The Python Podcast.__init__

The Python Podcast.__init__

The podcast about Python and the people who make it great

22 July 2017

Moving to MongoDB with Michael Kennedy - E119

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There are dozens of decisions that need to be made when building an application. Sometimes this can lead to analysis paralysis and prevent you from making progress, so don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. This week Michael Kennedy shares his experience with evolving his application architecture when his business needs outgrew his initial designs.


  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Mike Kennedy about his work scaling his apps and his business


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • In some of your recent episodes you have mentioned the work that you did to migrate your applications to run on MongoDB. Can you start by describing the business case for these applications and how you arrived at the initial design?
  • What was the limiting factor that led you to consider such a drastic shift in how you store and manage your data and what benefits did you gain when the work was complete?
    • If the issue was with scaling, how did you identify the choke points?
    • Why go from relational (SQLite) to document (Mongo) instead of what would seem a more obvious choice of a production grade relational engine such as PostGreSQL or MySQL?

  • Are there any particular synergies that arise from using a document as opposed to a relational store when working with Python and what are some of the main considerations when deciding between them?

  • What was happening in your business that precipitated the need for this work?

  • How are you talking to MongoDB from Python? Directly (via pymongo) or ORM-style?

    • Why did you make that choice?
    • How well is that working out? Advantages / drawbacks?

  • In addition to podcasting you have also been working to create a number of successful courses to teach people how to use Python. Is there anything specific to the language that translates into how you design the material?

  • For anyone who wants to learn more about the benefits and tradeoffs of using a document store with their Python applications, what are some resources that you recommend?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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