Hello Product Management


My MongoDB Career Journey began almost 4 years ago, and I’ve enjoyed my time as a Technical Services Engineer immensely. During my tenure as part of the organization I had the opportunity to work with a number of high profile clients on some extremely challenging scenarios. These gave me a chance to write about some interesting aspects of the product such as FTDC internals, change stream resume performance, the impact of retryable writes on the oplog and replica set priority takeover mechanics.

While I advanced from a TSE to a Senior TSE and finally a Lead TSE I had the opportunity to contribute back to the core server and related products by adding tickets to the backlog. These were predominantly identified via reproductions initiated as a result of a customer-facing issue, and gave me a great deal of personal satisfaction to report. For anyone interested in the types of issues we can help identify, among the 100+ product tickets I’ve opened in this time some of the most interesting were:

  • SERVER-36870: Replication fails if server date exceeds January 19th, 2038
  • SERVER-44617: $regexFind crash when one of the capture group doesn’t match the input but pattern matches
  • SERVER-44891: collStats will fail if resulting BSON size > 16MB
  • SERVER-57851: Optimize usersInfo calls from mongos to CSRS PRIMARY for Authz User Role resolution
  • SERVER-59754: Incorrect logging of queryHash/planCacheKey for operations that share the same $lookup shape
  • SERVER-62310: collMod command not sent to all shards for a sharded collection if no chunks have been received

If the type of digital detective work that goes into finding and reporting these types of issues is appealing to you then Technical Services is always on the lookout for new engineers ;) Have a look at the available opportunities in your region and tell them Alex sent you :)


As much as I’ve loved my time in Technical Services, as of July 5th my journey moves in a different direction as I step into a new role as Product Manager, Developer Experience focusing on the Ruby Driver and Ruby Language Ecosystem.

First of all, what is a Product Manager? According to Atlassian, a product manager is the person who identifies the customer need and the larger business objectives that a product or feature will fulfill, articulates what success looks like for a product, and rallies a team to turn that vision into a reality.

Since this isn’t another engineering role I will be stepping out of my comfort zone, but feel I am extremely well positioned internally at MongoDB to be successful with a role that advocates for Ruby developers! Since joining the Technical Services team in 2018 I quickly began focusing on MongoDB Drivers focused cases, especially the MongoDB Ruby Driver and the Mongoid ODM.

I’ve been working as a Ruby developer for more than a decade at this point, both as a Software Engineer building commercial applications and as a Technical Services Engineer helping MongoDB customers address production issues within their solutions. Heck, I’ve even written a book covering plugin development for a Ruby on Rails based project management suite.

I fell in love with the language and found it adopted and incorporated a lot of the best practices, ideas and design patterns of other languages. My feelings towards the language and community somewhat echo what Matz (the author of the Ruby language) stated more succinctly in The Ruby Programming Language:

I knew many languages before I created Ruby, but I was never fully satisfied with them. They were uglier, tougher, more complex, or more simple than I expected. I wanted to create my own language that satisfied me, as a programmer. I knew a lot about the language’s target audience: myself. To my surprise, many programmers all over the world feel very much like I do. They feel happy when they discover and program in Ruby.

Throughout the development of the Ruby language, I’ve focused my energies on making programming faster and easier. All features in Ruby, including object-oriented features, are designed to work as ordinary programmers (e.g., me) expect them to work. Most programmers feel it is elegant, easy to use, and a pleasure to program.

Ruby is designed to make programmers happy._


This new role really feels like the culmination of a much longer journey that began when I started getting my feet wet with MongoDB in 2012, learned about Ruby drivers for MongoDB and was actively troubleshooting Mongoid issues as early as 2014.

My love of Ruby and my love of MongoDB should help give me a leg up in this new role, however the real work now begins! My focus will be to help drive adoption of MongoDB within the Ruby developer community, though how I can move the needle here remains to be seen.

I plan on sharing a lot more as this journey continues and I welcome any feedback you may have along the way.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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