Community Change Maker: Jason Hill

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Airtable Employee
Airtable Employee

The Airtable Community Change Maker Spotlights are a new ongoing series where we will be highlighting inspirational creators across the Airtable Community. We are thrilled to be able to highlight Jason Hill

LM: How would you describe yourself on the back of your autobiography?

JH: Jason is a lifelong educator who has dedicated his career to educating youth and adults.  He started his career as a High School teacher who focused on Career Development.  He taught computer networking, web design, graphic design, and video production subjects. 

Throughout his teaching career and into administration, Jason has focused on computer systems and their integration into the daily lives of students and adults.  He built systems that created mutual workflows and communication at a comprehensive high school.  Moving into district administration, he implemented and managed a popular student information system used by all teachers, students, staff, and parents.

Airtable was introduced to solve a problem between two systems that lacked a common language and reporting capabilities.  Three years later, Jason has inspired hundreds of users in Redlands Unified to integrate their departments and systems into using a single data source.  With over four hundred bases and nearly a hundred workspaces and interfaces later, he has used Airtable to create a movement revolutionizing how a K-12 school district does business.

LM: How long have you been using Airtable?

JH: I created my account in November 2019, with my first base being developed over Christmas Vacation in December 2019. Three years and over four hundred bases later, I still love Airtable!

LM: How do you use Airtable? At work? At home?

Airtable is used primarily for work.  I use the product to bring together departments and people to collaborate using a single data source.  By doing that, we save time and resources and build the knowledge of our staff.  In my personal life, I use Airtable to organize tasks and inventories.

LM: What is your favorite Airtable feature?

JH: In a very simplistic way, I find the most predominant feature I gravitate towards is the use of “Grouped By,” “Filters,” and “Views”.  I found that using these three features allowed me to narrow down data in a unique way for my staff and users.  It does it in a way that shines above its competitors and our typical go-to applications.  From a power user perspective, the concept of the data layer, logic layer, and interface/app layer has helped me expand my use in a more refined and targeted way.

LM: How did you learn how to use Airtable?

JH: I was lucky to have extensive spreadsheet and database experience before starting with Airtable.  The base designs and structures were easy to adopt.  Most of my learning has been from the community of Airtable users that I follow.  It’s very helpful for me to see how others use the product.  I take their ideas and adapt them.

LM: If someone is looking to start learning Airtable, what resources would you send them?

JH: What I found most useful for me was GAP Consulting and its youtube channel.  There are plenty of useful videos to learn from.  I would also recommend the Airtable Forums and Facebook page.  They allow you to connect with other like-minded people.  It may seem daunting initially, but just watching others can be useful.

LM: What is your favorite Airtable project you’ve ever worked on?

JH: This is hard to say.  I have built apps for finance, human resources, educational services, payroll, and position control.  Each of these has transformed some aspect of our work.  One exciting base I built was during COVID when we wanted to hold an in-person graduation.  We needed to limit tickets, create a reservation system, and allow families to edit those reservations.  The district looked into expensive paid platforms that did not fit our needs.  I built the exact solution we needed in Airtable for no additional cost beyond what we had.

LM: What impact has Airtable had on your workflow? (ex: saving time)

JH: Airtable has slowly transformed our entire community.  We are a K-12 School District with 20,000 students and over 25 sites.  Breaking down our silos has allowed us to save time, save money, and have more purposeful conversations.

LM: How did you get into the low-code community?

JH: My overall involvement in this community started with the goal of bridging two systems using Airtable.  Since then, I have used many of low-code platforms that improve every aspect of my work.  These tools were all brought to me through the Airtable community.

LM: What is your #1 Airtable product request?

JH: I love development and the growth of any new platform.  I have not requested many features, but love to see new releases.  Anything I have requested usually revolves around managing my team in the Admin Control panel.

LM: What is your favorite thing about the Airtable Community?

JH: I love helping others and sharing my experiences.  I am not an expert in low-code or in Airtable.  I am simply an educator by nature and a very savvy power user.  I see what others do, and following the Community helps me see where I can fill in the gaps.

LM: What advice would you give to new members of the Airtable Community?

JH: Start by subscribing to feeds which allow the conversations to come to your inbox, feed reader, or Slack.  Having them come to you keeps you thinking about Airtable.  You want to start thinking like a database and how Airtable can assist you.  Watching how others use the platform will inspire you.

LM: Who in the Airtable Community inspires you and why?

JH: That one is hard to single out because everyone inspires me in a different way.  Rather than focusing on one person, I grab what I can to guide my work and growth using Airtable and technology to improve my life.

LM: What is your favorite hobby outside of work?

JH: I love to build, cook, and entertain.  Sharing what I love and showing people how to live and work better is something I find inspiring and entertaining to do.

LM: Anything else you’d like to share?

JH: Being involved with a community of people sharing their love for a product that can improve their lives is something that is worth my time.