It is always a challenge to learn how to use new software products. Of course, all of them have documentation and how-to guides to explain the basics. However, many people would rather watch videos or find a teacher as this is the best way for our brains to consume the information. Therefore, learning platforms like Udemy are thriving. I believe that MongoDB stands out from many others as they took it very seriously; they have established the MongoDB university which is a free resource for anyone to learn everything about this product.
There are a lot of courses to choose from, depending on what aspect of MongoDB you would like to learn. The most obvious place to start is M001 – MongoDB Basics. Another very useful course is M121 – Aggregation Framework. Personally, I have learned a lot from this course, despite the fact that I have used it before.
Courses are not available any time, but rather start on certain dates. This is a trick to motivate you to learn with a regular pace. Once the course you’ve signed up for starts, you are given access to 1 chapter for 1 week. This gives you enough time to learn in your free time, either going through a couple of lectures a day (they are usually 3-7 minutes long plus a quiz for self-check) or spending a couple of hours on it at the weekend. However, I should mention the M121 course again. It was a bit challenging for me to keep up with the given speed, just because building aggregation pipelines takes some time. Alas, if you miss a weekly goal, you’ll have to reattempt the whole course again next time.
Courses contain graded assignments to check whether you are on track with understanding, also there is an exam at the end of it. Both of these types of questions allow you three attempts, which is much better than failing immediately, it gives you chance to think again thoroughly. The course exam is not hard at all as it covers topics from all chapters. What if you are stuck or are getting an error or just want to clarify something? There’s a very active forum where you can get help.
After the successful course completion you’ll get a certificate for your efforts. However, the main prize is one of the professional certificates, Developer or Database Administrator. Exam costs US$150, so you’d better be prepared. MongoDB provides a great learning path to it, including the list of courses, links to useful resources and even a practice exam.
It was a lot of fun for me to study at the MongoDB University. Before I started, I knew a lot about relational databases and I was learning MongoDB by trying, and it was hard. These courses quickly helped me to realise that my past experience is not applicable to MongoDB, and that I should learn it from scratch following the courses. I know that I’ve learnt about MongoDB much more than I would learn from the documentation. I’m going to sit the professional developer certification exam next. Wish me luck.