This will be the fourth Coalesce. Every year, the event has been a highlight of my career, each one overshadowing the one before.
In 2020, I thought I was oh-so-clever in spending most of the keynote of a tech conference talking about neurology, jellyfish, and salamanders 🦎. (If you weren’t there, I swear it was a decent talk.) We ended the week blown away by the energy at our first-ever annual user conference, fully online. Slack and Twitter were so engaged! Maybe, we thought, online conferences are the future?
In 2021, the magic continued. Drew spent an hour (not an exaggeration) talking about the history of units of measure, a tongue-in-cheek way of announcing our investment in building the dbt Semantic Layer. The crowds were larger, the Slack threads were active. But this year the distance felt like a real downside. We wanted coffee and conversations, we wanted spontaneity. Instead, we all attended in our pajamas, atomized behind our own screens.
Last year, I walked into the event having almost no expectations. What would it be like to get a sizable chunk of the global dbt community together in person? Would it feel like a grown-up tech conference? A meetup? All I knew was that I was excited to meet a bunch of people in person that I had only met online before.
It turns out that’s how a lot of people felt. In one of the most heartfelt posts Benn Stancil has ever written, here’s how he says it:
“I can only think of one way to describe it: It felt like being back in college.
For four days, my entire professional life was all in one place. Walking around the conference venue was like walking through campus on the first week of a new semester: You pass close friends and recent acquaintances. You rekindle once-promising friendships that faded years ago. You finally get to know that person you’ve heard about, but never met. You side-eye petty rivals and old grudges; you meet new people who become fast friends; you meet new people and make plans to stay in touch, but never keep them. Every walk has a nod hello; every room has a familiar face.”
He continues on…
“As one new analytics engineer put it to me last night, inside of Coalesce and the dbt Slack, she can find and talk to people across a range of roles and experiences. She is welcomed, as are her questions and outreach. [Elsewhere], all she has is trade shows, sales pitches, and the impossible swirl of Twitter. This isn’t a community, but a broadcast, with talking heads and commercials, and an audience wondering if they’re allowed to participate.”
Wow does it make me so proud to read that. The dbt community has been a special place for 7+ years, and seeing that specialness come to life in person just adds another layer of depth.
Having such an incredible proof point from last year, I am going into this year pumped. I plan to use my time with you to talk about the future of analytics engineering and could not be more excited to show you a bunch of what we’ve been hard at work on for the past year.
You’ll be able to tune up your skills via dbt certification courses at the live event, get help on specific questions at Experts Lounge, and build your network of dbt practitioners to support you in your current job or help you get your next one. And of course, there will be over 113 talks from members of the dbt community to learn from.
We have a lot planned this year. If you’re coming, DM me in Slack, I want to make sure we have an opportunity to meet in person.
See you soon 🎉
Last modified on: Nov 23, 2023