上瞭解有關 DWP Digital 職位空缺的更多資訊，或瀏覽 careers.dwp.gov.uk 。如果您想更深入瞭解 MongoDB 的開發人員重點和我們舉辦的活動，請跟隨我的帳號 @jdrumgoole 。
Intern Series: From MongoDB User to Return Intern - Meet Andy Mina
Insight into the World of a Top-Level Executive
The MDBWomen’s Group recently hosted a company-wide event with guest speaker, Maya Leibman , Executive Vice President and CIO of American Airlines . Maya covered a wide-range of topics, including her 27-year career at American Airlines, her successes and learnings along the way, and what it means to be the “air traffic controller” of American Airlines’ technological transformation. Maya Leibman, Executive Vice President and CIO of American Airlines Here are just a few of the highlights from the insightful event with Maya: Question: Being at the technology helm of the world’s largest airline is quite an awe inspiring position. What does your role entail? Answer: I have been with American Airlines for 27 years and have done a lot of different roles both inside and outside technology. I have done this job for the last eight or nine years and I have responsibility for all things technology. Everything from development to infrastructure, cyber, data and next generation tools and practices. Q: You have been described as the air traffic controller of American’s technological transformation. What do you think they meant? A: An air traffic controller is responsible for ensuring that everything goes smoothly at the airport which is a really complex place. My team and I have responsibility for ensuring that as we modernize the way we deliver technology that we do it in a safe and secure way and a way that recognizes the risks and seeks to minimize them. We are taking something really complex and making it as smooth as possible. Q: How has COVID impacted your approach to technology innovation? A: It has been impactful in so many different ways. The biggest is in the ways that we are working. Who knew that in the space of a couple of days we would all have to go home and find ways to connect, work and be productive? We would never have thought that it would be as easily done as it was. At American, we say that everyone has a responsibility for innovation. Q: How do you empower different teams and measure how innovative they are? A: What is hard with a big company is that people like consistency, standards, and predictability so processes get built around things and it’s like a fence that prevents innovation. We can’t hire people and put them in a tiny pen because they’ll never achieve what we hired them for. As leaders, we need to have the judgement to understand that while we need standards and consistency, we can’t have it at the expense of people thinking their best thoughts, spreading their wings, and producing new, innovative approaches not just to what we are doing but how we are doing it. (Top left to bottom right: Alexandra Hills , Lacy Ceder , Stephanie Samuels , Maya Leibman ) Q: How has your leadership style evolved over time? A: Every positive attribute you can think of can be used to describe leadership. Personally, for me, it plays on both what your strengths and weaknesses are. One of my strengths is communication. I believe that part of my success as a leader has been the ability to communicate, stand up in front of a group, make compelling arguments and be somebody who can speak confidently with authority and knowledge. One of my weaknesses is listening. I’m not good at it; I interrupt people and am impatient. Honing my leadership skills means trying to get better at the things I’m not good at. Q: You have talked about the JetStream Program quite openly. Why is that and what did you learn from it? A: Jetstream was a disaster. It was a project that my group worked on for two years to develop this system that would re-write our reservation system. During that time, not one line of code was written and that’s how bad it was. We’ve all had experiences in our careers that we are not proud of and I think we should be open about them because it makes us more real and relatable. That’s life. Q: How do you lead your team through those moments of disaster? A: A lot of that has to do with developing an experimental mindset. Technology transformation is all about being willing to experiment and to learn and if it doesn't work, to pivot and do something different. That’s what Agile delivery transformation is all about. When you’re building technology you are doing something that nobody has ever done before so why do you think you are going to get it perfect the first time? Q: You didn’t start at CIO. How did your other roles at American shape you? A: I had ten or 15 jobs in the 27 years and each one has taught me different things. You just extract whatever you can from whatever role you are doing. The one thing I learned is that nothing is linear. We all got to where we are through twists and turns so you have to take your hands off the wheel a little bit and recognize that things are going to come along that you might not have expected. Don’t get too stressed about how your career is going. Everything really works out in the end. Q: Do you have any advice on how women can overcome difficult conversations and negotiations on things like salaries? A: Certain things are endemic to gender and I think it’s important to remember that the men you work with are not hesitating to go to their boss and say they want a review or more money. A lot of women think their work will speak for itself and that they don’t have to put themselves out there but you do have to have those difficult conversations and you do have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable about them. Find a friend and rehearse them before time or have somebody role play with you. We, as women, need to get to a place where we feel confident having those discussions. Q: What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it? A: The merger between American and US Airways was really hard. Hard from a work perspective and also from a people perspective. We were trying to bring two cultures together and two different philosophies around technology. It was a difficult time in a lot of ways. One of the things I insisted on was that we assume positive intention. You have to go into this assuming that everyone is doing the best possible thing. It’s so easy to vilify other people. Q: How do you envision the transition back after COVID? A: People are diametrically opposed on how they think about risk. It’s important when we return to the office to be empathetic with everyone’s re-entry into this process. For me, it’s not about whether we’re going to work from home, it’s about when we are going to work from home. Thank you, Maya for a phenomenal event and for sharing your expertise with the MongoDB community. You are an amazing role model in technology and we appreciate you sharing your insights with us!
Meet MongoDB's Global Talent Sourcing Team
As MongoDB’s India-based team grows, we’re looking to add new members to our Global Sourcing team in the Gurugram office. Hear from Gagan Singh , Senior Manager of Talent Sourcing, along with some Sourcing team members to learn more about the day-to-day of a Talent Sourcer and how MongoDB provides access to leadership, fosters inclusion, and enables career growth. About the Sourcing Team Our team of Global Talent Sourcers partner with our recruiters to identify and hire top talent for MongoDB. We are divided into specialized sourcing teams by business units (Sales, Engineering, Customer Engineering, Corporate, and Marketing), and our team works to support the hiring needs in Australia/New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America. The Recruiting team partners with the Sourcing team to pipeline for open positions, as well as organizing ad hoc projects such as talent pool insights to understand availability of talent, location analysis to understand favourable locations to hire, and org chart creation of target companies for our open positions. As Talent Sourcers, our job is to help find the best talent within a competitive market. Our day begins with doing extensive secondary research for talent on sites like Linkedin, Google, Github, Seekout, and in our internal database. We then identify which candidates qualify for a role based on the skills required for the open position. Quality candidate profiles are uploaded to our CRM (candidate relationship management tool) and ATS (applicant tracking system) for further review and outreach. Along with sourcing talent, our group of Talent Sourcers who support open positions in APAC engage with candidates over the phone, email, and InMail to prequalify them for recruiters. The team also contributes by examining the market and target company trends and developing useful insights based on their research for different locations. This helps us be strategic talent advisors to our recruiters and hiring managers. The success measures for a Talent Sourcer are divided into leading and lagging indicators. Number of prospects, candidates sourced, and candidate quality are the leading indicators. Number of candidates sourced by the Talent Sourcer who received an offer or were hired is a lagging indicator. Hear from some of our team members Ruchi Puri, Global Corporate & Marketing Sourcer “Being a global Sourcer is pretty exciting. Although we each support our given business unit and region, we still get to work and strategize with other recruiters and sourcers. There is an open culture which allows us to reach out to our stakeholders and leaders for absolutely anything. Being part of the Global Corporate & Marketing Sourcing team gives me the ability to work with recruiters from various countries and cultures. The best thing is that our recruiters and leaders have trust and confidence in us and are always available to provide any kind of support we need." Vivek Negi, Global Customer Engineering Sourcer “Working at MongoDB has been a joy so far, and I have gained tremendous knowledge about the database market and software industry. I also had the opportunity to visit our New York City headquarters for a People Team offsite, and it gave me the opportunity to meet our senior leadership team and have one-on-one conversations with my stakeholders. I am privileged to work with really smart people.” Tanu Saxena, Tech Sourcer - NA “I’ve been working at MongoDB for three years, and what a journey it has been. I can’t be more thankful to work with such a talented and amazing bunch of people willing to help each other do great work with a positive mindset. I have worked in a similar structure at my previous companies but the people here at MongoDB are truly amazing. I have never felt like one team with global stakeholders in my previous jobs but here it is an entirely different level with amazing partnership.” Kuldeep Pandey, Sourcer- APAC “I joined MongoDB in August 2018 from an agency background where I was responsible for managing a team. Being a part of MongoDB has been a great journey. I have worked under different lines of business including North America Sales, Global Customer Engineering, and now India/APAC Sourcing. I was promoted in August 2020 from Talent Sourcer to Senior Talent Sourcer and can certainly see a clear path of growth and learning for myself in the coming years.” Yumna Alvi, Sr. Sales Sourcer- EMEA “I am very proud to work at a company that embraces diversity and accepts people from all cultures. I remember when I started wearing my headscarf (hijab), a lot of my friends and relatives warned me that it could affect my long-term career goals. After receiving my MBA, I began interviewing to start my career, and many companies questioned me about my attire. These questions were very demotivating and my response was always, ‘I cover my head, not my brain.’ MongoDB never questioned me about anything. Instead, they always supported and appreciated me by simply letting me be myself. In the last two years, MongoDB has provided me with the best opportunities of my life: international exposure, managing stakeholders, mentoring new hires, and interviewing candidates. MongoDB practices its core values every day, especially Embrace the Power of Differences.” Tanya Agarwal, Sr. Sales Sourcer- NA “MongoDB has been a life-changing journey for me. I received two promotions within two years of me joining the company and each level has helped me build on my knowledge. I feel special when I get to know how I am contributing to the growth of MongoDB. Over the past couple of years, I have benefited from the international exposure I have had while partnering with my recruiting counterparts in North America. I have the liberty to make mistakes and I always have the support of my leaders to focus on improvements.” How to succeed on the team We look for individuals with strong research skills, knowledge of LinkedIn Recruiter, and a drive to go above and beyond to find great candidates, especially for niche roles and geographies. If you are applying to be a tech sourcer, you need strong conceptual technical knowledge of topics such as MongoDB fundamentals, products, and competitors; databases; software development lifecycle (SDLC); web services and microservices; DevOps, DataOps, and TechOps; and distributed systems. Experience in sourcing from unconventional tools such as Github is highly desirable. Our interview process involves a live sourcing test followed by interviews with the hiring manager, department head, and stakeholders. For sourcing tests, we ask candidates to read a job description, prepare a boolean based on their understanding of the job requirements, and then run a search. Candidates are assessed on their approach and engagement with the interviewer throughout the conversation, more than the number and quality of search results. The rest of the interview rounds focus on culture fit, relationship building skills, communication, and articulation. Overall, if you have attention to detail, great communication skills (sharing your observations and asking right questions), are research-oriented, and can be creative with boolean strings, we would love to network with you. Interested in pursuing a career on the Talent Sourcing team at MongoDB? We have several open roles and would love for you to transform your career with us!
4 Common Misperceptions about MongoDB
One year ago, in the middle of the pandemic, Dev Ittycheria, the CEO of MongoDB, brought me on as Chief Technology Officer. Frankly, I thought I knew everything about databases and MongoDB. After all, I’d been in the database business for 32 years already. I’d been on MongoDB’s Board of Directors and used the products extensively. And of course I’d done my due diligence, met the leadership team, and analyzed earnings reports and product roadmaps. Even with all that knowledge, this past year as MongoDB’s CTO has taught me that many of my preconceived notions were just plain wrong. This made me wonder how many other people might also have the wrong impression about this company. And this blog is my attempt to set those perceptions straight by sharing my four major revelations of the last year. My first revelation is that MongoDB is not trying to become this generation’s relational database. For years I assumed that MongoDB basically wanted to be a better, more modern version of Oracle when it grew up. In other words, compete with the huge footprint of Oracle and other commercial RDBMSs that have been the industry archetype for so long. I was way off. The whole point of MongoDB is to leave all those forms of archaic, legacy database technology in the historical dust. This was never supposed to be an evolution, but instead a revolution. Our founders not only envisioned the world's fastest and most scalable persistent store, but also one that would be programmed and operated differently. The combination of embedded documents and structures combined with automatic high availability and almost-infinite distribution capability all add up to a fundamentally different way of working with data, building applications, and running those applications in production. Oracle and (SQL*Server, etc) still hang their hats on E.F. Codd’s 51-year old vision of rows and columns. To obtain high availability and distribution of data, you need add ons, options packages, bailing wire and duct tape. And you need a lot of database administrators. Not cheap. Even after all that, you’re still trailing the technological edge. This is how wrong I was. Our durable competitive advantages over these legacy data stores make competing with those products almost irrelevant. We instead focus on the modern needs of modern developers building modern applications. These developers need to create their own competitive advantage through language-native development, reliable deployments to production, and lightning fast iteration. And the world is noticing; just check out the falling slope of Oracle and SQL*Server and the rising slope of MongoDB on the db-engines website. Which brings me to my second revelation: MongoDB was built for developers, by developers. I always knew that MongoDB was exceedingly fast and easy to program against. One time while I was bored in a meeting (yes, it happens here as well!), I built an Atlas database, loaded it with 350MB of data, downloaded and learned our Compass data discovery tool, built-in analytics aggregation pipelines, and our Charts package, and embedded live charts in a web page. This took me all of 19 minutes, end to end. To build something like that for engineers , it just has to be built by engineers , ones that are free to focus on all the rough edges that creep into products as features are added. I was first exposed to software planning and management over 40 years ago, and my LinkedIn profile shows a pretty diverse tour around the industry. Now, one year in, I can emphatically state that engineering and product at MongoDB are both different and better than any company I’ve ever had the privilege to work at. Our executive leadership gives engineering and product broad brushstokes of goals and desired outcomes, and then we work together to come up with detailed roadmaps, updated quarterly, that meet those goals in the way we think best, with no micromanagement. And we’re not afraid of 3-5 year projects, either. For example, multi-cloud was more than three years in the making. Also unlike any other company I’ve been at, we embrace the creation and re-payment of tech debt, rather than sweeping it under the rug. We do this through giving our product and engineering teams huge amounts of context, delivered with candor and openness. And one more essential thing; we have an empowered program management team that improves processes (including killing them) as fast as we create them. In short, we paint the targets for our teams and let them decide how and when to shoot. They even design the arrows and bows. It’s true bottoms-up engineering. Our engineers feel valued and understood. And that, in turn, empowers them to develop features that make our customers feel valued and understood, like a unified query language, or real-time analytics and charting directly in the console, or multi-region/multi-cloud clusters where all the networking cruft is taken care of for you. And this brings me to my third revelation: MongoDB is built for even the most demanding mission critical applications. Fast? Yes. Easy? Of course. But mission-critical? That’s not how I saw MongoDB when I used Version 2 for a massive student data project 10 years ago. While it was the only possible datastore we could have chosen for the amount of data and the speed of ingestion and processing needed, it was pretty hard to set up and use in a 24 x 365 environment. MongoDB had gotten ahead of itself in the early 2010’s. There was a gap between our capabilities and the expectations of the market. And it was painful. Other databases had had more than 30 years to solidify their systems and operations. We’d had five. But with Version 3 we added a new storage engine, full ACID transactions, and search. We built on it with Version 4. And then again with Version 5, released this week at our .Live conference. I knew about all this progress intellectually of course when I joined, but not viscerally. I came to realize that the security, durability, availability, scalability, and operability our platform offers (of course in addition to all the features that developers love too) was ideal for architecting fast-moving enterprise applications. And I found the proof in our customer list. It reads like a Who’s Who of major global banks, retailers, and telecommunications companies, running core systems like payments, IoT applications, content management, and real-time analytics. They use our database, data lake, analytics, search, and mobile products across their entire businesses, in every major cloud, on-premises, and on their laptops. And that leads me to my fourth and final revelation. MongoDB is no longer just a database. Of course, the database is still the core. But MongoDB now provides an enterprise-class, mission-critical application data platform. A cohesive, integrated suite of offerings capable of managing modern data requirements across even the most sprawling digital estates, and scaling to meet the level of any company’s ambition, without sacrificing speed or security. Since the day I was first introduced to MongoDB’s products, I’ve had tremendous respect and admiration for the teams and their work. After all, I’m a developer, first and foremost. And it always felt like they “got” me. But had I known then what I know now, I would have jumped on this train a long time ago. In fact, I might have camped out on their doorstep with my resume in hand. And who knows? Maybe a bunch of people reading this will do just that, and have their own revelations about how fulfilling and exciting it can be to be at a great company, with a great culture, producing great products. I’ll write another letter a year from now, and let you know how it’s going then. In the meantime, please reach out to me here, or at @MarkLovesTech .
DocumentDB, MongoDB and the Real-World Effects of Compatibility
If there’s confusion in the market for document databases, it probably has to do with how the products are marketed. AWS claims that DocumentDB, its document model database, comes “with MongoDB compatibility.” But the question of how compatible DocumentDB actually is with MongoDB is worth considering. DocumentDB merely emulates the MongoDB API while running on top of AWS’s cloud-based relational database, Amazon Aurora. And it’s an inconsistent imitator at best, because it fails 62% of MongoDB API correctness tests . Even though AWS claims compatibility with MongoDB 4.0, our tests have concluded that its emulator is a mishmash of features going back to MongoDB 3.2, which we released in 2015. The result is that DocumentDB lacks many of the features that come standard in MongoDB. We’ve already published a side-by-side comparison of the feature sets for each solution. Instead of covering the same ground here, we'll explain how some of those differences play out in real-world scenarios. DocumentDB vs. MongoDB head-to-head comparison Scaling writes, partitioning data, and sharding Native sharding enables you to scale out databases horizontally, across multiple nodes and regions. Atlas offers elastic vertical and horizontal scaling to smooth consumption. DocumentDB does not scale writes or partition data beyond a single node. In order to ensure consistency, MongoDB uses concurrency control measures to prevent multiple clients from modifying the same piece of data simultaneously. Replicate and scale beyond a single region A number of factors are driving the need to distribute workloads to different geographic regions. In some cases, it’s to reduce latency by putting data closer to where it’s being used. In other cases, it’s to store data in a specific geographic zone to help meet data localization requirements. Finally, there’s the need to ensure the availability of data when there’s an outage of an entire AWS region. The flexibility to replicate and move workloads as needed is increasingly seen as a business requirement. But by default DocumentDB limits you to just 15 replicas and constrains you to a single region. Newly introduced Global Clusters may look like an answer, but much like “MongoDB compatibility,” it’s potentially misleading. The Global Clusters feature more closely resembles multi-region replication since it only allows writes to single primaries instead of being able to write to multiple regions. It also requires manual reconfiguration to recover from failures, making it a partial solution, at best. MongoDB Atlas allows true global cluster configurations so you can deliver capabilities to all your users around the world. At a click of a button, you can place the most relevant data near local application servers across more than 80 global regions to ensure low-latency reads and writes. By being able to define a geographic location for each document, your teams are able to more easily meet local privacy and compliance measures. It’s also an insurance policy against being locked into a single public cloud provider. High resilience, rapid failover, retryable writes For critical applications, every second of downtime represents a loss of revenue, trust, and reputation. Rapid failover to a different geographic area is necessary when recovery time objectives (RTO) are measured in seconds. DocumentDB failover SLAs can be as high as two minutes, and multi-region failover is not available. With MongoDB, failover time is typically five seconds, and failover to a different region or cloud provider are also options. Write errors can be as costly as downtime. If a write to increment a field is duplicated because a dropped connection failed to notify the client that the write was executed, that extra increment can be very costly depending on what it represents. With retryable writes, a write can be sent multiple times but applied exactly once. MongoDB has retryable writes. DocumentDB doesn’t. Integrated text search, geospatial processing, graph traversals Integrated text search saves time and improves performance because you can run queries across multiple sources. With DocumentDB, data must be replicated to adjacent AWS services, which increases cost and complexity. MongoDB Atlas combines integrated text search, graph traversals, and geospatial processing features into a single API and platform. Integrated search with MongoDB Atlas helps drive end user behavior by serving up relevant results based on what users are looking for or what businesses want to direct them toward. Hedged reads Geographically distributed replica sets can also be used to scale read operations and intelligently route queries to the replica set that’s closest to the user. Hedged reads is a function that automatically routes queries to the two closest nodes (measured by ping distance), returning results from the fastest replica. This helps minimize situations where queries are waiting on a node that’s already busy. DocumentDB doesn’t offer hedged reads, and it’s more restricted in terms of the number of replica sets it allows and the ability to place workloads in different regions. MongoDB gives you more flexibility when distributing data geographically for hedged reads since it leverages all of the major public cloud providers. Online Archive Putting data in cold storage can be a death knell if accessing it again is too cumbersome or slow. With online archiving, you can tier data across fully managed databases and cloud object storage and query it through a single endpoint. Online archiving automatically archives historical data while reducing operational and transactional data storage costs without compromising on query performance. MongoDB has it. DocumentDB doesn’t. Integrated querying in the cloud Running separate queries for separate data stores can drain resources and slow queries. The best solution is being able to query and analyze data across all the different databases and storage containers at once. You can do this with integrated querying, where you run a single query to analyze live cloud data and historical data together and in-place for faster insights. With DocumentDB, you have to replicate data to adjacent AWS services. With MongoDB, you can query and analyze data across cloud datastores and MongoDB Atlas in its native format. You can also run powerful, easy-to-understand aggregations through a unified API for a consistent experience across data types. On-demand materialized views When you create aggregations, the results are usually put into a new collection every time you create it. The entire collection is regenerated each time you create the aggregation. This process consumes CPU and I/O. With the $merge stage, you can just update the generated results collection rather than rebuild it completely. $merge lets you incrementally update the collection every time you run it. To update it, all you need to do is run the aggregation again and it will update all the values in place. $merge gives you the ability to create collections based on an aggregation and update those collections efficiently. This functionality allows users to create on-demand materialized views, where the content of the output collection is incrementally updated when the pipeline is run. MongoDB has this capability. DocumentDB does not. Rich data types The decimal data type is critical for storing very large or small numbers, like financial and tax computations, where it’s necessary to emulate decimal rounding exactly. DocumentDB does not support decimal data types or, in turn, lossless processing of complex numeric data, which is a problem for financial and scientific applications. MongoDB does support rich data types like Decimal128, giving you 128 bits of high precision decimal representation. Client-side field-level encryption Client-side field-level encryption (FLE) reduces the risk of unauthorized access or disclosure of sensitive data, like personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). Fields are encrypted before they leave the application, which protects data while in transit over the network, in database memory, at-rest in storage, in backup repositories, and in system logs. DocumentDB does not offer client-side FLE. MongoDB’s client-side FLE provides among the strongest levels of data privacy and security for regulated workloads. Platform agility In addition to the feature sets described here, one of the biggest differences between DocumentDB and MongoDB is the degree of freedom you have to move between different platforms. AWS offers seamless movement and minimal friction between services within its own ecosystem. MongoDB makes it easy to replicate data or move workloads to any cloud provider, giving you complete flexibility within the AWS platform as well as outside of it — whether it’s a self-managed MongoDB instance on cloud infrastructure, a full on-premises deployment, or just a local development instance on an engineer’s laptop. Try MongoDB Atlas for free today!
Congratulations to the 2021 Innovation Award Winners!
The MongoDB Innovation Awards honor projects and people who dream big. They celebrate the groundbreaking use of data to build compelling applications and the creativity of professionals expanding the limits of technology with MongoDB. This year the company received entries across dozens of industries, ranging from disruptive, emerging start-ups to industry-leading global enterprises. We are thrilled to announce the 12 winners who are being honored this year during MongoDB.live. William Zola Award: Michael Höller - An independent software architect, system integrator, and backend developer, Michael is the first MongoDB Champion to earn the rare Evergreen forum badge for his unwavering support of the MongoDB Community. Dual-certified as both a MongoDB Developer and DBA, Michael generously shares his expertise with community members of all levels in the MongoDB forums. He also organizes the DACH Virtual Community User Group, and even finds time to #BuildTogether with MongoDB employees on presentations and in chats during online streams. Michael is one of the first-timers, consulting on MongoDB projects since 2014. Customer-first Award: Luma Health - As COVID-19 took the world by storm, Luma Health jumped into action to partner with health systems and providers to leverage their platform to run some of the largest mass vaccination sites and help clinics scale from hundreds to thousands of appointments, ultimately leading to nearly 2 million vaccination appointments. Data for Good Award: Journey Foods - This company solves food science and supply chain inefficiencies with software in order to help companies feed 8 billion people better. To date, Journey Foods has established a database of over 11 billion ingredient insights. From Batch to Real Time Award: CSX - A leading provider of transportation and supply chain solutions, CSX is redefining freight rail. Embracing event-driven architecture, the company has improved engagement with safety information produced by Positive Train Control (PTC) systems by putting PTC data on MongoDB. Leveraging MongoDB, CSX receives the data real-time – enabling smarter and faster decision making and better ensuring safety regulations are met for the company’s around-the-clock operations. Front Line Heroes Award: Ahmad Awais for The “CORONA CLI” Project - Awais built a CLI command-line tool to track COVID-19 in March 2020. As COVID-19 spread, the project termed “corona-cli” became the number one trending repository on GitHub. To date, this project has served several billions of API requests making COVID stats accessible throughout the world with 53 different releases and extensive functionality built/contributed by 15+ developers. Going Global Award: Riot Games - Founded in 2009 to change the ways games were developed, Riot has created the most-played PC game in the world and expanded to 20+ offices worldwide in only 12 years. A game platform developer and his team migrated their data to MongoDB Atlas to manage B2B billing and player IP validation data for all of their games globally. Industry Transformation Award: American Airlines - As a network air carrier, American’s purpose is to care for people on life’s journey. During COVID-19, American Airlines passionately pursued efficiencies, particularly those enabled by technology. American Airlines created an operational data layer on MongoDB in the cloud for critical flight information, which enabled other services to move to the cloud and consume data from the modern cloud-based data fabric. Jackpot Award: Cisco Systems - Cisco is the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet. This global brand completed the Cloud native migration of its highly critical Commerce Quoting platform, which serves more than 225K users and 4M application hits daily worldwide. The result has been no application downtime for releases, improved performance, lower TCO, and significantly better developer productivity. Savvy Start-Up Award: Blerp - The audio expression platform that makes it easy to enhance any moment with sound clips. Millions of Blerps are being shared on their two largest integrations on Twitch and Discord. Unbound Award: Yodel - Yodel is an independently owned parcel carrier, delivering around 190 million parcels each year for many of the UK’s leading retailers and businesses. An early adopter of Realm Sync following its GA release in February 2021, Yodel uses MongoDB to sync parcel-scanning data from employee devices up to Atlas - and in the opposite direction, pushing down large data volumes to devices via the MongoDB Kafka Connector. By streamlining the process of scanning parcels and reducing the time drivers need to spend in service centers, Yodel expects to achieve increased productivity and cost savings. Certified Professional of the Year Award: Sydney Herrera - After becoming certified and while assisting a large governmental organization in a mainframe modernization effort - which involved transforming multiple massive, disparate mainframe datastores into a cohesive and application-focused MongoDB data warehouse, Sydney was faced with the challenge of assisting developers with building efficient applications. He created a tool called proactive query analyzer (PQA) that was rolled out into the organization. PQA is an automated tool that analyzes queries sent to MongoDB and provides feedback and suggestions before queries are implemented to aid developer teams. For the People Award & Innovator of the Year Award: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is the UK’s biggest public service department responsible for distributing over £190 billion annually in welfare, pensions and child maintenance to over 20 million citizens. With an unprecedented spike in demand due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Universal Credit platform was able to scale seamlessly, underpinned by MongoDB databases, to meet the tenfold spikes in claims from people who needed DWP’s support. The information contained in the above descriptions was provided by the relevant award winners or obtained from publicly available information.
MongoDB Partner of the Year Award Winners 2021
The last 12 months have been a remarkably challenging time, with widespread changes affecting the entire world—and certainly the IT industry—like never before. However, the pandemic has also brought customers and partners further together to solve common problems, and in particular, one major trend we’ve seen accelerated is the move toward cloud modernization. At MongoDB, we’re committed to help our customers evolve to this next stage of necessary innovation and are so grateful to our 1000+ Partners who help make it happen. A handful of strategic partners went above and beyond and I would like to congratulate Featurespace, Zaloni, Carahsoft, TCS, PeerIslands, Alibaba, AWS, and Google Cloud as our Partners of the Year! I’m excited to have shared this year’s winners during my Partner Keynote at MongoDB.live. You can still head to MongoDB.live to watch it on demand. Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Partner of the Year Feature Space is a disruptive company in the security space and the inventor of Adaptive Behavioral Analytics and Automated Deep Behavioral Networks technology for fraud and financial crime management. Trusted by the world’s largest banks, insurance companies and gaming organizations, Feature Space embeds MongoDB as their database platform, for both on-premise and SaaS deployment offerings. Learn more about the partnership here . Technology Partner of the Year Zaloni is a MongoDB data supply chain and modernization partner that helps its customers catalogue and transform their data to enhance analytics and real-time applications. A recent engagement with a fleet management client required Zaloni to move and modernize four billion records of data built on SQL to new microservices in the cloud. Using MongoDB Atlas, Zaloni helped their client successfully scale and reach new levels of customer satisfaction. Learn more about the partnership here . Reseller Partner of the Year Carahsoft is a trusted, long-standing partner and they continue to be one of MongoDB’s largest resellers in the world. Carahsoft’s depth and reach in the Public Sector market helps government agencies leverage Open Source technologies to drive innovation, maximize cost efficiencies and achieve success for their digital modernization initiatives. They’ve been critical to growing MongoDB’s agency, civilian and DOD business and we’re excited for what’s next. Learn more about the partnership here . Global System Integrator Partner of the Year Tata Consultancy Services , a leading multinational IT services and consulting company, leverages its IP-based solutions to accelerate and optimize service delivery. TCS MasterCraft™ TransformPlus uses intelligent automation to modernize and migrate enterprise-level mainframe applications to MongoDB’s leading-edge architecture and database. Together, TCS and MongoDB simplify and accelerate the customer journey to the cloud. Learn more about the partnership here . Boutique System Integrator Partner of the Year PeerIslands is a boutique consultancy focused on helping clients accelerate product development with cloud-based solutions. An invaluable MongoDB partner with expertise in ecommerce and inventory management modernization, PeerIslands has helped MongoDB’s ISV and retail customers modernize, moving software built for on-prem to SaaS environments more conducive to cloud environments. Learn more about the partnership here . Cloud (Emerging) Partner of the Year Alibaba Cloud is one of MongoDB’s largest Cloud OEM partners in the world. In our second year of our partnership with Alibaba Cloud as an authorized MongoDB-as-a-service solution, MongoDB has seen some of our strongest adoption numbers yet in mainland China. With this partnership, Alibaba Cloud ensures end-to-end management and support for customers on current and future versions of MongoDB, with the ability to escalate bug fixes and support issues on their behalf. Users of Alibaba Cloud’s platform offering receive easy access to the latest MongoDB features and capabilities, backed by comprehensive support from Alibaba Cloud and MongoDB, and we remain thrilled to scale this partnership. Learn more about the partnership here . Cloud (Co-Sell) Partner of the Year AWS provides a massive global cloud infrastructure that allows customers to rapidly innovate and iterate. Over the past year, MongoDB and AWS sellers came together to help customers modernize, accelerate consumption of EDPs, and close on major cross-industry and cross-vertical deals around the world. We’ve partnered together to help customers build modern, event-driven serverless applications. And as recently as April 2021, we launched a new AWS Quick Start for MongoDB Atlas, which allows AWS customers to quickly and easily launch a basic MongoDB Atlas deployment from the AWS CLI or console, taking advantage of AWS CloudFormation’s seamless automation. We also released integrations for Atlas with Amazon EventBridge, Amazon Kinesis, AWS App Runner, AWS PrivateLink, AWS Wavelength, and more in the last year. With additional integrations in the pipeline, we know there’s so much more to come with our partnership. Learn more about AWS and MongoDB here . Cloud (Marketplace) Partner of the Year Google Cloud views the database as an essential building block of cloud infrastructure. Since launching MongoDB Atlas on Google Cloud Marketplace over the past two years, our partnership has seen rapid adoption and acceleration across industries such as gaming, retail, healthcare, financial services, and automotive. In the last 12 months, we have integrated Atlas with more Google services, including DataStream, BigQuery, DataFlow, Cloud Run, App Engine, and Cloud Functions, helping our joint customers innovate faster. Additionally, Google Cloud’s mainframe modernization solutions now support MongoDB Atlas and help customers convert legacy COBOL code on mainframes into modern Java-based applications built on MongoDB. Together, G4 and MongoDB Atlas accelerate the modernization and migration process for organizations moving their business-critical workloads to the cloud. More and more of Google Cloud’s customers are choosing to run MongoDB Atlas for a variety of needs, such as managing large-scale product catalogs of popular e-commerce websites, building great customer experiences by unifying disparate pieces of data, or building modern global web and mobile applications. Learn more about the partnership here .