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Community Award Recipient
Sydney Burns

Sydney Burns

Senior Analytics Engineer, Webflow
Location: Panama City, FL, USA


In 2019, I started as an analytics intern at a healthcare tech startup. I learned about dbt in 2020 and joined the community to self-teach. The following year, I started using dbt professionally as a consultant, and was able to pick up various parts of the stack and dive into different implementations. That experience empowered me to strike a better balance between "best practices" and what suits a specific team best. I also spoke at Coalesce 2022, a highlight of my career! Now, I collaborate with other data professionals at Webflow, where focused on enhancing and scaling our data operations. I strive to share the same enthusiasm, support, and knowledge with my team that I've gained from the broader community!

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

The stack I used in my first data role was outdated and highly manual. Where I live, modern tech companies are few and far between, and I didn't have many in-person resources nor enough knowledge to realize that another world was possible at my skill level. I was thrilled to find a pocket of the Internet where similarly frustrated but creative data folks were sharing thoughtful solutions to problems I'd been struggling with!

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

Christine Berger was my first ever (best ever!) data colleague, and the one who first introduced me to dbt.

There are certain qualities I've always valued in her, that I've found in many others across the community, and strive to cultivate in myself — earnestness, curiosity, creativity, and consistently doing good work with deep care.

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

I spent too much time in my early career feeling scared to ask for help because I didn't want others to think I was incompetent. I'd spin my wheels on something for hours before finally asking someone to help me.

The community has proven one thing to me time and time again: there are people here who will not only help you, but will be palpably excited to help you and share what they know, especially if it's clear you've made efforts to use your resources and try things on your own first. I'm one of those people now!