Meeting the EMEA MongoDB Masters – David Mytton

Meeting the EMEA MongoDB Masters – David Mytton

It has been very interesting to get to know the MongoDB Masters here in EMEA, having started in MongoDB back in June it’s been a whirl wind of adventure, meeting new people, hearing their stories, travelling to different communities and sitting down and hearing how they are involved. The masters often travel to speak at conference talking about their work, how they use MongoDB or are involved in our local communities running our MUGs.

Each community person comes from a technological different background and has a different perspective on how the project can be developed, many of which use the common tool of MongoDB.

Following on in the series we meet David Mytton and who has been involved in MongoDB community here in London from the beginning.

Meet David Mytton

David Mytton - Outside Office

Me: Who are you, what do you do and where are you based?
David:  I’m David Mytton, the founder and CEO of Server Density, a SaaS tool which helps you provision and monitor your infrastructure. I’m based  in London, UK and have been programming for 12 years now, mostly in PHP and Python. I helped start the London MongoDB User Group and also volunteer at the Open Rights Group, a UK digital rights activist organisation.

Me: How did you get involved in open source?
David:  
I’ve worked with open source technologies for a long time – all our systems are based around Linux, Nginx, Apache, MongoDB, Python and PHP. Our server monitoring agent is also open source. Releasing tools, libraries and even bigger projects is a great way to contribute back to the community and get help with areas of code you might not be able to focus on yourself.

Me: How did you get involved in MongoDB?
David:  Server Density is one of the longest running production deployments of MongoDB, having migrated from MySQL back in June 2009. The product was prototyped in MySQL just a few months before but problems setting up replication prompted evaluation of the alternative databases around at the time. The high quality language drivers and good documentation made a big difference to ultimately switching the entire stack to use MongoDB.

Me: What do you do as a MongoDB Master?
David: I’ve written quite a few popular articles – all at https://blog.serverdensity.com/mongodb/ – about our experiences with MongoDB over the years. This has been useful for other users to learn from our deployments. I also travel quite frequently to conferences and user groups to talk about MongoDB or the infrastructure we use to power our high performance components (of which MongoDB is a part) and have spoken in the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, Japan and others.

Me: How did you become a Master?
David: I was invited to join when the program began.

Me: What one thing would you like to promote in MongoDB that nobody knows about but you think  is beneficial to people!
David: The new documentation at docs.mongodb.org is very well written and kept up to date with the latest developments. It covers all the key areas you need but you can also easily expand on the content with your own experiences/comments/tutorials, etc by forking and the sending back a pull request because it’s all on Github!

Previous Interviews:

Meeting the EMEA MongoDB Masters – Mitch Pirtle

Meeting the EMEA MongoDB Masters – Mitch Pirtle

Continuing and getting back on track with our series of getting to know the MongoDB Masters – Meet Mitch Pirtle who lives in sunny Turin.

Meet Mitch Pirtle

mitch_pirtle

Me: Who are you, what do you do and where are you based?
Mitch: Hi I’m Mitch, and I’m an American living and working in the beautiful city of Turin, Italy. I previously lived in New York City, where my involvement with MongoDB began years ago. Currently I’m the CTO for Sounday, a music startup focusing on bringing together professionals in the music industry (and not just chasing Facebook fans). I am a husband, father, football coach, musician, skate punk, cook, prankster, and master hedonist. I’m also building a private recording studio and working on an independent documentary film.

Me: How did you get involved in open source?
Mitch: For me, all software is open source. It has been this way for more than two decades – software that I cannot open and fix myself, I try to avoid. That is not considered “real” software to me, but sometimes is an unpleasant necessity due to a client requirement or some such.

As for getting involved, I honestly can’t remember. I think I pushed some code for the early linux audio systems before ALSA came out, or maybe NCSA server (the precursor to Apache). Definitely in the mid-nineties, but hard to tell as it was pre-GitHub, so all of my commits from the previous millennium consisted of email, irc and ftp (or nntp). My biggest FOSS success is probably as a founder of the Joomla! content management system, where I can claim the dubious honor of being the “John Hancock of Joomla!” as I signed the incorporation documents for OSM (the non-profit behind the project). I’ve contributed code to relational databases, webservers, audio systems, networking stacks, and as the world wide web progressed, a great many projects based on PHP, Python, Ruby, Node, and others. I’m supposed to be helping with the PHP extension and have failed to produce anything of value – which provides my shameful admission for this interview.

Me: How did you get involved in MongoDB?
Mitch:  I was actually interviewing as CTO for a startup funded by Gilt, and Dwight Merriman (founder of MongoDB, as well as Gilt) was my technical interviewer. We spoke for fifteen minutes about the opportunity, and then spent the rest of the hour babbling about a document database and how that would impact development, as well as deployment. I asked some tough questions, and probably showed Dwight that I understood the benefit of the approach. This was pre-1.0, and I went on to not only get the job but base the stack on MongoDB…

Which became the first production ecommerce website to rely on MongoDB for storage, and followed that with the first production ecommerce website to rely solely on MongoDB for ALL data storage at the following startup. My background with PHP-based projects sort of made me an ambassador to the PHP community for the project, which leads us to the next question.


Me: What do you do as a MongoDB Master?
Mitch: Promote the project of course, and also work with developers who have questions about MongoDB. I also write articles, speak at local and international events, and consult to companies wishing to get a detailed evaluation of the tech and how it relates to their existing infrastructure and staff. I also help FOSS projects integrate with MongoDB, and am currently working on far too many projects.

Me: How did you become a Master?
Mitch: I blame Meghan, or maybe Kristina. I was told either on IRC or twitter, and am still waiting for an autographed guitar or something. That’s what all my clients at Sounday do :-)

Me: What one thing would you like to promote in MongoDB that nobody knows about but you think  is beneficial to people!
Mitch: Project stability! I’ve held off contributing to many projects because they are unstable, and I would hate to see my contribution go with a short lifespan. I’ve seen the private innards of a great many projects, and can tell you with absolute conviction that the team behind MongoDB is not only scary smart but fiercely passionate about what they do. You can see that in how they treat their tracker (which is usually a bad joke for most projects). The collective brainpower is truly amazing, as every project has one or two great minds but this one has a dozen. They respect voting on tracker issues, and really listen to the community. I see other great technologies come and go, usually due to turnover or abandonment by their founders, but that simply isn’t going to happen with MongoDB, and I think the future could not be any brighter.

Previous Interviews:

MongoDB Community Kit

MongoDB Community Kit

Recently we’ve been thinking on ways to help our community grow, help the organisers of our MUGs and help people get more involved in ways they may not have known.  At one of our recent team meetings we decided to come up with a package to help our MonogDB Community continue to grow and give them some guidance in ways in which this can be achieved.

These tools are to help you as a user and a community member run events, talk about MongoDB, contribute to the project and help grow the community. This will be a  downloadable collection of useful information that we hope can  provide you with what you need to get started.

As a MongoDB user, you have the opportunity to make a large impact on a vibrant community of open source developers and engineering professionals. Your knowledge, experience and skills can have a tremendous impact on future users. Sometimes people want to get involved but aren’t sure what the process is or how to get involved, we’ve come up with some suggestions on ways you  can provide valuable impact:

  • Give a talk on how you scaled your MongoDB infrastructure
  • Write a blog post with real advice on how to use MongoDB in production
  • Create an open source tool for MongoDB that enables other users to code faster and create better deployments.
  • Create a User Group in your local community that gets users together

We hope this package will be used by organisers of MUGS speakers who are want to talk at events. Users that want to get involved in projects elated to MongoDB and who are excited about contributing to an open source project.

We have already added content to the kit and it’s currently located on github, we would like in the future to make this easier to download and update.  This package is useful to people when information is added, so we’d love to see more content contributed, and we will gladly work with the community to review the material they’ve created.

Perhaps you’re a person who is great at design and have in the past created flyers or posters for your event, why not add them to the package. Many people often struggle at writing presentations, let’s add some simple ones that that have worked and can be used again, this makes it easier for people to take the package and translate the presentation into their own language and get their community excited!

There are hundreds of ways for you to make an impact. We hope this package  is useful and makes it easier to get involved or encourage your friends and colleagues to get involved. This guide is meant to help you get started and introduce you to the practices that have worked for others. Once you have started using it, we encourage you to give feedback and offer your advice. Just submit a pull request on a page to add or adjust the content.