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Guide to Hiring MongoDB Developers

  • What is MongoDB, and how is it used?
  • Why is MongoDB popular, and how will it benefit your business?
  • Roles and responsibilities of a MongoDB developer
  • What skills should a MongoDB developer have?

What is MongoDB, and how is it used?

Suppose you’re opening a customer service company, a retail business, or a manufacturer. You may already know you will find yourself working with loads of unstructured data, and you also know you’ll need a database management system. You’d naturally consider relational SQL systems like Azure, which are very popular with many businesses. However, such technologies are not built for handling unstructured data, as you’d quickly find out. Your best bet would be a NoSQL solution, and the most favored one you will find is MongoDB.

MongoDB is an open-source, non-relational database management solution that provides an alternative to traditional relational databases. As a NoSQL (not only SQL) database application, its architecture enables operators to go beyond the conventional forms of structured query systems in storing and querying data. The primary data unit within MongoDB’s framework is the key value pair, a bundle of which makes up a document. Grouped in sets, these documents constitute a collection — the equivalent of an SQL database’s tables.

The name also tells us something about the technology: “Mongo” comes from “humongous” because MongoDB is built for high-volume data storage and processing. It’s also suited for a wide variety of use cases, enabled by its advanced capabilities like aggregation, load balancing, ad-hoc queries, and even server-side JavaScript execution. These are just some reasons many CTOs hire MongoDB developers to work as part of their company’s IT team.

Why is MongoDB popular, and how will it benefit your business?

MongoDB has quite a sizable user base, with more than 37,000 users — developers included — from over 100 nations worldwide. Activity with the platform itself is pretty high, with over 250 million downloads by developers. Moreover, the pool of MongoDB developers for hire is ever-swelling. The constant influx from MongoDB University, a training course recording over 1.6 million registrations, is a significant reason for this. But that’s merely the half of it.

MongoDB enjoys high ratings relative to other similar technologies, being the most popular non-relational database according to most rankings. It’s also the fifth most popular database management system overall, so it should come as no surprise that it features in the technology stacks of many popular, thriving companies. For example, Bosch Group uses it extensively, as do Uber, Lyft, Coinbase, and Toyota. If your company’s executives resolve to incorporate this technology and hire a MongoDB developer, you’ll definitely make the big-league choice. You’ll also be benefiting your business in the following ways.

  • Document-oriented: MongoDB’s document-oriented framework is definitely not the only type of NoSQL architecture that exists. There are also columnar NoSQL database management systems as well as in-memory ones. However, the MongoDB approach involves storing documents in compressed BSON files that you can retrieve in JSON format, which has some key benefits.

    Firstly, the format is not only very human-readable but is also a natural way to store data. Secondly, it offers some great storage benefits, such as the ability to store both structured and unstructured data in the same document and nest JSON to store complex data objects. If you’re a developer, you will also find that this document-oriented approach makes things easier for you when developing applications in almost any programming language. Documents on the framework map neatly to objects in some of the most popular programming scripts like JavaScript and C.
  • Flexible and Scalable: Where flexibility is a factor, MongoDB is unparalleled. One primary reason is its NoSQL data model, which naturally enables high flexibility. Consider, for instance, its use of the JSON; this format’s flexible and dynamic schema makes adding or leaving out data fields as easy as pie. Importantly, the developer also has more unrestrained control over the schema, requiring no database administrator to reformat or adjust it as needed. They only need to engage schema validation to coordinate and control the necessary changes to the document structure.

    Companies also hire MongoDB developers for app-building projects, and this is an area where the database system shines for its scalability. MongoDB is a splendid technology for building highly scalable apps; its features enable just that. For instance, it enables horizontal scaling and automatic sharding. The former allows you to scale up by adding servers to your cluster to match growing data traffic, while the latter partitions and distributes your data across servers.
  • Aggregation Capabilities: Developers working with MongoDB typically use the find() prompt for a wide range of queries. However, as queries become more advanced and operations become more complex, MongoDB’s aggregation capabilities become very useful. Put simply, aggregation allows you to process an extensive collection of documents via a stage-by-stage process. The stages comprise a “pipeline,” and each stage can sort, group, reshape, filter, and modify the documents that pass through it.

    This capability is not limited to MongoDB; SQL database solutions also tend to have some basic aggregation. However, MongoDB’s aggregation goes one (or several) better and can also create new document collections, update existing ones, and carry out joining operations similar to relational systems. Moreover, the platform can perform client-side data aggregation using JavaScript and run server-side operations against database collections before processing results to the client.
  • Developer-Friendly: Great pay, a great boss, and excellent workplace conditions are essential predictors of developer satisfaction and engagement. However, working with a technology that doesn’t make you cuss every five minutes is also a significant factor — just ask any developer working with Malbolge.

    Companies that hire MongoDB developers often find them more engaged workers due to how developer-friendly the database management system is. It’s just that enjoyable to work with. The technology also keeps adding new features and upgrading old ones, further improving the developer experience. For example, in 2016, MongoDB.Inc released MongoDB Atlas. This data-as-a-service product has made MongoDB much easier to use than ever, enabling developers to provision server clusters with just a few clicks and commence coding almost at once. It even embeds great functionalities for full-text search, fully-managed back-end services for mobile and web app building, and inter-database data querying and combination.

    Let’s not forget excellent customer and community support or that the framework supports many programming languages, including C, C#, C++, JavaScript,  Python, and Ruby.
  • Third-Party Support: In addition to a host of programming languages, MongoDB supports many third-party integrations. Not only does it allow you to integrate any of several storage engines, but it also provides pluggable storage engine APIs you can use to create your own such engines. For performance-tracking purposes, MongoDB Atlas is pluggable with many third-party monitoring services. Once integrated with these, your Atlas framework can receive alerts from these monitoring services, enabling you to view and analyze performance metrics from across your server cluster.
  • Variety of Use Cases:Many types of companies hire MongoDB developers to apply the technology for a remarkable variety of use cases. You might recall the Bosch Group, which we mentioned earlier; that company uses MongoDB to harness the power of big data to improve its automotive design. That’s just one general use that one company has for the technology, but it encompasses a whole range of specific use cases. It includes product data management, mobility and scaling, content management, product cataloging, and business intelligence.

    Due to its many use cases and flexibility, MongoDB is deployed across many industries, from aeronautics and telecommunications to customer support, finance, and even manufacturing.
  • Ecosystem Maturity:MongoDB has been in the database market for nearly two decades, and it has seen wide deployment and extensive usage across many business sectors. Naturally, in all that time, its developers have grown in understanding what product users want and how to deliver. All that experience has gone into refining it into the highly popular technology it is now.

    Another thing that has grown over time is the size of the developer community for MongoDB. In that community, you will find an inexhaustible supply of MongoDB developers for hire and experienced colleagues whose help your dedicated MongoDB developer can enlist while working on projects.
  • Open-Source: While MongoDB has editions for which you must pay a license fee, it also has another free and open-source edition. As a startup CTO looking to hire a MongoDB developer, this may be your best option. You don't have to pay a dime to use open-source MongoDB; you can also modify its source code as much as you need to.

Roles and responsibilities of a MongoDB developer

MongoDB manages databases but not necessarily the developer and their workflow. That task falls to the company executives, who must assign the right tasks to the right employees to optimize development cycles. So, before you make plans to hire a dedicated MongoDB developer, let us highlight the roles you will need them to perform.

  • MongoDB Databases and Data Model Development: The primary task for which companies hire dedicated MongoDB developers is to build databases with the technology. These databases will store and retrieve structured and unstructured data, and the models according to which they execute these functions are also the developer's responsibility. They will determine how the database application represents data elements and their relationships.
  • MongoDB Infrastructure Management: MongoDB applications and infrastructure, once designed and implemented, will require a manager. Companies tend to hire MongoDB engineers for this role because their expertise with the framework makes them the best-suited professionals for it.

    As a database manager, your MongoDB developer will ensure the maximum availability of the MongoDB infrastructure at all times. This will involve backup, recovery management, sharding, and replication operations. They will apply these processes to restore the system to an optimal state after a crash or software/hardware failure.
  • Data Security and Integrity Assurance: Ensuring that data stored on your database is secure and uncompromised is one of the most crucial tasks for which to hire a dedicated MongoDB developer. Your developer's tasks under this umbrella will include ensuring the data is up-to-date, well-organized, securely stored, and protected from corruption or unauthorized access. To do these effectively, performing sub-tasks like configuring role-based access controls and setting up security encryption systems will be necessary.
  • Performance Monitoring and Query Response Time Optimization: This task is one that MongoDB makes very easy with its set of native and pluggable performance monitoring services. By leveraging features like MongoDB's UI performance monitoring tools and its Cloud and Ops Manager, a developer can seamlessly track the performance of databases and web or mobile applications.

    An additional task for your MongoDB engineer is optimizing query response times. Executing this involves tasks like isolating slow queries, performing server-side operations with the increment operator, and setting up indexing strategies. The developer can also use tools like MongoDB Compass GUI to visualize and adjust the query performance as necessary.
  • Database Architecture and Design Documentation: When you hire a MongoDB developer, their job will also encompass documentation. As database engineers, they must not understand the technical minutiae and business logic behind database architecture and design decisions. They can then analyze that design and the relevant data access patterns and write detailed documentation.

What skills should a MongoDB developer have?

If the board of executives has decided to hire a dedicated MongoDB developer or two, it will soon be scouting time for you as the CTO. So, as you assess your candidates and their resumes, what skills should warrant adjusting your spectacles and taking a closer, more interested look?

  • Experience and Skill with Database Management Systems: Building and managing databases and web applications is the primary reason businesses hire MongoDB developers. So, solid experience with using the technology is a non-negotiable skill to look for. In addition to being skilled at using MongoDB, your candidates should show experience with other database systems, both relational and non-relational.
  • Skill with Dev-Ops Automation Tools: When assessing MongoDB developers for hire, it's essential to check that they are skilled at using dev-ops automation tools like Docker and Ansible. These are vital tools for reducing developer workload and optimizing development cycles for maximum efficiency.
  • Knowledge of Programming Languages: MongoDB supports various popular programming languages, any of which a developer may use when developing apps or writing programs within the platform. This is why companies will only hire MongoDB engineers with an excellent command of at least one programming language. As a CTO who knows their stuff, so should you.
  • In-depth Understanding of Non-relational Database Technologies: As we now understand, non-relational, NoSQL databases have a different architecture than relational SQL databases. A MongoDB developer worth the pay must thoroughly understand the former.
  • Good Experience with Database Security Management: The security of your database is non-negotiable, and neither should database security management skills as a requirement to hire dedicated MongoDB developers. You need to ensure that your prospective hire really knows database security and how to leverage MongoDB's security features to ensure it.
  • Skill with Using Code Versioning Tools like Mercurial, Git, and SVN: Versioning tools are vital to avoid losing track of changes made to application or database code. This is why you should seek to hire a MongoDB developer who, in addition to everything else here, knows how to use code versioning tools effectively.

For more FAQs on hiring MongoDB developers, visit our FAQs page

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