A.I. Tools

How to Become a Data Engineer. A shortcut for beginners in 2024 | by 💡Mike Shakhomirov | Oct, 2023

A shortcut for beginners in 2024

💡Mike Shakhomirov
Towards Data Science
Photo by Gabriel Vasiliu on Unsplash

This story explains an accelerated way of getting into the data engineering role by learning the required skills and familiarising yourself with data engineering tools and techniques. It will be useful for beginner-level IT practitioners and intermediate software engineers who would like to make a career change. Through my years as a Head of Data Engineering for one of the most successful start-ups in the UK and mid-east, I learned a lot from my career and I would like to share this knowledge and experience with you. This is a reflection of my personal experience in the data engineering field I acquired over the last 12 years. I hope it will be useful for you.

Data engineer — the role

First and foremost, why data engineer?

Data engineering is an exciting and very rewarding field. It’s a fascinating job where we have a chance to work with everything that touches data — APIs, data connectors, data platforms, business intelligence and dozens of data tools available in the market. Data engineering is closely connected with Machine learning (ML). You will create and deploy all sorts of data and ML pipelines.

It definitely won’t be boring and it pays well.

It pays well because it’s not easy to build a good data platform. It starts with requirements gathering and design and requires considerable experience. It’s not an easy task and requires some really good programming skills as well. The job itself is secure because as long businesses generate data this job will be in high demand.

The companies will always hire someone who knows how to process (ETL) data efficiently.

Data engineering has been one of the fastest-growing careers in the UK over the last five years, ranking 13 on LinkedIn’s list of the most in-demand jobs in 2023 [1]. The other reason to join is the scarcity. In IT space it is incredibly difficult to find a good data engineer these days.

As a “Head of Data Engineering” I receive 4 job interview invites on LinkedIn each week. On average. Entry level data engineering roles are in…


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