10gen, the company behind popular NoSQL database MongoDB, has announced new courses and dates for its free online MongoDB education programme, in an attempt to steal more developers away from Oracle.

Winter 2013 classes include "MongoDB for Developers," taught by 10gen's vice president of education Andrew Erlichson, "MongoDB for DBAs," taught by 10gen CEO Dwight Merriman, and "MongoDB for Java Developers," a new class to be taught by Erlichson

MongoDB for Developers and MongoDB for DBAs will begin on 21 January 2013, and MongoDB for Java Developers will begin on 25 February. All classes take place online at education.10gen.com.

"The overwhelming response to our inaugural courses confirmed the growing demand for technical MongoDB training on a global scale," said Erlichson. "We are delighted to be expanding our program this winter by offering courses for two of the most popular languages among MongoDB developers."

MongoDB is designed to run on massive clusters of commodity hardware and can be easily scaled up by adding new systems to the cluster as needed. Data is grouped together by relevance and stored in JavaScript Object Notation pages rather than in tables and rows as it is with a relational database.

Typically, NoSQL databases allow data to be inserted without the need for a pre-defined database schema. NoSQL databases also allow for data formats to be changed at any time with little to no disruption to the application. The data model is designed to simplify coding and increase performance.

The technology is comparatively less mature than incumbent relational database technologies from the likes of Oracle. However, the ability of NoSQL databases to scale out horizontally and work well with huge amounts of data is making NoSQL increasingly popular for certain kinds of big data applications.

Some examples include real-time ad targeting, social media monitoring, high frequency trading applications and web analytics. Last month, Techworld spoke to developer Alex McAuley, who had single handedly created a real-time collaboration engine for Job Basket using MongoDB.

"I've been developing in Mongo for around two years now and I just won't touch SQL. Querying is very fast and I just know how to write efficient code using it," said McAuley at the time.

Since launching in October, more than 30,000 people have enrolled the 10gen education program, and thousands are on track for certification.

Joe Morrissey, vice president for EMEA at 10gen said: "At a time when millions of Britons can't find employment, we know that companies struggle to find fully skilled developers to create tools like Alex has made. It's something we're hoping to help address with our free online courses."