What is a Snowflake Data Superhero?
Currently, a Snowflake Data Superhero (abbreviated as DSH) is a Snowflake product expert who is actively involved in the Snowflake community and is helping others learn more about Snowflake through blogs, videos, podcasts, articles, books, etc.
Snowflake states it chooses DSHs based on their positive influence on the overall Snowflake Community. Snowflake Data Superheroes get some decent DSH benefits as well, keep reading to learn more.
I’m Frank Bell, the founder of IT Strategists and Snowflake Solutions, and I’m also a Snowflake Data Superhero. In this article, I’d like to give you an overview of what a Snowflake Data Superhero is, what the program entails, and what are some of the benefits of being chosen as a DSH.
The Snowflake Data Superhero Program (Before Fall 2021)
For those of you new to Snowflake within the last few years, believe it or not, there was this really informal Data Superhero program for many years. I don’t even think there were an exact criteria list to be in it. Since I was a long-time Snowflake Advocate and one of the top Snowflake consulting and migration partners from 2018-2019 with IT Strategists (before we sold the consulting business), I was invited to be part of the informal program back in 2019.
Then those of us who had been involved with this informal program got this mysterious email and calendar invite in July 2021. Invitation: Data Superhero Program Restructuring & Feedback @ Mon Jul 26, 2021 8am – 9am – Honestly, when I saw this and attended the session this sounded like it was going to be a pain in the ass having to validate our Snowflake expertise again within this new program. Especially for many of us in the Snowflake Advocate Old Guard. (There are probably around 40 of us I’d say who never decided to switch to be Snowflake employees of Snowflake Corporate to make a serious windfall as the largest software IPO in history (especially the Sloot and Speiser who became billionaires. Benoit did too but as I’ve stated before, Benoit, Thierry, and Marcin deserve some serious credit for the core Snowflake architecture. As an engineer you have to give them some respect.)
The Snowflake Data Superhero Program (2022)
This is a combination of my thoughts and the definitions from Snowflake.
Snowflake classifies Snowflake Data Superheroes (DSH) as an elite group of Snowflake experts! They also think the DSHs should be highly active in the overall Snowflake community. They share feedback with Snowflake product and engineering teams, receive VIP access to events, and their experiences are regularly highlighted on Snowflake Community channels. Most importantly, Data Superheroes are out in the community helping to educate others by sharing knowledge, tips, and best practices, both online and in person.
How does the Snowflake Corporation choose Snowflake Data Superheroes?
They mention that they look for the following key attributes:
- You must overall be a Snowflake expert.
- They look for Snowflake experts who create any type of content around the Snowflake Data Cloud (this could be any type of content from videos and podcasts to blogs and other written Snowflake publications.
- I co-authored a book called Snowflake Essentials – Getting Started with Big Data in the Cloud. If you’re interested in reading it, here’s the Amazon link.
- Most likely, Snowflake took into account this book I co-authored when they chose me as a Data SuperHero.
- They look for you to be an active member of the Data Hero community which is just the overall online community at snowflake.com.
- They also want people who support other community members and provide feedback on the Snowflake product.
- They want overall energetic and positive people
Overall, I would agree many of the 48 data superheroes for 2022 definitely meet all of the criteria above. This past year, since the program was new I also think it came down to that only certain people applied. (I think next year it will be less exclusive since the number of Snowflake experts is really growing from my view. Back in 2018, there honestly was a handful of us. I would say less than 100 worldwide. Now there are most likely 200+ true Snowflake Data Cloud Experts outside of Snowflake Employees. Even though now, the product overall has grown so much that it becomes difficult for any normal or even superhero human to be able to cover all parts of Snowflake as an expert. The only way that I’m doing it (or trying to) is to employ many automated ML flows and Aflows I call them to organize all Snowflake publicly available content into this one knowledge repository of ITS Snowflake Solutions. I would also say that it comes down to your overall known prescience within the Snowflake Community and finally your geography. For whatever reason, I think Snowflake DSHs chosen by Snowflake for 2022 missed some really really strong Snowflake experts within the United States.
Also, I just want to add that even within the 48 Snowflake Data Superheroes, there are a few that just stand out as producing an insane amount of free community content. I’m going to name them later after I run some analysis but there are about 10-15 people that just pump out the content non-stop!
What benefits do you get when you become a Snowflake Data Superhero?
Snowflake Data Superhero Benefits:
In 2022, they also provided all of these benefits:
- A ticket to the Snowflake Summit – I have to say this was an awesome perk of being part of the program and while I disagree sometimes with Snowflake Corp decisions that are not customer or partner-focused, this was Snowflake Corporation actually doing something awesome, and really the right thing considering that of these 48 superheroes, most of us have HEAVILY contributed to Snowflake’s success (no stock, no salary). While employees and investors reap large financial gains from the Snowflake IPO, many of us basically helped the company grow significantly.
- Snowflake Swag that is different (well, it was for a while, now others are buying the “kicks” or sneakers)
- Early education on new Snowflake Features
- Early access to new Snowflake Features (Private Preview)
- Some limited opportunities to speak at events. (Let’s face it, the bulk of speaking opportunities these days goes in this order: Snowflake Employees, Snowflake Customers (the bigger the brand [or maybe the spend] the bigger the speaking opportunity), Snowflake Partners who pay significant amounts of money to be involved in any live speaking event, and finally external Snowflake experts, advocates, etc.
- VIP access to events (we had our own Data Superhero area within Snowflake Summit)
- Actual Product Feedback sessions with the Snowflake Product Managers
The only action that I can think of that really has been promised and not done so far in 2022 is providing every DSH with a test Snowflake Account with a certain number of credits. Also, I do not think many of the DSHs have received their Data Superhero card. This was one of those benefits provided to maybe 10 or more of the DSHs back in 2019 or so. Basically, anyone who was chosen to speak at Snowflake Build I believe is where some of it started. I’m not 100% sure.
The Snowflake Data Superhero Program (2023)
How do I apply to be a Snowflake Data Superhero?
Here you go: [even though for me the links are not working]
Snowflake’s Data Superhero Program Evolution
I will add some more content around this as I review how the 2023 program is going to work. I will say I have been surprisingly pleased with the DSH Program overall this year in 2022. It has provided those Snowflake Data Superheroes that are more involved with the program as a way to stand out within the Snowflake Community.
Snowflake’s Data Superhero Program Internal Team
I also want to give a shout-out to the main team at Snowflake who works tirelessly to make an amazing Snowflake Data Superhero program. These individuals and more have been wonderful to work with this year:
- Howard Lio
- Leith Darawsheh
- Elsa Mayer
There are many others too, from the product managers we meet with to other Snowflake engineers.
Other Snowflake Data Superhero Questions:
Here was the full list from Feb 2021.
Who are the Snowflake Data Superheroes?
I kept getting all of these questions about, hey – what is a Snowflake Data Hero? What is a Snowflake Data Superhero? How do I become a Snowflake Data Superhero? What are the criteria for becoming one?
This article is my attempt to answer all of your Snowflake Data Superhero-related questions in one place. Coming from an actual Snowflake Data Superhero, I’ve been one for 3+ years in a row now. Hit me up in the comments or directly if you have any other questions.