MongoDB loses its mind with marketing budget movie mania: Yep, it's choose-your-own-adventure Hackers with drop-down menus

This must have cost a packet...


MongoDB has just found out what it can spend the marketing budget on, if not the usual fodder of canapés and international flights.

The company you thought was just a common-or-garden NoSQL database slinger has turned out to be a bigshot movie producer. Or something.

It has made a choose-your-own-adventure flick in the same vein as Black Mirror's "Bandersnatch" episode... but that is where the similarities end.

You can view the full thing here and, for the time-poor, the YouTube trailer is below.

Youtube Video

To an on-trend-for-2006 electronica soundtrack, it opens at some kind of concrete warehouse. But then we flash back to meet a good-looking youngster at a launch party. She is the CEO of a games company. We follow another perfectly turned-out twenty-something who is the lead developer. She doesn't normally wash for days, but she has for the party, we're supposed to believe.

They're having a badly acted argument over ownership of the company. The CEO suspects the dev is offloading shares, threatening her controlling stake. The CEO's parting shot is to accuse the dev of not being able to "remotely fathom people" and only "speaking binary".

There's a small bunny rabbit figure in the dev's drink. Cut back to the warehouse and there's a red door and a green door.

We're back to leaving the party then the dev protagonist is at a hotel room where she finds a note. Inside it says – well, it's difficult to tell even if you freeze-frame it - but it definitely mentions the phrase "wear the mask". And it's not about COVID-19.

Back at the warehouse, we see the mask. It is a Donnie-Darko-meets-origami-class construction.

We select the red elevator. We want to know how bad this can get. She wears the mask but keeps taking it off. Maybe this is like COVID-19 after all.

She gets it now. I don't, but she has to do some coding and there's some screenshots of MongoDB Atlas, the DBaaS launched in 2016.

Incidentally, MongoDB's real CEO is called Dev, Dev Ittycheria. Isn't that like a mining company CEO called Doug?

Back to the movie. Our dev has only 15 minutes to do something or something REALLY BAD HAPPENS. She doesn't test her software and there's data corruption but she gets out. The techno music gets a little bit happier.

She wanders down a corridor to find another terminal and has to do some hacking. On a screen, we see a character we assume is the CEO tied up and blindfolded.

Ooh, now we see a green screen. I like those. They signify "more important computing for clever people."

And there are more fields to fill in for MongoDB. I hope she doesn't stop to read the T&Cs or she's done for.

Oh no! The AI has admin access. Which is bad, right? You can tell by the acting. Keys have been compromised, but she has encrypted the data, which must be good.

More wandering about corridors and she finds an old arcade game machine she has to play. She's angry and says she's "done with this shit" like she really means it.

There's a countdown on the arcade game screen and at the launch event. A classic piece of Hollywood crosscutting there. She eventually decides to play the game, but it's another MongoDB admin screen. What? We thought we'd at least get Donkey Kong or Frogger.

It all goes black and she's angry again because she thinks she should have won because she's "scaled the thing".

If there is much more of this, I'll have to crack my head into the keyboard.

The lights come on and there's the CEO laughing. It was all a ruse. She tells the dev to calm down because she "opened her pocketbook". Wait, what? Whoever wrote that has no idea about euphemisms.

Anyway, the dev ends up double-crossing the CEO with their fellow founder.

I've no idea what just happened. All I know is that I will not get the last 15 minutes of my life back. The things Register writers go through so you don't have to. ®

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