Build Your Analytics With A Collaborative And Expressive SQL IDE Using Querybook - Episode 192

Summary

SQL is the most widely used language for working with data, and yet the tools available for writing and collaborating on it are still clunky and inefficient. Frustrated with the lack of a modern IDE and collaborative workflow for managing the SQL queries and analysis of their big data environments, the team at Pinterest created Querybook. In this episode Justin Mejorada-Pier and Charlie Gu share the story of how the initial prototype for a data catalog ended up as one of their most widely used interfaces to their analytical data. They also discuss the unique combination of features that it offers, how it is implemented, and the path to releasing it as open source. Querybook is an impressive and unique piece of technology that is well worth exploring, so listen and try it out today.

Atlan LogoHave you ever woken up to a crisis because a number on a dashboard is broken and no one knows why? Or sent out frustrating slack messages trying to find the right data set? Or tried to understand what a column name means?

Our friends at Atlan started out as a data team themselves and faced all this collaboration chaos themselves, and started building Atlan as an internal tool for themselves. Atlan is a collaborative workspace for data-driven teams, like Github for engineering or Figma for design teams. By acting as a virtual hub for data assets ranging from tables and dashboards to SQL snippets & code, Atlan enables teams to create a single source of truth for all their data assets, and collaborate across the modern data stack through deep integrations with tools like Snowflake, Slack, Looker and more.

Go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/atlan and sign up for a free trial. If you’re a data engineering podcast listener, you get credits worth $3000 on an annual subscription.


Your data platform needs to be scalable, fault tolerant, and performant, which means that you need the same from your cloud provider. Linode has been powering production systems for over 17 years, and now they’ve launched a fully managed Kubernetes platform. With the combined power of the Kubernetes engine for flexible and scalable deployments, and features like dedicated CPU instances, GPU instances, and object storage you’ve got everything you need to build a bulletproof data pipeline. If you go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/linode today you’ll even get a $100 credit to use on building your own cluster, or object storage, or reliable backups, or… And while you’re there don’t forget to thank them for being a long-time supporter of the Data Engineering Podcast!


Firebolt LogoFirebolt is the world’s fastest cloud data warehouse, purpose-built for high performance analytics. It provides orders of magnitude faster query performance at a fraction of the cost compared to alternatives. Companies that adopted Firebolt have been able to deploy data warehouses in weeks and deliver sub-second performance at terabyte to petabyte scale for a wide range of interactive, high performance analytics across internal BI as well as customer facing analytics use cases. Visit dataengineeringpodcast.com/firebolt to get started.


Announcements

  • Hello and welcome to the Data Engineering Podcast, the show about modern data management
  • When you’re ready to build your next pipeline, or want to test out the projects you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so check out our friends at Linode. With their managed Kubernetes platform it’s now even easier to deploy and scale your workflows, or try out the latest Helm charts from tools like Pulsar and Pachyderm. With simple pricing, fast networking, object storage, and worldwide data centers, you’ve got everything you need to run a bulletproof data platform. Go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/linode today and get a $100 credit to try out a Kubernetes cluster of your own. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • Firebolt is the fastest cloud data warehouse. Visit dataengineeringpodcast.com/firebolt to get started. The first 25 visitors will receive a Firebolt t-shirt.
  • Atlan is a collaborative workspace for data-driven teams, like Github for engineering or Figma for design teams. By acting as a virtual hub for data assets ranging from tables and dashboards to SQL snippets & code, Atlan enables teams to create a single source of truth for all their data assets, and collaborate across the modern data stack through deep integrations with tools like Snowflake, Slack, Looker and more. Go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/atlan today and sign up for a free trial. If you’re a data engineering podcast listener, you get credits worth $3000 on an annual subscription
  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Justin Mejorada-Pier and Charlie Gu about Querybook, an open source IDE for your big data projects

Interview

  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you describe what Querybook is and the story behind it?
  • What are the main use cases or workflows that Querybook is designed for?
    • What are the shortcomings of dashboarding/BI tools that make something like Querybook necessary?
  • The tag line calls out the fact that Querybook is an IDE for "big data". What are the manifestations of that focus in the feature set and user experience?
  • Who are the target users of Querybook and how does that inform the feature priorities and user experience?
  • Can you describe how Querybook is architected?
    • How have the goals and design changed or evolved since you first began working on it?
    • What were some of the assumptions or design choices that you had to unwind in the process of open sourcing it?
  • What is the workflow for someone building a DataDoc with Querybook?
    • What is the experience of working as a collaborator on an analysis?
  • How do you handle lifecycle management of query results?
  • What are your thoughts on the potential for extending Querybook beyond SQL-oriented analysis and integrating something like Jupyter kernels?
  • What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen Querybook used?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on Querybook?
  • When is Querybook the wrong choice?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Querybook?

Contact Info

Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?

Closing Announcements

  • Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to check out our other show, Podcast.__init__ to learn about the Python language, its community, and the innovative ways it is being used.
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Links

The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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