DBT : Best practice for SQL developers using DBT


When working with DBT, it’s important to follow best practices to ensure that your code is maintainable, scalable, and easy to understand. In this article, we’ll go over some best practices for SQL developers using DBT.

1. Follow a Consistent Code Style

Consistency in code style makes it easier to read and understand your code. Use a consistent naming convention for models, columns, and variables. Use indentation and whitespace to make your code easy to read. Use comments to explain complex code or provide context for what a piece of code does.

2. Use Source Control

Use a source control system like Git to keep track of changes to your DBT project. Use descriptive commit messages to document changes to your code. Create branches for new features or changes to your project, and merge them back into the main branch once they’re complete.

3. Write Modular Code

Break your code into reusable modules that can be easily tested and maintained. This will make it easier to update your code as your project evolves. Use macros to encapsulate common code patterns and make them easier to use and maintain.

4. Use Version Control for Models

Use version control for your models to track changes to the schema over time. This will make it easier to roll back changes if necessary. Use incremental models to avoid rebuilding the entire schema every time a model is updated.

5. Write Tests

Writing tests is important to ensure that your code is working as expected. Use DBT’s built-in test functionality to write tests that validate your data and ensure that your DBT code is working as expected. Write tests for each model to ensure that they are returning the expected results.

6. Use Vars for Configuration

Use vars to define configuration variables in your DBT project. Vars can be used to define database connection details, file paths, or any other configuration information that is needed by your DBT project. This makes it easier to manage configuration information and makes your code more modular.

7. Document Your Code

Use DBT’s built-in documentation functionality to document your code. This will make it easier for other developers to understand your code and make updates as necessary. Document your models, macros, and tests so that other developers can easily understand how they work.

8. Use Snapshots for Historical Data

Use snapshots to store historical data in your DBT project. Snapshots allow you to capture changes to data over time, and make it easier to perform analysis on historical data. Use snapshots to store data that is slow to change, such as customer demographics or product attributes.

9. Use Exposures for Data Access

Use exposures to make your data accessible to other systems. Exposures allow you to expose data in a DBT project as a table, view, or materialized view. Use exposures to make data available to other systems, such as BI tools or reporting systems.

10. Use Metrics for Performance Tracking

Use metrics to track the performance of your DBT project. Metrics allow you to track how long models are taking to run, how much memory they’re using, and how many rows they’re processing. Use metrics to identify performance bottlenecks and optimize your code.

In conclusion, following these best practices for SQL developers using DBT will make it easier to develop and maintain your DBT project. It will also make it easier for other developers to understand and make updates to your code. By writing modular, well-documented, and tested code, you’ll be able to build a scalable and maintainable data transformation pipeline.

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