Announcing Table Talk, Airtable's new stream + 5 questions for Curtis Cummings, no-code infrastructure @ On Deck

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Announcing Table Talk, Airtable's new stream + 5 questions for Curtis Cummings, no-code infrastructure @ On Deck
By Aron Korenblit • Issue #65 • View online

Usually this is where I talk about my weekly stream but today I’m excited to announce I will be streaming from the official Airtable account!
We’re calling it Table Talk—every Thursday 1PM EST/10 AM PST, I’ll be answering your Airtable questions live. We’ll focus on one topic a week—linked records, apps and fields to start. Here’s how to keep up to date:
You can submit a question here. And see all upcoming episodes here.
I hope you’ll join us this Thursday (and every Thursday going forward). Here’s a quick preview (and yes, we built a whole set for this stream).
Introducing Table Talk: weekly livestream answering your Airtable questions
Introducing Table Talk: weekly livestream answering your Airtable questions
Last week, I was on with Connor for No-code talk #2 where we talked about Wized, Carefree and other no-code news!
Heyo,
This week, I’m excited to share this interview with Curtis Cummings (@curtisjcummings), No-code infrastructure at On Deck. Curtis’ role is so meta: creating tools to enable others to create more! I’ll let him speak for himself.
Could you introduce yourself and what you do @ On Deck?
I’m Curtis Cummings and I lead the No-code Infrastructure team at On Deck. We enable anyone to build products, tools, and processes with No-code reliably at scale.
I’ve been a developer for almost 20 years with a lot of that time spent as a consultant for a wide range of companies including Apple, Symantec, and Lowes. I found no-code about 2 years ago and fell for it hard. Now I work with code and no-code which is like having superpowers.
If I understand correctly you focus on the “no-code” infrastructure at On Deck. I’m curious, why should we care about the tools responsible for infrastructure (whether they’re “code” or “no-code”)?
Infrastructure here is more about creating an environment that supports team-wide product exploration using no-code tools. On Deck has a core set of tools for sure, but we actively encourage teams to try new tools.
To enable this we develop the building blocks teams use to build their workflows, prototypes, and MVPs. Then we help harden or rebuild those solutions as they start to scale. It’s at this point that we may add new tools to the set of core tools.
One challenge I see often in companies that rely heavily on no-code is that everyone becomes a workflow creator. You end up with hundreds of parallel workflows instead of having a true single source of truth. How do you combat that at On Deck? 
Having over 100 no-coders creating workflows and other solutions is one of our greatest strengths. It means we can build quickly in response to fellows and explore all sorts of product areas without needing big technical build outs.
As a globally distributed company with no offices, we’ve turned Notion into our source of truth. There are training modules, operating procedures, best practices, and how-to’s for pretty much everything including all of the workflows that have been built.
What is your favorite workflow at On Deck?
That’s got to be my Mastermind group automation. It’s two parts with some human intervention in between.
The first part is a script that operates on an Airtable and creates groups of fellows based on timezone and other preferences using a complicated algorithm. Then the groups are fine-tuned by humans. Finally, the last part of the automation creates private Slack channels for each group, invites the group members, posts a custom intro message and then creates repeating calendar invites for each group.
It’s saved 100s of hours in the last 10 months.
Final parting words? 
A no-code first culture is one that empowers everyone to independently build their own solutions, allowing your product and engineering teams to work on only the highest-leverage projects.
This will become the norm in any fast-growing startup.
If you want to see this culture first hand, On Deck is hiring for all roles! Check out beondeck.com/careers to apply!
Huge thanks to Curtis for this interview. Curtis will be on the stream next week for Introduction to APIs (for no-coders). I hope to see you there!
Tool of the month
Fintable syncs your bank accounts to Airtable. Why? Maybe you have business workflows revolving around realtime bank transactions, or you are a solo bootstrapper doing your own accounting. It’s another lego-block in the Airtable ecosystem which enables you to build things with your financial data.
Powered by open banking providers like Plaid, Tink, and Nordigen, Fintable supports most banks in the US, Canada, and Europe. Sign up for a 3-day free trial here.
You can also check out a stream I did with Isa the founder of fintable here!
From the interwebs
I recently purchased an el gato stream deck which I’ll be using as a way to create shortcuts which are completely pointless! What’s your ridiculous gadget? If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s a thread
Natalie Davis, Sparkling Programmer Extraordinaire
What is the ridiculous gadget you’ve purchased for your home work space setup that you have zero regrets about? Asking for a friend, definitely not contemplating what else EYE might purchase!!
Next week, I promise I’ll talk about Notion buying Automate.io. I HAVE THOUGHTS.
Notion
Exciting news — We are acquiring https://t.co/fDLYW2gPcG!

This will accelerate our ability to build high quality integrations for teams & business, as well as more features for developers building on @NotionAPI.

🗞️ Read all about it: https://t.co/53P0rg9c51
Here’s TechCrunch’s take:
Notion acquires India’s Automate.io in push to accelerate product expansion – TechCrunch
Speaking of On Deck, Vensy shared a list of folks everyone should be following
Vensy
✨ List of Women in the No-Code Space ✨

Here's a list of brilliant women in no-code you should follow 🧵

Nominate your picks in the comments so I can add them too!
I’ve always wanted to do a no-code competitive build on the stream. 2 people come on and try to build an MVP on the stream and I’m just floating commentating on their builds. Would you watch that? Let me know! Here’s Jason’s take:
Jason Staats 🔨
Fellow accounting tech enthusiasts 👇

A quarterly #nocode hackathon:
🍇Small teams of 4-5
🍊Team captains notable thought leaders
🥑Builds crowd-sourced from community
🌅All day 8 hour event
📺I stream it live

🧵
I’m not sure how Yohei does so much in a day. These productivity hacks probably have something to do with it
Yohei Nakajima 🙋🏻‍♂️
I’m known amongst friends for being a productivity geek.

Here are some hacks/tips I use that could be helpful to you too - in no particular order.

A thread 👇
Until next week, keep building
Aron
PS Now that you’ve read the whole thing, tell me how I can make this newsletter 10%? I’d appreciate it.
PPS No Airtable tip this week because, well, it was a tough week building the set for Table Talk! Apologies
Thanks to Stephen O'Grady (@orishnal) for reviewing this newsletter every week before it reaches your inbox!
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Aron Korenblit

Weekly thoughts on the working smarter not harder using no-code tools + a weekly Airtable tip. Written by Aron Korenblit

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