Using NoSQL to Power Student Developer Projects with MongoDB
How MongoDB and Bit Project Are Collaborating to Make NoSQL Database Technologies More Accessible Than Ever to Students
President @ Bit Project
The lack of NoSQL content in current college level CS courses can put students at a disadvantage in pursuing CS careers. Although NoSQL is introduced as a concept, its functionalities are not taught in-depth. Due to inaccessibility of NoSQL at the college level, we wanted to bring MongoDB’s technology to students interested in learning about databases and provide them with the resources to build innovative projects. MongoDB is an open-source, documentation-focused database program that lets users store data without worrying about complicated data structures. Data are stored as separate documents in collections rather than in rows and columns in traditional databases. MongoDB are the industry leaders in NoSQL databases, which are non-relational and store data through key values. NoSQL is designed for the cloud, eliminating the need to install programs on a local drive and allowing for unlimited storage.
Recently, MongoDB launched MongoDB University, a free educational program for university students to take courses on NoSQL technology and practice for developer and database administrator (DBA) exams. At Bit Project, we saw the educational potential in bringing MongoDB courses to students by creating interactive, beginner-friendly lessons. We expanded upon MongoDB’s educational efforts by creating open source content MongoDB databases and how they apply to everyday life. The Bit Project team developed an interactive scavenger hunt with MongoDB engineers, spanning the entire workshop, teaching students fundamental NoSQL concepts and their applications to MongoDB. The activity taught different types of queries, or data requested from a database.
The educational resources included an introduction to databases and NoSQL and their practical uses in CS and introduced students to MongoDB Atlas, a program that lets users host their database online without needing to code beforehand. Using the sample database already set up in Atlas, the students were taught to search for and execute multiple types of queries, which perform certain functions within the database to find, add, or delete information. The students were to use the queries to find all the letters of a word and proceed to the next activity page.
Results & Future Plans
The partnership helped make technical learning accessible and exciting for our student participants — the interactivity of the resources encouraged students to ask engaging questions and communicate effectively with their peers. As opposed to a typical college CS course, our interactive lessons with MongoDB let us bring skills and issues from the tech industry to students.
Currently, Bit Project plans to create a MongoDB bootcamp that will make the platform more accessible to a larger student network and make these complex technical concepts more approachable.