Education & Certifications

Hi, I’m Emily Lahren (née Kelly), a midlevel database developer based out of Nampa, Idaho. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Northwest Nazarene University, and have been doing database work since then. I never thought during my college years, learning “normal” programming, that I would spend my career working in the database space. It never crossed my mind because my particular degree didn’t cover databases until my last semester of college. But once I started learning about databases and data analysis, I fell in love and haven’t looked back since.

In addition to my formal education at university, I’ve also pushed myself hard in the last few years to continue my education while working and have achieved three AWS certifications, proving I understand cloud development in general and database development specifically with the platform.

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practioner (October 2021)
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate (March 2022)
  • AWS Certifed Database Specialty (September 2023)


I started my career at the JR Simplot Company, where my lovely colleagues taught me the foundations of database and ETL development in an enterprise space. I learned quickly and was promoted to a level two developer after just one year, since I had proven I could manage dozens of ETLs and databases every day. I spent just over two and a half years at that company before I decided I needed a new adventure and switched to being a database developer at Scentsy, an Idaho-based scented product manufacturing company.

At Scentsy, I got to spend every day challenging myself and learning new things while doing the database and ETL development for several web applications supporting tens of thousands of daily users, both internal and external to the company. In October of 2023, I received a promotion to Database Developer 2 at Scentsy, which gave me more room to challenge not only my coding and development skills with more difficult projects, but it also challenged my interpersonal and leadership skills as I was given more authority to lead new projects.

While I really enjoyed my time and colleagues at Scentsy, in April of 2024 I made the difficult yet exciting decision to move on to a new role at Boise Cascade as a Data Integration Engineer III. In this role, I am given the opportunity to do more than plain SQL, ETL, and database development. I am also learning a new realm of programming including Python as well as everything that is completely new to me in the Azure cloud space. I look forward to several more years working with Boise Cascade (or even more, given the incredible tenure of many of my new coworkers).

Outside of Work

While I do enjoy pushing myself and my skills with various types of programming at work, and a little bit in my free time, most of my free time outside of work is spent doing things away from my computer. My favorite things to do to occupy my time are various crafts like knitting and scrapbooking, and spending time outside whether that be gardening to improve the landscaping of my first home or hiking in the Treasure Valley to get some exercise.

I’ve also been trying to get back into reading novels, which I really used to enjoy when I was younger, so I’ve been challenging myself to finish at least one book a month in 2024. Most of them so far have been Stephen King novels because I love suspense and horror books. If you have any recommendations for suspenseful novels, I would love to hear them!