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Community Award Recipient
Dakota Kelley

Dakota Kelley

Solution Architect, phData
Location: Edmond, USA


For the last ~2 years I've worked at phData. Before that I spent 8 years working as a Software Developer in the public sector. Currently I'm a Solution Architect, helping our customers and clients implement dbt on Snowflake, working across multiple cloud providers. I first started reading about dbt when I was in grad school about 3 years ago. When I began with phData I had a fantastic opportunity to work with dbt. From there I feel in love with the Engineering practices and structure that I always felt were missing from Data Work. Since then, I've been fortunate enough to speak at Coalesce 2022 and at Coalesce 2023. On top of this, I've written numerous blogs about dbt as well.

When did you join the dbt community and in what way has it impacted your career?

I joined the dbt Community not too long after my first working experience. One of my passions is giving back and helping others, and being a part of the community allows me to help others with problems I've tackled before. Along the way it helps me learn new ways and see different methods to solve a wide variety of problems. Every time I interact with the community I've learned something new and that energizes me.

What dbt community leader do you identify with? How are you looking to grow your leadership in the dbt community?

This is a tough one. I know there are several, but the main qualities I resonate with are from those who dig in and help each other. There are always nuances to others situations, and it's good to dig in together, understand those, and seek a solution. The other quality I look for is someone who is trying to pull others up with them. At the end of the day we should all be striving to make all things better than they were when we arrived, regardless if that's the dbt Community or the local park we visit for rest and relaxation.

What have you learned from community members? What do you hope others can learn from you?

The thing I hope others take away from me, is to genuinely support others and tackle problems with curiosity. There used to be a time where I was always worried about being wrong, so I wouldn't get too involved. It's okay to be wrong, that's how we learn new ways to handle problems and find new ways to grow. We just all have to be open to learning and trying our best to help and support each other.