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Owen Prough

Owen Prough

Data Engineer, Sift Healthcare
Location: Milwaukee, USA


Well met, data adventurer! My professional data history is mostly USA healthcare-related (shout out to ANSI X12 claim files) while working with large (10k+ employee) software companies and small (but growing!) startups. My constant companion for the last decade has been SQL of various flavors, and these days I mostly work with PostgreSQL, AWS Athena, and Snowflake. I think SQL is a great tool to solve interesting problems. Oh and also dbt. I haven't done anything too fancy with dbt, but I have contributed to the dbt-athena adapter and a few different packages. Mostly I lurk on Slack, cleverly disguised as a duck. It's a professional goal of mine to someday attend Coalesce.

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

I committed dbt_project.yml to the company git repo in July 2021 so I've been hanging out with all of you for about 2 years. What I love the most about dbt is how easy it is to write data tests. Writing data tests without dbt was painful, but now with all the tests we have in dbt I have a dramatically improved confidence in our data quality.

The wider dbt community is also a reliable and constant source of education. I only interact in a few Slack channels, but I read many Slack channels to see what others are doing in the Analytics Engineering space and to get ideas about how to improve the processes/pipelines at my company. Y'all are great.

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

This is an interesting question. I think I most identify with or am inspired by Josh Devlin, who seems to be everywhere on Slack and very knowledgeable/helpful. I also want to know things and pay it forward.

Also shout out to Faith Lierheimer, whose contributions to #roast-my-graph always make me laugh and/or weep.

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

The public documentation for dbt is quite good. You should bookmark it and make it a personal goal to read through it all. There are a lot of cool things that dbt can do.

Also I think it's really cool to see newcomers asking questions on Slack/Discourse and then see those same people answering others' questions. It speaks to the value we all get from dbt that folks want to give back to the community.

Anything else interesting you want to tell us?

Did you notice how I avoided starting a sentence with "dbt"? That's because I know the standard is lowercase, but starting a sentence with a lowercase word looks weird to my eyes.