5/21/2024 – BuiltOnAir Live Podcast Full Show – S18-E08

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In This Episode

Welcome to the BuiltOnAir Podcast, the live show.  The BuiltOnAir Podcast is a live weekly show highlighting everything happening in the Airtable world.

Check us out at BuiltOnAir.com. Join our community, join our Slack Channel, and meet your fellow Airtable fans.

Todays Hosts

Alli Alosa – Hi there! I’m Alli 🙂 I’m a fine artist turned “techie” with a passion for organization and automation. I’m also proud to be a Community Leader in the Airtable forum, and a co-host of the BuiltOnAir podcast. My favorite part about being an Airtable consultant and developer is that I get to talk with people from all sorts of industries, and each project is an opportunity to learn how a business works.

Kamille Parks – I am an Airtable Community Forums Leader and the developer behind the custom Airtable app “Scheduler”, one of the winning projects in the Airtable Custom Blocks Contest now widely available on the Marketplace. I focus on building simple scripts, automations, and custom apps for Airtable that streamline data entry and everyday workflows.

Dan Fellars – I am the Founder of Openside, On2Air, and BuiltOnAir. I love automation and software. When not coding the next feature of On2Air, I love spending time with my wife and kids and golfing.

Show Segments

Round The Bases – 00:01:40 –

Meet the Experts – 00:01:41 –

Meet Marcus Garrett from Anchored Digital.

We’re business automation and change management experts focused on building custom tools and workflows to empower creative teams to flourish without burning out. Our mission is to design scalable solutions to give creative teams more time back in their day to be human.

Visit them online

Base Showcase – 00:01:42 –

We dive into a full working base that will Marcus will showcase an AI applicant tracking system that looks for an applicant's transferrable skills even if they don't meet the full job requirements

Audience Questions – 00:01:43 –

Alli Alosa answers the Airtable question: “Finding the cumulative balance”

View the question in the community

Full Segment Details

Segment: Round The Bases

Start Time: 00:01:40

Roundup of what’s happening in the Airtable communities – Airtable, BuiltOnAir, Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Segment: Meet the Experts

Start Time: 00:01:41

Marcus Garrett – Airtable Expert

Meet Marcus Garrett from Anchored Digital.

We’re business automation and change management experts focused on building custom tools and workflows to empower creative teams to flourish without burning out. Our mission is to design scalable solutions to give creative teams more time back in their day to be human.

Visit them online

Segment: Base Showcase

Start Time: 00:01:42

AI applicant tracking system

We dive into a full working base that will Marcus will showcase an AI applicant tracking system that looks for an applicant's transferrable skills even if they don't meet the full job requirements

Segment: Audience Questions

Start Time: 00:01:43

Airtable Question – Finding the cumulative balance

Alli Alosa answers the Airtable question: “Finding the cumulative balance”

View the question in the community

Full Transcription

The full transcription for the show can be found here:

[00:00:00] Intro: Welcome to the Built On Air Podcast, the variety show for all things Airtable. In each episode, we cover four different segments. It's always fresh and different, and lots of fun. While you get the insider info on all things Airtable, our hosts and guests are some of the most senior experts in the Airtable community.

[00:00:26] Join us live each week on our YouTube channel every Tuesday at 11:00 AM Eastern and join our active [email protected]. Before we begin, a word from our sponsor on. On2Air Backups provides automated Airtable backups to your cloud storage for secure and reliable data protection. Prevent data loss and set up a secure Airtable backup system with On2Air Backups at on2air.

[00:00:49] com. As one customer, Sarah, said, Having automated Airtable backups has freed up hours of my time every other week. And the fear of losing anything. Long time customer [00:01:00] David states, On2Air backups might be the most critical piece of the puzzle to guard against unforeseeable disaster. It's easy to set up, and it just works.

[00:01:08] Join Sarah, David, and hundreds more Airtable users like you to protect your Airtable data with On2Air backups. Sign up today with promo code built on air for a 10 percent discount. Check them out at onto air. com. And now let's check out today's episode and see what we built on air.

[00:01:36] Dan Fellars: Welcome back. We are live with the final episode, episode eight of our season 18. Good to be with you. We'll take about a month off after this. So. Hopefully you enjoy this final segment for the season. Myself, Dan Fellars. We've got Camille Parks and Ali Alosa and welcome Marcus Garrett joining us today.

[00:01:57] Hey, Thank you. It's good to be [00:02:00] here. Yep. We'll learn more about Marcus and what he's got going on later on the show. I'll walk us through what we're going to be talking about. We will run through all the communities and around the bases and keep you up to date on everything new. Then we'll talk about our sponsor on to where backups, then we will learn about Marcus and how he came into this air table environment and what he's got going on and all things.

[00:02:24] Marcus, then he's going to showcase an application using AI for applicant tracking. And then we'll talk about how to join our community. And then we'll finally end. With an audience question that Ali is going to answer for us. Okay.

[00:02:42] ROUND THE BASES - 00:02:42 With that, we'll start with around the bases. Let's see in the, in the air table community, they talked about some new project management features added.

[00:02:53] I believe we already talked through most of these, but they finally. Posts on their community. So advanced date [00:03:00] dependencies. That's been around a while, right? There's talked about gridlines

[00:03:12] that's been there a while, right? Or is that new? 

[00:03:14] Kamille Parks: I haven't noticed. Cause it's more, it's more visual thing. It's not really a feature necessarily. So I couldn't tell you when this was added. 

[00:03:22] Dan Fellars: Yeah, can now more easily discern between dates and at a grid line. So is that just these connectors? 

[00:03:29] Kamille Parks: Well, that would be, 

[00:03:30] Dan Fellars: yeah, 

[00:03:32] Kamille Parks: I think it's the vertical line.

[00:03:33] Oh, 

[00:03:33] Dan Fellars: gotcha. Gotcha. Gotcha. That makes sense. Okay. So I guess I didn't have those before. What else we got grouping group, different fields together to quickly see what works in the horizon. So this is within the timeline view.

[00:03:53] Alli Alosa: What? Yeah, this has been. Doable for a long time. I'm not sure if there's something different [00:04:00] 

[00:04:00] Kamille Parks: about it. Can you click the image? 

[00:04:03] Marcus: I think it's the grouping within the. The grouping within the groups. It's a double grouping. 

[00:04:12] Kamille Parks: Well, I feel like you could have had, you could have had nested groups. What I think is happening is, you know, how up at the top where it says web engineering, that solidified single thing with 

[00:04:27] Alli Alosa: items 

[00:04:27] Kamille Parks: underneath it previously with the timeline group timeline view grouping, each individual record was its own, but there was no timeline.

[00:04:36] Like totality thing for the entire group. There used to be one. Well, there is one on Gantt, but there wasn't one on timeline. So that's what was added, which is very useful. I was asking for that feature for a while. 

[00:04:50] Dan Fellars: Gotcha. So it's referring to kind of this, this visual. 

[00:04:53] Kamille Parks: Yes. So when you group by something, you could see they do it for the second group level as well for web design and [00:05:00] SEO.

[00:05:01] And it's nice that it's color coded to, I mean, if you have a tag or a select option that it's color coded to the whatever it's being grouped by. So. Yeah, that's 

[00:05:14] Dan Fellars: cool. Nice. Okay. I think that's it on so yeah. So definitely project management improvements on the what's new. There was a couple. Let's see.

[00:05:31] Organized discussions with threaded record comments. I believe we've already seen this. 

[00:05:37] Kamille Parks: Yes. 

[00:05:38] Dan Fellars: Just making the, making it to their page. So yeah, so basically you can. Generate threads within the comments 

[00:05:51] Kamille Parks: and also react to them. So giving them a thumbs up or a heart or whatever. 

[00:05:56] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And then there's one more [00:06:00] customized labels directly on the canvas.

[00:06:03] So by default elements and record details, use the name of the underlying field as a label. Now a custom label. I believe we talked about this as well. 

[00:06:13] Kamille Parks: Yes. This was something that. I can't remember which types of interface pages you could have done this on, but it's useful to not have to go to the right side panel to edit every single one.

[00:06:27] Alli Alosa: I agree. 

[00:06:29] Dan Fellars: So it's got the inline editing right there. Okay. So maybe, so some of these are maybe catching up. We know we, we catch stuff before it shows up on the what's new page. So it looks like some, some catch up here on things. So that is, I believe all the feature, announcements. I didn't see any, any new ones captured from, from any audience.

[00:06:54] So move on. You'd like to know about, new, [00:07:00] new third party tools coming out. Here's one from a Chris Bynes, just, just kind of sharing what he's working on. So email, if you'd like email inside of air table and need to maybe do more. emailing directly inside of Airtable. It looks like mailtable. co is coming.

[00:07:19] Email for Airtable. 

[00:07:21] Kamille Parks: I like the description of email thing for Airtable people. Don't overpromise, 

[00:07:27] Dan Fellars: don't undersell. Yep. So if you want to get on his waiting list, you can join there. Next one. This is today in a couple hours. So if you want to up your interface game of building apps using interfaces, Airtable's doing a workshop, or a webinar.

[00:07:51] So this is the second in a two part series for advanced app building tips. We'll see if they do anything more advanced than what we've done on our show, but [00:08:00] definitely worth catching up there. Okay, here's a good one. From Max, friend of the show. He's been on Airtable as a software development language disguised as a project management tool.

[00:08:15] Hence the debate and gives a bunch of people comparing Airtable to monday. com. So a software development language disguised as a project management tool, agree or disagree. I agree that 

[00:08:30] Kamille Parks: it's something described as a. Disguised as a project management tool like the very first thing we showed around the basis was they're improving their features that are relevant to project management, but it does other stuff or it can do other stuff really depends on what you want to build.

[00:08:52] Software development language gives me pause. I wouldn't describe it as a language. 

[00:08:58] Dan Fellars: Yeah, maybe a [00:09:00] platform. 

[00:09:00] Kamille Parks: Yeah, I would agree with a software development platform. Once you have automations in there and a front end, an interface designer, I think you could reasonably call it a software development platform.

[00:09:15] Marcus: I also think that, that project management is probably perhaps Airtable's weakest point. Area, so, you know, even just that part is feels in accurate to, 

[00:09:31] Dan Fellars: yeah, but it's interesting, you know, they're investing in that to try to beef up their, their project management. So we'll see how far away it is to compete with some of these out of the box tools.

[00:09:47] Alli Alosa: Absolutely. 

[00:09:50] Dan Fellars: Okay. One more. All right. See if who can make sense of this. So I love that I can put system prompts in Airtable and have a formula column that [00:10:00] makes a JSON friendly version to be used in no code tools who can explain this formula.

[00:10:09] Kamille Parks: You know what? I actually can't because I, It's replacing new line with the regex equivalent of new line, I think, but I think I could be wrong. I feel like air tables regex formulas permit the single slash, but I, I don't know, maybe it requires the double slash. I don't know what's going on. 

[00:10:35] Marcus: Yeah, no, it, it kind of doesn't make sense to me.

[00:10:40] I would love to see what the output is. 

[00:10:42] Kamille Parks: Yeah. What's system prompt? What does that look like? 

[00:10:44] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yeah, that's true. I don't think there's any commentary. So yeah, system prompt. I'm assuming it's a multi line. 

[00:10:56] Kamille Parks: Yeah. 

[00:10:58] Dan Fellars: And he's [00:11:00] putting it, he's basically the 

[00:11:04] Kamille Parks: last line is escaping quotations. And that's all I can tell you.

[00:11:08] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, but slash R is I think only windows for a new line slash R slash N. Those are both kind of new line. So just replacing both of those with new line. But I think it's putting it into JSON format. And so I think what he's doing is basically if there's a real new line, he's making it basically putting everything into one line.

[00:11:42] Cause I know like with JSON, it needs to be one consecutive. You can't have real line breaks inside of quotations. 

[00:11:49] Kamille Parks: So 

[00:11:49] Dan Fellars: maybe that's what's going on. 

[00:11:51] Kamille Parks: Oh, That is what's happening. Okay. 

[00:11:56] Dan Fellars: Yeah. 

[00:11:57] Kamille Parks: I get it now. 

[00:11:58] Dan Fellars: Yeah. So that's, [00:12:00] so yeah, so it's not a full JSON. I think it's like just the text element of a JSON. So, cause I, this actually, a lot of times I'll, I'm working with JSON even for this, this podcast and I'll copy like a bio and if it has line breaks, I have to manually delete them.

[00:12:18] So it's all on one line to go in the JSON valid. Okay. 

[00:12:22] Alli Alosa: All 

[00:12:24] Dan Fellars: right, next one. Okay, exciting news. Today I'm releasing a new program. This is from linked in from Nicholas Ferguson called R. A. U. Rust air table utility. Straightforward application allows you to use air table from the command line specifically built for cluency L.

[00:12:44] I. Which I've never heard of, but CLI stands for command line interface, but it's also a great standalone application. The combined power and simplicity of RAU and FluentCR are unparalleled in any other current offering. Check it out and simplify your workflow [00:13:00] today. So this is probably for the developer nerds amongst us.

[00:13:04] If you're on the command line and you want to communicate with your Airtable base, here is a command line tool.

[00:13:16] It'd be interesting. Maybe I'll check it out. But yeah, I'm not familiar with, with, I haven't used Rust much at all or fluent CLA. 

[00:13:24] Kamille Parks: I live my life in such a way that I can avoid the command line unless I really have to go there. 

[00:13:30] Dan Fellars: Yeah, that's probably fair. Probably good. Okay, we've got some more here I'm going to skip.

[00:13:38] From friend of the show, Jen Rudd, just showcasing, just just casually getting a photograph with Howie Lu, CEO of Airtable. And apparently there was some shin dig at Airtable offices. And I think it was AI related. Actually. I know it was AI accelerator [00:14:00] that actually I attended. They did one in New York the week before, and I was, I was at that one.

[00:14:05] I didn't make the San Francisco one. 

[00:14:07] Marcus: I was at. I was at this one and I was able to meet Jen too. And yeah, she's like, she's a gem. And I'm glad I'm finally getting to meet a lot of the folks that, you know, I've been talking to in the built on air community. Yep, we're 

[00:14:29] Kamille Parks: real. We're all real.

[00:14:36] Alli Alosa: I think cherry was there too. 

[00:14:38] Dan Fellars: Yep. Yeah. Cherry was there as well. Yep. The others. Very good. Okay. A few more from the built on air community in line with that one. Do you use air table AI also for max? And he goes first and says, no, I do not. And others, Jen, there's Jen OMG. Yes. All the time. [00:15:00] Scott Rose. Nope.

[00:15:01] And you get bill better question. Your clients use their table AI in ways that would not even know or recognize as AI.

[00:15:14] And Justin, no can't yet. I would guess probably not each person's needs. So some people can, it is, it is out there. It's, it's available to everyone now. It's, it's public, right? 

[00:15:27] Alli Alosa: Yeah. 

[00:15:27] Dan Fellars: Huh. 

[00:15:29] Alli Alosa: Yeah, I haven't, I still haven't used it. I just haven't had a good use case for it, but I think, I think from what I've seen the most The thing I'm most interested in trying out is there's an automation step that you can use that'll like you can feed the automation step to prompt and it'll return whatever it comes back with.

[00:15:54] And I think that might be interesting. For lots of reasons. [00:16:00] 

[00:16:01] Dan Fellars: Yeah, I know Marcus has used it. He's gonna showcase how, how he's used it. So we've got a mix. I use it. I use it. I want to use it more, but I definitely use it in some aspects. Okay, next one. Okay, Ben says it seems like a new record being created in a sink table does not count as base activity.

[00:16:27] A series of bases that push sinks down the chain, but some of the bases in the middle are not pushing their sinks. And new records down to the next layer of bases until I open them up manually. How is a new record popping into a sync table different from the old useless automation trick to force base activity?

[00:16:44] Kamille Parks: This I would have to test. I am unaware of this limitation. It seems odd. 

[00:16:52] Dan Fellars: I'd be curious to know how many chain links he has of sync tables. 

[00:16:57] Kamille Parks: I do know Airtable is like [00:17:00] pretty adamant about it should always be A to B and stop there and not A to B then B to C etc because a lot of their sync features are unavailable on syncs of syncs.

[00:17:12] So that's something to keep in mind, but he says he, that he can create a new record, which means I think he's in the A to B to C scenario, I think he's talking about B so that should be fine. It shouldn't necessarily prevent him from making edits or adding new records. It's weird that it's not counted as base activity.

[00:17:36] I feel like it should, because when you delete a, Record from a downstream sink. It shows up in the trash of both the original and the sinked table, a synced base and you can restore from either. So why wouldn't creating a new record in the sink base count as activity in that base? I don't know.

[00:17:59] [00:18:00] Yeah, 

[00:18:01] Alli Alosa: he's referring to actually going in the, like, new ish feature where you can go into a synced table and create a new record there. 

[00:18:09] Kamille Parks: I'm that's what I'm referring to. And you, you can add or delete records from a downstream sink and deleting shows up in the synced. Bases trash, so I would expect to see adding a record in a downstream sink for that to count as activity for that base.

[00:18:28] It sounds like it's not. I feel like it should. 

[00:18:34] Dan Fellars: Yeah. And the question is, is it never? Or is it just sometimes not pushing? 

[00:18:44] Kamille Parks: Yeah, 

[00:18:45] Dan Fellars: I'm not sure. Ben, let us know. Yeah, for sure. The more the more sinks you have, I still have this. Desire to create an experiment where like everybody in the community shares a link and see how many chains we can create.[00:19:00] 

[00:19:02] Alli Alosa: Yeah, there are some weirdness around syncing or is some weirdness. There's a couple things I've noticed, like, if you have two sources being synced into the same place that the syncs don't happen at the same time, like, they might want the one source might update and then the next source might update on a different schedule.

[00:19:28] So that's definitely something to consider too. I mean, not to do with this issue in particular, but. 

[00:19:36] Dan Fellars: But yeah, definitely something to be aware of if you architect multi base syncing. Okay, one more. This one just came in this morning. Brian Scott. Appreciate this. I was messing around with the metadata extension.

[00:19:51] It's very handy, but missing two key elements. It would be, it didn't indicate when fields were deleted and it, provided, it didn't [00:20:00] provide the actual formula for formula fields. My guess is because it was built before they, they exposed the formulas. And it uses the field IDs and he wanted a field names.

[00:20:12] So he made a script and shared it with the community. So if you're interested in just kind of seeing all the metadata of your, of your base. Just copy the script, put it into a scripting extension and see what it runs. I looked at it. I don't think there's anything various in here. I think it's doing what he says it's doing.

[00:20:35] Alli Alosa: Gotta be 

[00:20:35] Dan Fellars: careful. Don't want to just throw scripts in there that may send all your data somewhere externally. 

[00:20:43] Alli Alosa: Yeah. This is something I do pretty often in large bases. I've got, I have my own script that writes. All the fields and tables to two tables of fields and tables that makes any sense. And then it does check to see if any have been deleted as [00:21:00] well and marks them as having been deleted on that table, which is nice.

[00:21:08] Dan Fellars: Very cool. So, yeah, if that's of interest, that link will be there. And that concludes our community updates around the bases. We'll see. We always, right when we go off for a month, there's usually big announcements. So probably tomorrow there might be some big, big news. Okay. With that onto our backups.

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[00:22:06] MEET THE EXPERTS - MARCUS GARRETT - 00:22:09 

[00:22:09] With that, let's learn about Marcus. I'm going to put you on the big screen.

[00:22:18] Marcus: There we go. All right. Hey, y'all. First of all, you'll have to excuse me. I'm getting over a cold. So my voice is a little raspy. And second, I, you know, I have a bit of a speech impediment. So I talk a little slower than some other folks. So thank you for your patience. And you know, I'm excited to tell you more about who I am.

[00:22:48] So my air table journey started, back. Maybe 5 years ago ish. I [00:23:00] used to I've worked in a lot of different roles, primarily in a marketing roles. I have a background in film and animation, and I really just like making. Making things, and in most of my jobs, I usually was doing a lot of things in the background.

[00:23:21] So I used to publish the videos for about a dozen of Disney's YouTube channels. I've done social media work for Taco Bell. But, my, you know, 1 of my biggest passions is gaming and I was, I had the opportunity to, have various roles at blizzard entertainment primarily working in, in esports at call of duty league, overwatch league, and served, [00:24:00] doing some website stuff, but also, Primarily primarily as a digital asset manager, and the through line at all of these jobs was.

[00:24:12] I was hired to do 1 thing, but I would see gaps in their processes. And they would really frustrate me because it made my life hard. And so I would spend extra time on top of my actual job, just trying to do documentation or build processes that ultimately. Just made my job easier, but as a result, it made everyone's jobs easier and that's also where I 1st started using air table to it was used by our video production team and they were using it to to track all of their, you know, video [00:25:00] projects and we had, you know, dozens of pieces of content that being, created and published every week.

[00:25:10] And air table was used to manage a lot of that process and that was really where I first got to see it. And then it would be a couple of years later. And I was working at Airbnb, where I, actually. Was using air table in a more formalized role and so, air table is, really core, to the Airbnb, you know.

[00:25:46] Function and I really got my chops there. I loved it so much. I, I'm a very creative person. But I also really like order [00:26:00] and, you know, structure, which speaks to my background as a digital asset manager, where I was organizing files and. Air table provided a way for me to organize. Data will also be very creative.

[00:26:16] So, after my time at Airbnb, I was looking for my next role as a digital asset manager. And things weren't really turning up. And at that point, I, wondered, like, you know, I really like air table. I wonder if I should pursue that and, and, You know, I felt like I wasn't the biggest expert, But I really liked it, and I was learning it [00:27:00] quickly, and I, you know, enjoyed it.

[00:27:02] So I sort of made that, you know, pivot. And around that, that time, I think I actually, reached out to both meal. And Ali on LinkedIn, I, you know, I found, I found this podcast, I joined this community and I really found my home amongst. You fellow air table nerds, and that started my journey and encouraged me to really pursue air table, more as a career.

[00:27:39] And so, 1st of all, I just want to say, thank you. Because I wouldn't be here today without any of you and this podcast, Has really, you know, been something that I've been tuned in for the last couple of, years and, and, you know, it's been a [00:28:00] big part of my journey. So it's been great just to get to tune in and now to even be here.

[00:28:07] And so. Now, I work full time as an air table engineer. Technically, my title is a senior business operations manager for a design agency. And we handle we do air table builds, for a lot of enterprise partners and, you know, just working on their workflows and bringing all of their stuff into air table and actually making processes.

[00:28:45] That work really, really well. But, but beyond my day job, I'm also a consultant and going back to my love of, of gaming. You know, in [00:29:00] my day job, I don't get to choose. Who I get to work with, but with my own consulting practice, like I am helping video game studios, particularly in the developers helping them run efficient studios using no glue code tools and.

[00:29:27] Helping them stay afloat and make really cool games with their limited resources. So you know, that's my, you know, passion. I love air. I love air table. I use other tools to, that's what I do. And that's how I got here. 

[00:29:53] Kamille Parks: Okay. Several things. One, I like to joke that I'm a terrible influence and you're ruining my street kid.[00:30:00] 

[00:30:02] It's, it's so cool that you get to, Have a little bit of that balance of you have your sort of main role working with a particular set of people and building those tools there. But having your own practice allows you to really focus in on that sort of niche market. That really speaks to your personal interests and.

[00:30:27] I can see how if you're an indie game developer, right? You you're me deep in code all the time. I'm sure. And depending on the type of game and the developer, you might be also designing the assets and, you know, doing the backgrounds and whatnot. And I don't understand how some studios are 1 person and they do all of that to create a game and then launch the game.

[00:30:52] And then. You know, all of the things that go into making a business and it makes perfect sense that they would be aided by no, [00:31:00] no code and low code tools. 

[00:31:02] Marcus: Yes, I think every video game that comes out is a miracle. It doesn't make sense. I don't know how they exist. There's so many parts, you know, coming from animation.

[00:31:16] I. You know, know how painstaking animation is and how much goes into that and then video games. It's like, everything that goes into film that goes into an animation that goes into writing. But then also there's software. The development tool to and then there's support and then there's all of these things.

[00:31:42] Like, every video game is truly a miracle. And I think when you have such a passionate group of people who are trying to make good, good games, Good, good things. I think they can get bogged down by all the [00:32:00] operational tasks. And that's where I tried to come in and try to offset that. So, so that they can focus on actually just making really fun and provocative experiences so cool.

[00:32:17] Do we want 

[00:32:17] Kamille Parks: to discuss your lower third by productivity? Byron? 

[00:32:22] Marcus: Yes. I think. What that means to me is, you know, kind of going along with what I was just saying. I think people work way too damn much. And we, especially us in the U. S. have a really toxic relationship To work and most of that is not our fault.

[00:32:49] We all have bills and we have to keep the lights on. But through my work and through my business, I want to be able to [00:33:00] give people. Time back not to be more like, not to be more productive or to maximize all of their time and, you know, fill all of their free time with doing more work. But actually, I'm taking that time to be more human, to be more creative, to go outside to spend time with loved ones, getting inspiration, resting, doing nothing.

[00:33:34] So I like to say that I don't. Want to help people be more productive. I want to help people be more human. And so if I can do that through the things that I'm able to build then that's my contribution to this world. 

[00:33:53] Dan Fellars: Very cool. It looks like you're a [00:34:00] musician as well in the background. 

[00:34:02] Marcus: Yes. Yeah. I've been playing music, since I was eight years old.

[00:34:11] That's. That orange bass I've had that since I was like 14. That, that guitar with that metal piece I got that in college. And yeah, music, games, and, and And food, those are three of my favorite things. 

[00:34:32] Dan Fellars: All right, get off the computer and go be human. Like you said, 

[00:34:37] Kamille Parks: we have about 27 more minutes of podcast though.

[00:34:41] So before we get off our computers, Marcus, would you like to show us something? Sure. 

[00:34:46] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Let me switch us back. Okay. Yeah. You're 


[00:34:53] Marcus going to walk us through some AI functionality. You want to get your screen ready? I will move it [00:35:00] there. 

[00:35:00] Marcus: All right, I think we're good. We're good to go. Okay. So what we're looking at here is an applicant tracking system.

[00:35:12] And kind of going on with our theme of being more human. I Dan and I both attended that a I accelerator event. Dan went to the one on the East coast. I went to the one here on the West coast. But we both kind of experienced the same thing. So it was my first real time seeing kind of the capabilities of what AI can, can do, and I am not an AI, advocate.

[00:35:53] Not necessarily, I, you know, I'm more on the skeptical side. I'm [00:36:00] more, I'm more Bill French. When it comes to my thoughts. And so when I had this opportunity to try out these tools, I was interested in exploring, what can I look like? That is. Helping humanity versus just taking over an aspect of a people's jobs or being used to, kind of, you know, take the humanity out of the job force which is getting increasingly, increasingly more bleak.

[00:36:40] Dan Fellars: So I'll be the, I'll be the first, I'll, I'll be the one to say, I don't think it was coincidence. Bill French name was mentioned here with Gordon Ramsey on the screen. 

[00:36:50] Marcus: Yeah. Yeah. You know, I think there's definitely some similarities there. So I think what I wanted to [00:37:00] build was an applicant tracking system where we're all used to these things going through resumes and, and, like, finding people who they can reject.

[00:37:18] I wanted to turn that on its head and see if I could build something that, that uses AI to Like, make recommendations of why someone might still be a good candidate, even if their resume doesn't match up 1 to 1 with the job requirements. So, it's a very simple base. We have the applicant has their resume.

[00:37:49] And the position that they applied for, 1st of all, all of these resumes are, are, are generated with fields [00:38:00] within air table. And then at the bottom, this is an, a, a field that looks at. All of the applicants, submission, and it gives a recommendation, of how well they match to the job skills. So Gordon Ramsey applied for head chef. It's giving us a 5 on all of these different skills. It is rating things out of 5 and. You know, it's giving an analysis if if this candidate seems like a good fit.

[00:38:45] So Gordon is a well known chef and so this is a great fit. So, you know, this is matching up pretty, pretty, pretty well. But, let's check out some other [00:39:00] candidates here. We have this gentleman named Wade. I think our 90s kids might, might recognize who this person is. He has a BS in computer science.

[00:39:14] Yes. And he's a DevOps engineer for a redacted client. I wonder who that could be. And he's done. He's been a security engineer and a stage tech mission applying for a software engineer job. The A. I. Gave him. A four in terms of the overall analysis of his identified skills and then the required skills for this job.

[00:39:45] And then it gives some recommendations of why, you know, Wade would still be a good fit. Now let's look at, you have some other folks here to, [00:40:00] we have Janine. She appears to be a teacher and she's applying for an H. R. coordinator position. We don't actually yet have an. Analysis for this role, so let's use the AI to generate that right now.

[00:40:19] Kamille Parks: Marcus. Can you zoom in a little bit while we wait for the generation? Thank you. 

[00:40:28] Marcus: So it's doing its thing. It's an AI field. While it does that, we can look at the back end. It's a very simple table, but we can see that we have these AI fields fields here, and they are filled. They, they require us to input prompts which is, you know, consistent with chat GPT and all of that fun stuff.

[00:40:54] If you look at these prompts you can write a prompt and insert [00:41:00] field names to, you know, dictate what the output is going to be. And so I've input for the work experience that makes the resume, you know, I said, you are a seasoned resume writer. Please generate a resume for the applicant using their job experience as the job entries.

[00:41:27] Each job should be populated with 3 to 5 bullets. And based on their education and experience include a skills section and blah, blah, blah. And that gave us, you know, all of these outputs. Now, in my theme of wanting to create a more human, a T. S. I challenged myself to give a more of a [00:42:00] poetic prompt for my.

[00:42:04] Analysis and trying to treat the like an actual human. So this 1 says you are an H. R. director who has successfully placed thousands of qualified can candidates and jobs during your 20 plus year career. You are aware that traditional hiring practices are rife with with biases and wants to make sure all can candidates are hired.

[00:42:30] All candidates are given a fair chance at being selected for the position, so I give it, I feed it all of the information. I tell it to compare the self-identified skills with the required skills and to, list any matches with a reading of 1, 2, 5, then analyze their work experience. Education and and [00:43:00] their skills to identify any ways that the applicants experience would still benefit the company provide a 3 to 5 bullet points.

[00:43:10] Summary of your. Analysis the analysis should be affirmative. Do not focus on the way the candidate is a bad fit. Instead, focus on the ways the candidates unique. Experience will add value despite not meeting all the job requirements. So that was the prompt that I fed it. And let's see how it did for our applicant.

[00:43:40] So, overall, we got a 55 and and for that is pretty strong. And it gives us reasons why. This candidate could still be a good fit. So Janine's experience has equipped her with [00:44:00] exceptional skills in curriculum, development, yada, yada, yada. But let's maybe take a look at some that are less one to one. So we have this, we have this, this peculiar looking applicant here.

[00:44:20] His, his, his name's buddy. And first of all, we don't even have any work experience yet. So let's see if we can generate this

[00:44:39] code, generate, it's going to use. His job history as an emotional support animal and use that to make a resume. Cool. So now we have the generated resume here [00:45:00] and now. I use that, I use that field to generate this formatted list. I can show that if we have time. But let's give him a job. So how about point guard?

[00:45:19] I think some 90s kids might also know where this is going as well. But, let's see if their skills of napping, licking faces, playing fetch and being re Liable, let's see how the AI thinks of the skills and if it would be a good fit, this has to be the funniest set up for a segment. I've seen in a while.

[00:45:51] Alli Alosa: Thank you. 

[00:45:53] Marcus: Well, that's going, I want to show you my favorite. I'm a big we're, we're big SpongeBob [00:46:00] fans here. He's. Applied for the HHF let's see how he does, in comparison to Gord and Ramsey, who also applied for the same position.

[00:46:18] While that's being done, let's see if Buddy's finished. Okay, great. So, this is a 3 out of 5. This is the lowest that we've seen. We, it compared reliability with, with the delegating skill. While not a direct match in terms of task execution, reliability is good. Is crucial in ensuring that delegated tasks are completed effectively and on time.

[00:46:50] Okay, cool. We're, we're, we're, I think this candidate is not necessarily out of the, you know, running yet. There might be some things. But [00:47:00] let's look at, you know, other things that might make him a good basketball player. He has enhanced team morale promotion of a healthy, active life style. He has exceptional social and emotional skills.

[00:47:19] That's huge. He's a role model for discipline. And good behavior and and finally, he has adaptability in public in interaction. So, in conclusion, while buddy may not have conventional qualifications for the role of a point guard, his unique skills and experiences provide substantial indirect benefits that could enrich the team's dynamics and overall.

[00:47:54] Performance. All right. So, I mean, there you [00:48:00] have have it. I think we live in a world where the job market is so tough and. These systems traditionally are used to to exclude people, but a lot of us wouldn't be here. Is no one studied air table. A lot of us just kind of fell into this. And, I think sometimes all people need is is a chance.

[00:48:31] So what if we lived in a world where our. Where are H. R. tools were actually used for helping people instead of just treating them like throw away names. So, yeah, this is what I wanted to I'm sure as an example of how, I can be used to foster a better sense of [00:49:00] humanity. 

[00:49:02] Dan Fellars: Awesome. What if you could, like, combine the names of those two in some way to come up with something?

[00:49:11] Is it possible? Irritable and, and, and buddy?

[00:49:19] Marcus: I wonder, I wonder if there could be something Something that we could do you know AirBud seems a little played out, but you know, I'll, I'll keep, I'll keep thinking of some ideas. 

[00:49:34] Dan Fellars: Very cool. I just kept thinking like there's probably, I'm not big in the hiring world, but there's probably software that does exactly like what you've done that costs thousands of dollars that you just built in, you know, minutes or hours.

[00:49:49] Marcus: Yeah, 

[00:49:50] Dan Fellars: it's pretty crazy. 

[00:49:51] Marcus: And there's one last thing I want to show really, really quick is just the simple automation. When you look at the. [00:50:00] At the output of these AI fields, you might have seen it earlier if you're paying attention, but, but the output comes in as markdown. And so I just have a simple automation that just copies and paste the output into a, into a different text box, just so it comes out, with all the head headers and all the for matting. And so it would be amazing if air table someday had their AI fields that the output could actually, you know, look like the output.

[00:50:50] But in the absence of doing that, you can still make these, formatted outputs very easily through a [00:51:00] simple automation. Very 

[00:51:04] Dan Fellars: handy. Yeah, you would think that the AI field would have a toggle for markdown output. 

[00:51:11] Kamille Parks: Yeah, I would, I'd like that for regular formulas as well. If I, have a formula that outputs things in markdown having it like display as formatted or whatever, that'd be pretty helpful too.

[00:51:24] Dan Fellars: Yeah, I agree. Awesome. Marcus. Thank you for sharing this. Very cool. And where can, where can people find you? 

[00:51:34] Marcus: You can find me I guess professionally on a LinkedIn LinkedIn slash Marcus multimedia. And if you want to chat about the kind of work that I can help with. You with you can go to anchored dot digital.

[00:51:55] Dan Fellars: Very good. Melanie says amazing presentation. Thank you, [00:52:00] Melanie. 

[00:52:00] Alli Alosa: That was great. 

[00:52:02] Dan Fellars: I'm going to be saying there's nothing in the rule book all day. 

[00:52:07] Alli Alosa: Yes. 

[00:52:09] Dan Fellars: All right. Real quick. Shout out. 


[00:52:12] If you haven't joined the community with just like Marcus was mentioning an amazing community of people like minded. Good.

[00:52:19] Airtable nerds, as Marcus called us join us built on air. com slash join. We'll get you in the community and a Slack community of thousands of Airtable users and fans, also a newsletter that we recently rebuilt. I'll give a quick highlight on that. Here's the one that went out recently. We're doing a lot to help you stay up to speed on everything in the Airtable and, and no code, low code world to To stay fresh to help you in your professional life.

[00:52:52] And with that, let's finish off with 


[00:52:58] Ali. Going to [00:53:00] answer an audience question for us.

[00:53:06] There you go. 

[00:53:07] Alli Alosa: Wonderful. All right. So this is something I. I swear I did a segment similar to this a while back, but I could not find it again. So I think it's worth reiterating. This person is asking basically the root of their question is how to get a running total or a cumulative balance over time in air table.

[00:53:33] And they're saying in Excel, you can do this easily with a formula. Referring to a previous row or previous record, which unfortunately, the concept of a previous record doesn't really exist in a database. You could sort and filter records by any which way. So it's not possible to rely on air table to know which record came previous, but there are ways that you can kind of fudge this and [00:54:00] bend air table to your will to get the results that you need.

[00:54:05] So I'm just going to go over a relatively simple way to, get this data. So how to find the balance over time out of different records that came before it. So in my base, I just took their data and. Put it in a new table. I did kind of condense. They had income and spending in 2 different fields, but I put it into 1 to make this easier.

[00:54:38] And then, depending on whether it's income or an expense, I have a formula that's calculating whether that should be a positive or negative number. So. Basically, the way that I would go about doing something like this is if we add a linked record field, and we're going to do a self linked field, so [00:55:00] we're linking from the transactions table to the transactions table, and I would call this previous transactions.

[00:55:07] And basically what you need to make this work is a, a, A field that you can use to indicate the order in which your records fall. You could do this using a date time field, or you could have a transaction number, like what they have in their example data here, either would work. There are some things you might need to Tweak if you've got it based on a date, especially if you have multiple transactions falling on the same date that can come into play.

[00:55:45] We're going to keep it really simple for the sake of time here and just say we have a number field for each transaction. So. We're numbering them in order, which one came after the next? I also [00:56:00] want to build an automation and I'm gonna have a single select trigger the automation.

[00:56:15] Otherwise, if say you just said, okay, as soon as I have a number, go find all the previous records. If your number is more than one digit, then this is gonna cause issues because the automation would start running as soon as you type in one. Digit into this field. So I like to have a single select that's the

[00:56:45] Dan Fellars: suspense you cut out a little alley. 

[00:56:49] Alli Alosa: Oh, no. 

[00:56:51] Dan Fellars: You're back. 

[00:56:52] Alli Alosa: Okay. So all I was saying is that I rely on the single select field rather than saying if the number is not [00:57:00] empty to start an automation, because it's going to start as soon as you enter in any number. And if you're trying to write in. 15, for example, it's going to think that's a one by the time the automation starts.

[00:57:12] So I like to enter my data and then I'll set this single select to, okay, I'm ready to link this record to all the previous ones and that will trigger my automation. So I'm going to set up an automation and I'm going to say I have a number and link to previous is linked to previous. Now. You could potentially do this with a find record step, but you're only going to be able to find 100 records with that step.

[00:57:48] So, unfortunately, I would say running a script is safer in this scenario. So, I'm going to write a very, very quick script. I'm going to [00:58:00] input. The record ID of the record that's triggering this automation, and I'm also going to input the number of this of the record that is triggering the automation as well.

[00:58:16] I'm just going to say, let table transactions equal this, and I'm going to define the field for my number field

[00:58:31] as well as my previous transactions.

[00:58:40] Then I'm going to just. Select all of the transactions

[00:58:48] and to keep it running really fast. I'm only going to select that number field when I suck up everything. And then I want to [00:59:00] filter it. So we want to filter this where the value of that number. Is less than or equal to oh, and I need to actually have my input config. So

[00:59:25] then I can just say config dot number. That's a claimed word in JavaScript. So I can't do that. I'm going to call this transaction number.

[00:59:40] Then I should, I'm going to console log it just so I can in the future. If I need to review it, I can review it in my console. And then I'm going to just update. That record that triggered the automation

[00:59:59] and I'm going to [01:00:00] the filtered results into the linked record field. So if we test this.

[01:00:13] That worked, and it just found one. We'll quickly run it for all five of those records.

[01:00:26] And as that is going, you can see it's going to go and find All of the previous records, including itself, right? So apple is linked to apple banana is also linked to banana and apple, et cetera. So there's kind of this waterfall effect. And now if I roll up from my previous transactions field, if I roll up that gross amount,

[01:00:57] This should give me the running balance.[01:01:00] 

[01:01:04] So just to inspect that really quickly, we have 10 as income, the balance is 10. We add 20, the balance is now 30. We subtract 15, our balance is 15. We subtract 5, our balance is 10. And then we subtract 10 and our balance is 0. So over time, this field will show the cumulative total across all the records that came previously.

[01:01:32] And it can also make for a pretty cool chart, which we don't have time to look at now, but using this as your summary field will be able to show over time, like in a nice line chart, like, what you're running total was very, 

[01:01:48] Dan Fellars: very useful trick. That was awesome. Yay. 

[01:01:55] Alli Alosa: Thank you. It's. I use it a lot, actually.

[01:01:59] Typically, I don't [01:02:00] use it at my transaction level. I link each transaction to a month and then I do it at the month level where I've got all the months linked to the previous months. But you could do it at any level. Really? 

[01:02:14] Marcus: I think it was also just cool. Just watching you code. Just write a script from scratch and it working flawlessly on the first go.

[01:02:24] That's impressive. That was awesome. 

[01:02:27] Kamille Parks: Long standing viewers will notice the difference in between mine and Allie's, demos and that I will never show you what it looks like while I script. I will only show you the end result. 

[01:02:39] Marcus: I don't have that amount of courage. 

[01:02:46] Alli Alosa: It's a script I've written many times before, so I am I cheated a little bit.

[01:02:51] I've got it tucked away. 

[01:02:55] Dan Fellars: Awesome. Thank you Ali for sharing. And that concludes our show for [01:03:00] today as well as for our season. So we will take off the month of June. Hopefully everybody has a great month and we'll be back with us in July. Thank you everyone. 

[01:03:09] Alli Alosa: Thank you. 

[01:03:11] Dan Fellars: Thank you.

[01:03:12] OUTRO - 01:03:12

[01:03:13] Intro: Thank you for joining today's episode. We hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to check out our sponsor, Ontoware Backups, automated backups for Airtable. We'll see you next time on the Built on Air podcast.