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What is MongoDB?
MongoDB is a non-relational (NoSQL), document-oriented database management system designed to store and query large volumes of data. NoSQL databases are highly flexible data management systems that can store almost any type of data using one of four structures: column-oriented, key-value, document-oriented, and graph databases.Footnote 1
As a document-oriented database, MongoDB stores data in documents formatted in binary JSON (BSON), which enables storage of complex data and faster querying.Footnote 2 Document databases are an alternative to traditional relational database management systems (RDBMS), which store data as rows in tables and can only process structured data.
Since NoSQL databases like MongoDB feature flexible schemas, or instructions on how data should be formatted, they can be easy to modify and adapt to different data types, functionalities, and operational needs.Footnote 3 Other benefits of this technology include:
Multilanguage compatibility: MongoDB’s document format is compatible with programs written in almost every language.
Scalability: MongoDB can scale both vertically and horizontally. This allows developers to choose the scaling method that best suits their projects.
Cloud compatibility: Developers can deploy MongoDB in all major cloud services, such as Azure, AWS, and Google.
Support and documentation: As an open-source technology, MongoDB has a high level of support from a worldwide community of developers, plus the company’s technical support team.Footnote 4
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What is covered in a MongoDB tutorial?
Beginners who want to learn MongoDB may choose to enroll in dedicated MongoDB courses or a more comprehensive NoSQL database course. Those who are new to programming and want to learn MongoDB may find a course covering the basics of NoSQL databases useful for building a solid foundation for working with databases. A general NoSQL database course can give learners an in-depth look into the benefits of each of the four types of NoSQL databases and how they apply the BASE (Basically Available, Soft State, Eventual Consistency) principles.Footnote 5
More experienced developers with knowledge of other NoSQL databases, such as Cassandra or IBM Cloudant, can opt for a shorter MongoDB tutorial to get them up to speed with the basics of working with a document-oriented database.
In general, MongoDB classes can cover:
Basics of MongoDB and the document model
Aggregation and indexing
Replication and sharing
edX offers a wide variety of learning options for people with diverse backgrounds and career aspirations — including courses and boot camps that can prepare you for a future working with MongoDB.
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Since MongoDB is a server-side technology, jobs that involve working with MongoDB can require applicants to have experience in back-end development. This ensures that candidates will be familiar with languages like Java, Python, C++, and other commonly used technologies alongside MongoDB.
Employers seeking to fill entry-level back-end development or data engineering positions may seek candidates with bachelor’s degrees or even master’s degrees in computer science, IT, or related fields. Aspiring developers can also build their skills with more specialized boot camps.
A solid foundation in back-end software development and knowledge of MongoDB can help learners become suitable candidates for the following positions:
Big data engineer
How to become a MongoDB developer online
MongoDB’s flexibility lends itself to a wide range of use cases. In addition to aiding in software development, MongoDB can provide data handling support in big data, IoT devices, financial services, and asset management, among many others. For example, a company that builds smartwatches can use MongoDB to store the health data its devices capture from users. An e-commerce vendor can use it to handle data related to inventory, payments, and customer preferences. And an online gaming platform can use MongoDB to store player data.Footnote 6
If these examples seem exciting, then a software development or data engineering career may be a good fit for you. To succeed in these roles, you can start by learning the basics of back-end programming and the technologies that support MongoDB and other NoSQL databases — such as Node.JS, REST APIs, and cloud platforms.Footnote 7 An online bachelor’s degree in computer science or attending a boot camp in data analytics as well as coding can build a solid foundation of skills for a career in software development or data engineering. If you already have a software development background and are seeking to move into a more advanced role, a master’s degree in computer science can equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to advance your career.