Ink-credible Data People: Airbyte Blog Guest Author Madison Mae

Karen Bajza-Terlouw
Madison Schott
January 30, 2023
5 min

Madison Schott is an analytics engineer with a passion for data, entrepreneurship, writing, and education. Her goal is to teach in a way that everyone can understand – whether you're just starting out in your career or you've been working in engineering for 20 years. Read on for her tips on starting to write, current wine pick, and a book reco that will enhance your understanding of the language of human experience.

How did you start writing? What do you love about it? 

I’ve always enjoyed blogging. I first began a blog in college on fashion and travel, where I would share my different looks and the places I recommended. As my interests evolved, I began writing about other topics such as health, wellness, and eventually data. I first started writing about data as a data engineer at Capital One, for their Medium publication. I wanted to write about data in a way that wasn’t intimidating and that was easy to understand, because I personally had a hard time finding this kind of content when I first started in the data field. Ever since, I’ve been hooked! It’s a great way for me to share what I’m learning with others and connect with others in the community.

I love being able to break down challenging concepts in a way everyone can understand. I’m much more of a listener than a talker, so writing is my favored form of communication. I can much more easily say what I want to say through writing rather than talking. I also love that it’s something that can be revisited years from now and understand exactly where my train of thought was. 

How many articles did you write last year? 

Oh gosh, I think over 60!? Probably 70-80 when you count my newsletters.

How/when did you first discover Airbyte? What was your Aha moment? 

I first discovered Airbyte when researching data ingestion tools to implement in our data stack at Winc. I thought it was awesome that there was an open-source tool that was actually affordable and easy to implement, especially in smaller projects. While it didn’t end up being the right choice for Winc, it’s a tool I use for all of my own data projects because of the customizability, price, and ease of use. 

We can’t thank you enough for your contributions to our blog. What was your favorite article to write? 

Ooooh this is such a hard one! I love doing SQL and best practices articles, but I think the 6 Ways to Reduce Snowflake Costs was probably my favorite because of how big of an issue it was in my own work. I spent a lot of time researching and implementing cost-saving tricks in our warehouse and was so excited to share that with others. 

Tip for engineers looking to start blogging? 

Just do it! Join Medium and start putting your work out there by submitting to publications. The hardest part is just starting and hitting publish. 

What have you worked on in the past six months that you’re particularly proud of?

My ebook! This was a true labor of love. I first had the idea for it this time last year, then paused on writing it for a few months. These last few months have been non-stop writing, editing, and designing. I wanted to write a book that helped anyone interested in an analytics engineering career. This book is a true introduction to every topic, best practice, and tool you need to know as an analytics engineer. It was important for me to make something super valuable, easy to understand, and beautiful! I love design and often find tech books lacking in a fun and appealing design. This book is definitely one that will keep your brain intrigued!

You can check it out here

I’m also just proud of my consistency with my newsletter! I haven’t missed a single week EVER since I decided I would post on a weekly basis. Keeping these promises I make to myself is extremely important to me. This is what builds confidence!

Looking to the distant future, what is the technology that you’re most excited about and that you think holds a lot of promise?

I love open-source data tools. I think there’s a whole open-source world that is just getting started. It’s cool to be able to build such complex data products using free tools! It really makes it easy for anyone to learn these skills and get started. I’m a huge fan of free dbt-packages like dbt expectations and re_data and hope to see more popping up! I think making data quality accessible to all is going to be a huge opportunity in the future. 

Favorite Airbyte slack channel:

#good-reads I learn best by reading articles! It’s always fun to discover new ones. 

Most used emoji 


Cats or Dogs? 

Dogs all the way! I have two mini golden doodles that I’m obsessed with. They come everywhere with me!

Favorite Book you’ve recently read?

Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown- I’ve learned a lot of cool things about emotions! Like the difference between envy and jealousy and how when we say we are “jealous” we usually mean to see we are “envious.” Super interesting stuff! 

Ok, Winc… what is your fav wine you’ve tried so far? 

Pizzolato Sparkling Rose- not only is the bottle over the top and FABULOUS, but it’s just delicious. I’m not even a huge rose drinker, but I had this at our holiday retreat last year and was hooked. 

Have a nomination? 

If someone has helped you in the community, we want to hear about it. Ping me in slack @Karen Bajza-Terlouw.

🌊 you out there! 

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