In our last Spring Series post, we revisit Melanie Magdalena, a creator, web designer, developer, and all-around unicorn. Melanie wears many hats and works with development, design, data language notes, and more. Her attitude is that if she doesn’t know how to do it, she finds a way and learns how to get the job done. 

Melanie is an Archeologist on paper but also works on many computer science projects. She started school in Austin Texas for archeology and quickly finished the program early, in 3 semesters instead of 4. With her semester off, she decided to start doing some freelance work in web design. Loving the work she was doing, she continued working on computer science projects on the side while she finished up school. Melanie actually created and developed an open science publishing platform for undergrads to show off their work to the community called KnowYourOrigins.org

Melanie found Airtable while working at Central New Mexico Community College as their Multi-Media Specialist for distance learning. She had a big project she was working on to create a textbook replacement in a digital format. While working on the project she found Airtable and thought that it looked like a great tool and bookmarked the page. A few years later she was looking for a way to manage a large number of stock photos and she remembered her bookmarked page for Airtable. She now uses the platform almost on a daily basis. 

Melanie uses Airtable to manage her own freelance work, for her client’s projects, and to create dynamic content for Twitch, a live streaming platform for gamers. Currently, she is working to use Airtable’s API to produce real-time shout outs and a live leaderboard on Twitch. She says, that if you can learn just enough about using API you can create and do some really cool things with it. 

In May of 2019, Melanie launched Automators Academy, an online resource that will help teach you to streamline workflows by incorporating automation into your life. Melanie is also the co-founder of Deytah, her new agency, with two of her friends that were constantly passing freelance work to one another. With the combination of all of their skills, they have a big skill overlap which creates a wonderful opportunity to complete more projects. They work with automation, web design and development, progressing web apps, coaching, and some SEO type projects for non-profits and small businesses. 


Demo: Assessment Tracker

  • This was created while working with a client that had an equestrian business and needed to manage a checklist of skills for their students. She had to figure out how to convert paper to computers. 
  • She first had to figure out how to move Microsoft Access into Airtable
  • Starts with a database architecture map of the 5 tables
    • Customers -> Orders -> Assessments -> Scores -> Students 
  • Customers Table: Purchaser ID is connected to Infusionsoft. Orders come from Shopify and are rolled up to see how many have been purchased or redeemed.  
  • Orders Table: Auto-created time and current time to help with follow up. (Example: It’s been 60 days since your purchase, don’t forget to redeem it)
  • Purchase Flow breakdown
  • Submissions Table and Flow Chart explanation
  • Shows the Form they use for the instructors to grade submissions and how it works with the rest of the Airtable base

We love how Melanie breaks down not only her Assessment Base but shows the thought process and architecture behind the base itself. It is a great behind the scenes look at the critical thinking process it takes to complete a truly unique and awesome infrastructure. 


Connect with Melaine

Check out Automators Academy

Get in touch with Deytah

Watch the video below for the full podcast visual, including more of Melanie’s story and the live walkthroughs of the base described above.

Episode Video:

Here’s an audio version of the above, with links to download or share if desired:

Episode Audio

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