MongoDB's Developer Advantage

MongoDB's growth strategy has always been developer-focused. From the beginning, MongoDB has had a laser focus on making life easier for developers.

MongoDB's document model aligned with the programming objects that developers work with, avoiding the "impedance mismatch" which often occurs when working with SQL databases. Developers could store and retrieve data from MongoDB using far less code than would be required by a SQL database, providing a productivity boost.

Why Developers Prefer MongoDB

As agile methodologies and continuous integration paradigms became popular with developers, MongoDB continued to provide an advantage. When data structures change in a relational database, schema changes typically require a change control process involving the database administration team and involving incredibly disruptive ALTER TABLE statements which can require a production outage at worst or a performance impact at best. This laborious schema change process prevented developers from iterating quickly through changes to design and made it almost impossible to automatically build and deploy software changes.

With MongoDB, data definition is completely contained within program code, so changes to schema can be made without reference to a central authority, and can be included with no extra effort in nightly or continuous build cycles.

These are the technical reasons why developers prefer MongoDB. But the MongoDB developer advantage is also the consequence of deliberate strategy. While many of the next generation databases that emerged over the past few years have marketed directly at the enterprise, MongoDB has consistently marketed directly at the developer.  From the very beginning, MongoDB invested heavily in developer relations evangelists, developer-oriented events, and developer-oriented resources.

MongoDB provides free and comprehensive training for developers and provides a wide range of tools and utilities to make the developer's jobs easier. 
Today, MongoDB is increasingly focusing on enterprise use cases, but the concentration on developers is still apparent. MongoDB has continued to engage with developers during the pandemic conference famine with events.  In addition to a 2-day virtual event to replace the traditional MongoDB World event in June, MongoDB has scheduled 1-day events to align with local time zones. These have helped to keep developers engaged while meetup groups and similar have been unable to meet. That MongoDB schedules these not just in U.S. time zones shows how serious MongoDB is about nurturing a global developer community.

The Mongosh

MongoDB has continued to produce new developer tooling as well. In June, MongoDB introduced a new shell—the mongosh. The traditional Mongo shell is a command-line utility that provides an easy way to execute commands against the database. The existing shell included a JavaScript engine, so it was capable of running scripts that performed administrative functions or simplified complex commands.

The new shell includes most of the features of the traditional shell, but adds modern experience such as syntax highlighting, error handling and autocomplete. The new shell is built on a NodeJS engine, which allows the shell to install packages from the NodeJS package manager, which provides powerful extension capabilities.

The new shell is incorporated within the latest version of the MongoDB Compass GUI, which provides graphical access to MongoDB commands. The new shell also plays a role in MongoDB's Visual Studio Code (VSCode) plugin. VSCode is a general-purpose program editor that has become the most widely used editor by software developers. Like other successful development platforms, Visual Studio Code is very extensible and configurable—it allows third parties to extend the capabilities of the editor.  

The MongoDB extension for VSCode allows programmers within VSCode to query and manipulate data without having to leave the VSCode environment, boosting productivity.

MongoDB is experiencing increasing success in enterprise environments and increasingly competing directly against the bigger and more "corporate" database vendors. But MongoDB clearly knows that it ultimately depends on the continued support of the software development community and appears to be committed to continuing to nurture that most important relationship.