Hello MongoDB, Hello World!

A little over a week ago. I set out on a brief trip to NYC, not as a musician (for those who don't know me, music has been my quest and passion for many years), but as a developer wanting to learn more about the new features being rolled out with the latest version of MongoDB: MongoDB version 4.0.

A Bit About Me and How I Came To Be Interested In MongoDB

I have developed an interest in building Node.js applications. As a result of this interest, I have found myself immersed in learning all that I can about what MongoDB has to offer Node.js developers. This quest for learning all things Node.js related has led me to sign up for several free (yes, free!) online courses via MongoDB University.

The Culture and Overall Vibe

Before I go any further, let me preface what is about to follow by saying that my attendance at MongoDB World 18 was a result of an invitation that I received from @Treehouse instructor and MongoDB blogger Ken W. Alger as part of MongoDB’s initiative to change the ratio in tech.

Many thanks to Ken Alger and to MongoDB for the invite and for making it a point to reach out to women and underrepresented groups in tech!

MongoDB's initiative to change the ratio in tech says a lot about the culture of the company and what it has to offer on a human level. This is a bold statement demonstrating that MongoDB cares about reaching out to everyone with the drive to learn. Irrespective of whatever cultural biases and/or stereotypes that may have existed as barriers in the world of tech in the past, this company is making it clear that its mission is all about moving into the future. Who wouldn't want to support a company like that?

The Keynote Speech

The Keynote speech was the place to be for those wanting to learn about the latest features being offered by MongoDB version 4.0. The ballroom was jam-packed and it was clear that there was a strong sense of anticipation in the air as each new feature being rolled out was presented by some of the brightest minds in the industry. Make It Matter, MongoDB Internals, Security, Sponsor Talk, Stitch, and Workload Isolation were among the topics discussed.

The Breakout Sessions

Wednesday, June 27th was a full day that offered up a dizzying array of choices for those looking to learn about what is possible with MongoDB (Not a bad problem to have!).

The breakout sessions were partitioned into various tracks that included information and tutorials on Application Development, Atlas, Automation, Monitoring and Backup, Business and Use Cases, Data and Analytics, and Drivers - BoFof.

Sessions that I attended:

  • MongoDB & Node.js: Zero to Hero in 80 Minutes with Ken Alger - Treehouse Island, Inc. -
    This session was a great introduction for those looking to learn how to integrate MongoDB with a server-side Node.js Application.

  • How to Build Applications with MongoDB Atlas and AWS Lambda with Chris Munns - AWS -
    Learning about AWS Lambda functions is something that has been on my bucket list of things to learn about this year, so I was happy to see that there was a tutorial demonstrating how to integrate serverless technology with MongoDB Atlas.

  • Ship it Faster with MongoDB Stitch with Nick Larew - MongoDB -
    This session opened up my eyes to the possibilities that are available with MongoDB's Stitch, a serverless platform that delivers the backend of applications as a service (BaaS). As a developer, I am definitely going to make it a point to revisit this session when it becomes available online.


  • Spark and Machine Learning with Bryan Reinero - MongoDB -
    This session was standing room only! I admit to knowing absolutely nothing about Spark or about Machine learning up until this point, but I attended this one out of sheer curiosity and wonder! As a total novice in this area what I personally took away from this session is that technology is evolving fast and the possibilities for learning and growth are endless!

Sessions that I missed, but would have loved to have attended

There were a number of breakout sessions that I would have liked to have attended, but as it goes, sometimes the limited hours in a day dictate that we have to make choices. Here is a brief list of some of the sessions that I missed:

  • Decentralized Identity Management with Blockchain and MongoDB with Jane Fine - MongoDB

  • Serverless Apps with Google Cloud and MongoDB Atlas on GCP with Kent Smith - Google

  • Got Dibs? Building a Real-Time Bidding App with Change Streams with Harry Wolff - MongoDB

  • Managing a Mission Critical eCommerce Application on MongoDB: Architecture, Configuration, Operation, and Security Features with Rama Arumugam & Nayeem Khaja - Cisco

  • Low Hanging Fruit, Making Your Basic MongoDB Installation More Secure with Tom Spitzer - EC Wise

  • Enterprise Cloud Security with Davi Ottenheimer - MongoDB

  • Simplified Encryption & Key Management for MongoDB with Patrick Townshend - Townshend Security

  • pv0 to Hero; A Brief History of the Concensus Protocol with Pavi Vetriselvan - MongoDB

  • Partner Talk - Red Hat: Deploying to Enterprise Kubernetes with Justin Pittman - Red Hat

The list(s) above only scratch the surface of the breakout sessions presented at MongoDB World 18. Thankfully many (or most) of the workshops, talks, and presentations will soon be made available for viewing online.

The Vendors

  • Technics Publications

This vendor's booth was freshly stocked with an impressive collection of books published by Technics Publications which delve into topics related to MongoDB, data modeling and beyond. Technics Publications founder Steve Hoberman was nice enough to give me a brief overview of the books available. Thanks to his suggestions, I left with two to take with me on my journey back home to the West Coast, one of which sparked my interest in a technology that seemed mysterious to me up until now:

Blockchainopoly: How Blockchain Changes The Rules Of The Game by Steve Hoberman

To be honest, before attending this conference I had exactly zero knowledge of blockchain nor even a basic understanding of its meaning at a higher level. It has, however, become a subject that I would like to find the time to learn about. I quite literally devoured this book as it pulled me in and sparked my imagination not only as a growing developer but also as a musician. For example, I had no idea that blockchain could be a natural fit for recording ownership of digital work. Here is another thing that blew my mind about blockchain. Here is a brief quote from the book:

It is possible that with a blockchain application, anyone with a source of power can feed the grid. For example, a homeowner with solar panels on their roof can "sell" their excess electricity to the grid. The selling and accounting would be performed in blockchain.

Whoa! Now reading this caught my attention. This quite literally means that blockchain could make it possible for an individual and/or an organization to seek out alternative sources of income/revenue beyond the scope of what traditional institutions have had to offer up until this point. This is truly revolutionary! After reading this book I had to kick myself for not attending the breakout session - Decentralized Identity Management with Blockchain and MongoDB. I will be looking forward to viewing this session online when it becomes available.

For anyone who would be interested in getting a demystified introduction to what blockchain is all about, this book will not disappoint!

In addition to Technics Publications, there were many other notable sponsors/vendors in attendance, a few of which included:

  • Nodesource (A technology company delivering enterprise-grade tools and software targeting the unique needs of running server-side JavaScript at scale)

  • DigitalOcean (The host of this blog!)

  • Google Cloud (GC is now offering a MongoDB Free Tier!)


  • Pluralsight (an online learning platform)

  • Studio3T (A GUI and IDE for MongoDB)

  • MongoDB University

I was happy to meet MongoDB University instructors Kirby Kohlmorgen and Shannon Bradshaw in person via the MongoDB U booth, both of whom have been very helpful to me on my learning journey. Over the course of the last year 1/2, I have taken advantage of many of the free courses offered by MongoDB U. MongoDB U is a great resource for both developers and DBAs looking to up their game in their respective fields.

Summing It All Up

No matter your skill level as a developer or DBA- beginner, intermediate, or advanced - there was something at this conference for you to learn and to discover. I would definitely be interested in attending MongoDB World again in 2019!

For those who would like to get more details about getting started with MongoDB 4.0, the white paper is available for download.