Parallel Engineering Efforts

One of the most important things an organization can do as it grows out of startup-hood to maturity is to learn to run parallel engineering efforts. A parallel set of projects might implement multiple takes on an overall idea, testing out different approaches. Or it might implement the same idea at multiple points on a time/quality tradeoff continuum: a low-effort, easily delivered prototype, and a more fleshed-out version that takes longer to deliver.

NASDAQ CTO Summit 2016 Talk: Coding Time for Managers, Redux

On November 1st, 2016, I gave a talk at the CTO Summit series hosted by NASDAQ. It was a 20 minute talk, updating and expanding on a topic I’ve both blogged and written articles about – how important it is for engineering managers to keep their hands in the codebase they make decisions about. Here it is:  

DotScale 2016 Talk: The Case for Cross-Service Joins

Back on April 25th I spoke at dotScale in Paris; I gave a talk called “The Case for Cross-Service Joins,” as in queries that join data across multiple 3rd party services. For example, analytics over data that comes from both SalesForce and Googe Analytics. I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, because MongoDB sits at the middle of a lot of apps that utilize 3rd-party services, and the benefits of building your app on top of such services comes at the cost of that data being siloed away, and difficult analyze it in a holistic way.

Refreshing My Client-Side JavaScript Chops

My overarching goal as CTO of MongoDB is to make building applications easier and easier. Given my day job, it’s actually been a little while since I did any work on the front end. Since we started MongoDB, client side javascript has really taken off. This pleases me, because our decision to make JavaScript a core part of the MongoDB experience was based on a view that JavaScript would continue to rise in capability and prominence.

Under the hood with Partial Indexes

Partial indexes allow you to create an index that only includes documents in a collection that conform to a filter expression. These indexes can be much smaller, cutting down index overhead in storage space and update time, and by matching against the filter criteria, queries can use this slimmed-down index and run much faster. This is one of the new lightweight “schema where you need it” features we’re bringing to MongoDB in 3.

AWS Pop-up Loft talk

On August 25th I will be delivering a talk at the AWS Pop-Up Loft in NYC. The talk is entitled: “Behind the Scenes with MongoDB: Lessons from the CTO and Cofounder on Deploying MongoDB with AWS.” The AWS lofts combine hack days, talk series, bootcamps, and “ask an architect” opportunities, and mainly target engineers working on startup projects that are built on AWS, although other people do attend the talks.

In Praise of SSHFS

Emacs is the only editor I can use effectively at this point. It doesn’t matter if there are better choices (there aren’t ;-), it’s the one I’ve invested all of my muscle memory into. When working on files locally, I use normal emacs, and things are grand. Life, however, dictates that a great deal of my coding is done on remote machines. I had tried a variety of solutions to edit remote files (emacs in a shell, emacs of x, samba, nfs, etc…), none working terribly well for me.