Tooltime at MongoHQ


The inverse of the proverb "A poor workman blames his tools" is that a good craftsman credits their tools whenever they can. With that in mind, we decided that it was time to credit some of the tools that we at MongoHQ couldn't live without...

Chris Winslett - MoSQL, PGAdmin, Chartio - Chris has gone for three tools, Stripe's MoSQL for exporting data from MongoDB to Postgres, PGAdmin for prototyping queries and Chartio for publishing the resulting Postgres exports. "I use them working with our finance team" says Chris, "The three tools make it easy to get data out of MongoDB for ad hoc data discovery with data collaboration".

Nick Stott - grep, sed, awk - "I'm pretty old school" says Nick, going for the three classic Unix tools – grep, the text search tool, sed, the stream editor and awk, the interpreted data extraction and processing language. "I prefer pen and paper over random e-note start-ups and I prefer simple standard unix tools over random distributed muti-paradigm problem solving swiss army knives".

Jerome Gravel-Niquet - Gulp.js - Jerome says he "really loves the node.js build tool gulp". He likes how it brings Unix-like piping to JavaScript-based build tasks. "Using streams, you can arrange various utilities and tasks together to get built files at the end". Gulp uses core plugins to detect changes, cache files and pass through newer source files and these can be complemented by a library of plugins to handle everything from Angular to Zip.

Steve Berryman - Awk, tcpdump/wireshark - Awk is on Steve's favorites because "there is no tool better to munge data. I've seen people write complex ruby scripts to do what awk can do in half the amount of lines". He also includes Tcpdump and Wireshark as the best things for debugging network problems noting that "the packets don't lie". Tcpdump uses the same libpcap library as Wireshark's GUI front-end to suck up and process network packets for better understanding what's happening on the wire, but Tcpdump works at a command-line level with lower overheads.

Ben Wyrosdick - vim, postman, thesilversearcher - Ben has gone for three tools in his pick, starting with the vi clone vim, now far beyond just a clone with many, many extra features and functions. He also selects postman, a Chrome application which lets you send HTTP requests and read the results and is "ideal for writing and testing APIs" and thesilversearcher - a "badass grep style bash search tool" - designed for searching code, but useful for all sorts of content searching, with high performance memory-mapped file I/O and even a JIT compiler for regexp handling.

Dusty Hall - top, iotop, xargs - The renowned Top and less well known iotop are Dusty's favorites. Where top gives you information about CPU and memory usage, iotop lets you look at how processes consume I/O resources. Dusty also includes in xargs in his selection because who can't love a Unix utility which turns standard input into arguments for running a command – it is really really useful.

Kurt Mackey - Hackpad - Favorite tools don't just come as command line tools. Kurt's favorite tool is the online, real-time collabarative Wiki platform at where the strong set of tools brings Wiki semantics and Markdown style formatting together in one place. Kurt also likes "snooping on what other people are writing as they make comments" thanks to the real-time nature of Hackpad.

Wesley David - dig, grep, vi - Wesley swears by "dig" as the essential tool for debugging . "Back when I was doing a lot of support work for an anti-spam service, dig was probably literally solving about 50% of all client trouble" he says noting those problems included "You realize that your domain has no MX records?". Grep and vi also make it to his list – classic Unix commands are timeless favorites of developers and engineers.

Dan Harris - LinkedIn's InMail - Dan's tool of choice is another service, LinkedIn runs a private mailing service called InMail. Dan says "It's awesome for direct contact with like minded people without the SPAM issues of email". Well policed by LinkedIn, Dan hopes it'll stay that way and won't be abused otherwise its effectiveness will diminish.

Kristine Toone - - The best administrators have their tools too and from HR/admin side of things, Kristine says "one of our best tools is". The service has "made submitting expenses and receiving reimbursement a fairly painless experience for MongoHQ employees" she adds. Anything that takes the pain out of expenses and gives people more time is always welcome.

Michele Baroody - 1Password, Evernote - Michele's tools of choice run on all her computers and devices, syncing across the net and letting her take notes whenever and whereever she wants. Her picks are AgileBit's 1Password and Evernote. "1Password makes me feel at once all-powerful and dumb" she said, going on to explain "Powerful, because I can have 600 different passwords, making me impervious to the odd web site attack. Dumb because I only actually know about 2 of the passwords without looking them up". Evernote is her "catch-all for virtually everything I need to remember - receipts, travel info, research (on anything), email drafts, random docs I don't want to lose track of, recipes, articles I want to read or use for reference later, tech tips/trick" - she's tried other tools but always comes back to Evernote.

Navam Welihinda - Excel - Some favorite tools are also the tools of the trade. Navam's pick is Microsoft's Excel. He notes "The financial world runs on Excel". Excel's come a long way since its Mac only 1.0 debut in 1985.

Dj Walker-Morgan
Dj Walker-Morgan was Compose's resident Content Curator, and has been both a developer and writer since Apples came in II flavors and Commodores had Pets. Love this article? Head over to Dj Walker-Morgan’s author page to keep reading.

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