Equal Experts on Building Applications at O2 and Beyond
Meet Sean Reilly of Equal Experts, one of 10gen’s services partners based in London. We caught up with Sean at the May London MongoDB User Group, where members of the Equal Experts team gave three lightning talks:
Tell me a little bit about Equal Experts and what you do.
We’re a bespoke software development company, building software for our clients. We bring software products to market quickly, using small, high performing teams of extremely experienced developers. All of our people have made the career choice to build great software and are committed. Many write books, give seminars or speak at conferences.
To do this quickly and effectively, we focus on simplicity and using the tools that are the right fit for the job. Often, MongoDB is one of those tools. Whenever possible, we favour providers that free our clients from the tyranny of astronomical license fees and provide better technical support at a lower cost. 10gen’s service and support offerings are a great example of this.
Can you tell me about the MongoDB applications that you built?
The most famous (in the United Kingdom) MongoDB powered application that we have been involved in is probably Priority Moments. It’s a location based mobile application that delivers free exclusive deals and offers to O2 customers. Priority Moments is available for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices, and the web services that power it all use MongoDB. You might have seen television adverts for this application Ã¢â‚¬â€ù Sean Bean does the voiceovers, and they’re hard to miss.
We’ve also produced internal O2 product catalogue APIs that store data using MongoDB. O2’s new online upgrade shop persists data using MongoDB. There are plans to make MongoDB a part of future O2 e-commerce applications as well.
Why did you decide to adopt MongoDB?
One of our primary drivers for adopting MongoDB was the gains in developer productivity that it enables. The product is very amenable to automated testing, continuous deployment, and rapid development. A JSON based REST API backed by a database that speaks JSON allows for a very lightweight architecture. This is a natural match for the simplicity, agility, and fast time to market that are some of our key values at Equal Experts.
The fact that professional service and support from a company like 10gen is available was also a great asset when it came to introducing a NoSQL solution into an enterprise environment like O2.
What were some of the challenges that you faced and how did you overcome them?
In many ways, it was surprisingly easy. We’ve invested a lot of effort learning how to do certain things well with MongoDB, like automated testing strategies, for example. We try and share these lessons back with the community, such as when we do MongoDB user group presentations and lightning talks.
Any interesting projects in store for EE with MongoDB?
Nothing that I can officially tell you about ;-). On a personal note, the biggest thing that’s upcoming for me is my presentation at MongoDB UK on June 20th: “Why the schema diagram is ruining Enterprise computing”.