The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 31.0°F | Fair
Article Tools

MongoDB courses to be offered via edX

Software company 10gen, developer of the popular MongoDB database platform, announced last week that it will be offering two free online courses on MongoDB, using the edX platform.

Academic classes from HarvardX, MITx, and BerkeleyX are offered on the main edX website. 10gen’s classes, although using the edX platform, will be offered on 10gen’s website and not on the main edX website.EdX officials have characterized the software as an open platform that can be used by other groups to offer courses of their own.

A primary mission of the venture is “to research how students learn and how technology can transform learning — both on-campus and worldwide,” according to the edX website, and 10gen’s courses will be the first major use of edX software (which itself uses MongoDB databases, according to 10gen’s website) in an area other than academia.

The two 10gen classes — one targeted toward software developers and one toward database administrators — will be taught by 10gen employees with experience using and teaching MongoDB, according to 10gen’s website.

10gen bills MongoDB as a “NoSQL” database: instead of a traditional “relational” database (such as the popular Oracle and MySQL database platforms), MongoDB stores “JSON-like documents,” which each resemble tables or rows in a relational database. They claim that this layout “simplifies coding significantly, and also improves performance by grouping relevant data together internally.” MongoDB is used to run the websites of companies such as Disney, Cisco, Craigslist, and MTV.

According to Ars Technica, 10gen previously offered on-site MongoDB courses for a price of around $1,500 per course. The new edX-based courses (which are free) have already enrolled 4,000 students combined, roughly four times the enrollment of last year’s on-site courses.

EdX was developed as a joint venture between Harvard University and MIT; the University of California, Berkeley joined in July.

—Jake H. Gunter