Ink-credible Data People: Airbyte OSS Contributor Tuan Nguyen

Karen Bajza-Terlouw
August 25, 2022
6 min

Here at Airbyte, open source is our heart and community is our soul. I’m excited to announce a new blog series that will introduce you to some ink-credible folks in our community, many of them contributors who have helped Airbyte get to where we are today. See what I did there? “Ink-credible”... the perfect opportunity to include an Octavia the octopus themed pun! 

Tuan Nguyen is an Airbyte contributor, photography enthusiast and author. He recently started his own consulting firm (check it out here) and currently lives in Toronto, Canada. Keep reading for some tips on submitting your first PR, thoughts on the future of technology and an AMAZING photo of Lake Louise (if I do say so myself 🤩).

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

I first discovered Airbyte in early 2021 when my cofounder asked me to check out this cool, new technology. There were a handful of open-source ELT tools at the time, but what set Airbyte apart was the connector coverage and the company's vision to cover long-tail connectors. At the time, the ELT scene was that if you wanted full coverage for your sources, you had to pay for it or develop custom pipelines for those less common connectors. Airbyte changed that and democratized data extractions for everyone, in my opinion. 

What is your top tip for using AIrbyte that others may not know?

One feature of Airbyte that I really like is the Octavia CLI. Managing your connection settings using the UI can be time-consuming for sources with numerous tables and complex schemas. I love that I have the option to do that programmatically using the Octavia CLI. Check it out here

We can’t thank you enough for your contributions. Why did you decide to contribute? Why is open source important to you? 

I think that a community-centric product will only work if there is a community behind it using and continuously making the product better. I love to give a hand whenever I can. Additionally, contributing to open-source is a great way to keep my technical skills sharp, especially since I moved away from doing that daily at my current position. It also allows me to work with and learn from others in the community. 

Tip for first time contributors?

Start small, and don't be afraid to reach out to people for help and guidance. I did that and was amazed at how helpful and passionate people in the community are. The hardest step is always the first, and things should get much more manageable the more you do it. 

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

This is not related to work, but I picked up quite a bit of French during the last 6 months by doing Duolingo every day, reading children's books, and listening to podcasts. 

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 think AR/VR will change the world as we know it today. There are many potentials with these technologies that will help everyone experience stuff that was impossible or very expensive. Imagine if you could travel halfway across the world from your living room or learn how to fly in your desk. Or your AR headset can replace your phone and put everything in your eyes, whether it is directions or a Youtube video. We are making good progress toward that future, but there's still a long way to go. 

Favorite Airbyte slack channel:

Gotta be #shamless-plug. It's incredible reading all the things the community is making out there. The channel gives me quite a bit of knowledge and inspiration. 

Most used emoji: 


Spring or Fall? 

Spring! For us, spring marks the end of the long and cold winter here in Canada. Spring is when everything sprouts back to life and the cities become lively again. 

Favorite Book you’ve read this year? 

What we owe the future by William MacAskill. He made a case for "longtermism" and why our actions should align with what is to come. We are a truly young species (mammalian species typically last around 1 million year before going extinct), and what we do today can affect billions of people in the future. Most of us would not do anything to harm others, so shouldn't we do the same to our descendants and leave behind a world for them to thrive in? 

Favorite photo you’ve taken?

Photo by Tuan Nguyen, Lake Louise  

This is a photo that I took in Lake Louise earlier this year. The beauty and peacefulness of nature just took my breath away. 

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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