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Mariah Rogers

Mariah Rogers

Senior Analytics Engineer, Arcadia
Location: Irvine, California


I got my start in the data world helping create a new major and minor in Data Science at my alma mater. I then became a data engineer, learned a ton, and propelled myself into the clean energy sector. Now I do data things at a clean energy company and geek out on solar energy at work and at home! I attended my first Coalesce virtually in 2021 when my former colleague Emily Ekdahl gave a talk about some cool things we'd been working on. She inspired me to propose a talk the following year, so I submitted two topics and, surprisingly, both were accepted! I ultimately chose to speak about Testing in dbt in New Orleans in 2022, and the community's reception of that talk continues to be a highlight of my career.

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

My colleague and I discovered dbt in mid-2020 while hunting down documentation for Jinja2 because we had just spent four months writing our own Jinja2-powered SQL templating tool. We immediately backtracked that project, migrated everything to dbt, and never looked back.

I joined the dbt Slack community in shortly after we started our migration (fun fact, my first access log into the community Slack was on October 12, 2020). The tool, and the wonderful, supportive community around it, changed the way I work with data every single day and has helped me launch a career more successful and fulfilling than I could have imagined.

I have spoken at Coalesce and a local Meetup, made countless online and IRL friends that are a blast to run into each year at the various conferences and events, and paved a path for my career long-term that I did not know could have existed before I found dbt and became an Analytics Engineer.

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

Sometimes it feels hard to exist in this space as "just" a practitioner living in a vendor-ruled world. I am most inspired by my fellow practitioners who have their day jobs and still make the time and exude passion for the analytics craft both in- and outside of work, and share that with the community. I also greatly appreciate and aspire to be the type of community leader who crafts safe spaces and supportive networks like the women leading Data Angels, Women in Data, and other such groups. I have found so much profound community in these groups, and I hope to give back to these networks everything I have gotten out of them and more.

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

They say that there are builders and there are optimizers. I am firmly in the optimizer camp. Everything I do, I do to make my life easier, the lives of my collaborators or stakeholders easier, or to help others in the community do the same for themselves.

At least half of the expertise I have working with dbt or as an Analytics Engineer I learned from community members' blog posts, substacks, tweets, Coalesce talks, or even casual conversations at Meetups. The other half I earned out of curiosity about whether there was a better or more efficient way to accomplish the task at hand than the way I first learned to do it or first tried to complete it (and there usually is!).

It is my goal to help spread this sense of curiosity and wonder around the community, as well as to share some of my more substantive learnings and opinions in the form of articles or conference talks in the future! I still feel like a caterpillar in my cocoon, trying to figure out what shape I'll take before I make my imprint on the world, but I will emerge soon!

Anything else interesting you want to tell us?

Catch me in the purple jean jacket covered in data patches in Vegas this October at Coalesce 2024!