The demand for skilled data engineers is projected to rapidly grow. No wonder that’s the case; no matter what your company does, to succeed in today’s competitive environment, you need a robust infrastructure to both store and access your company’s data, and you need it from the very beginning.

What exactly does a data engineer do, though? And how does one become a data engineer? In this article, we’re going to talk about this interesting field and how you can become a data engineer.

What Does a Data Engineer Do?

Data engineers are responsible for the creation and maintenance of analytics infrastructure that enables almost every other function in the data world. They are responsible for the development, construction, maintenance, and testing of architectures, such as databases and large-scale processing systems. As part of this, Data Engineers are also responsible for the creation of data set processes used in modeling, mining, acquisition, and verification.

对熟练的数据工程师的需求预计将迅速增长。事实就是这样;无论你的公司做什么,为了在如今的竞争环境中取得成功, 你需要一个健全的基础设施来存储和访问公司的数据,而且你从一开始就需要它。

但数据工程师具体做些什么? 如何成为一名数据工程师? 在这篇文章中,我们将探讨这个有趣的领域,以及如何成为一名数据工程师。


数据工程师负责创建和维护分析性基础设施,实现几乎所有数据世界中的其余功能。它们负责开发、构建、维护和测试体系结构,如数据库和大规模处理系统。 作为其中的一部分,数据工程师还负责创建用于建模、挖掘、获取和验证的数据集处理过程。


Engineers are expected to have a solid command of common scripting languages and tools for this purpose and are expected to use this skill set to constantly improve data quality and quantity by leveraging and improving data analytics systems.

The Difference Between Data Engineer and Data Scientist

While there is a certain amount overlap when it comes to skills and responsibilities, these two positions are being increasingly separated into distinct roles.

Data scientists are much more focused on the interaction with the data infrastructure rather than the building and maintenance thereof. They are often tasked with conducting high-level market and business operation research to identify trends and relations, and as part of this, they use a variety of sophisticated machines and methods to interact with and act upon data.




数据科学家更关注于与数据基础设施的交互,而不是其构建和维护。 他们通常负责进行高水平的市场和商业运作研究,以确定趋势和关系,作为其中的一部分,他们使用各种复杂的机器和方法来与数据交互和作用。


Data scientists are often well-versed in Machine Learning and advanced statistical modeling, as they are expected to take the raw data and turn it into actionable, understandable content with the help of advanced mathematical models and algorithms. This information is often used as an analysis source to tell the “bigger picture” to the decision makers.

So what makes a data scientist different from a data engineer? Generally speaking, the main difference is one of focus. Data engineers are much more focused on building infrastructure and architecture for data generation; data scientists are focused rather on advanced mathematics and statistical analysis on that generated data.


那么,数据科学家与数据工程师的区别是什么呢??一般来说,主要区别是专点不同,数据工程师更专注于为数据生成建立基础设施和体系结构; 数据科学家更关注的是对产生的数据进行先进的数学数据的统计分析。


Data Engineers Key Skills

Here's a couple of the key skills needed from data engineers.

Tools and Components of Data Architecture

Since data engineers are much more concerned with analytics infrastructure, most of their required skills are, predictably, architecture-centric.

In-Depth Knowledge of SQL and Other Database Solutions

Data Engineers need to understand database management, and as such, in-depth knowledge of SQL is hugely valuable. Likewise, other database solutions, such as Cassandra or Bigtable, are great to know if you plan on doing freelance or for hire engineering, as not every database is going to be built in the recognizable standard.








Data Warehousing and ETL Tools

Data warehousing and ETL experience is essential to this position. Data warehousing solutions like Redshift or Panoply, as well as familiarity with ETL Tools, such as with StitchData or Segment is hugely valuable. Similarly, experience with data storage and retrieval is equally vital, as the amount of data being dealt with is simply astronomical.

Hadoop-Based Analytics (HBase, Hive, MapReduce, etc.)

Having a strong understanding of Apache Hadoop-based analytics is a very common requirement in this space, with knowledge of HBase, Hive, and MapReduce often considered a requirement.


数据入库和ETL经验对这个职位至关重要,数据入库解决方案就像RedshiftPanoply,而熟悉ETL工具, 就像熟悉StitchDataSegment,两者都非常有价值。同样,数据存储和检索的经验同样重要,因为处理的数据量简直是天文数字。

基于Hadoop的分析 (HBase, Hive, MapReduce, etc.)

对基于Apache Hadoop的分析有很透彻的理解是这个空间中的一个非常常见的需求,认知HBase、Hive, 以及MapReduce通常被视为是一种要求。



Speaking of solutions, knowledge of coding is a definite plus here (and also possibly a requirement for many positions). Familiarity, if not outright expertness, is very valuable in Python, C/C++, Java, Perl, Golang, or other such languages.

Machine Learning

While mainly the focus of data scientist, some level of understanding of how to act upon this data is also invaluable for Data Engineers. For this reason, some knowledge of statistical analysis and the basics data modeling are hugely valuable.  

While machine learning is technically something relegated to the Data Scientist, knowledge in this area is helpful to construct solutions usable by your cohorts. This knowledge has the added benefit of making you extremely marketable in this space, as being able to “put on both hats” in this case makes you a formidable tool.


说到解决方案,对编码的认知是一个绝对的加分项 (也可能是许多职位的要求)。仅是熟识,如果不是完全熟练的话,在Python、C/C++、Java、Perl、Golang或其他语言中时非常有价值的。





Various Operating Systems

Finally, intimate knowledge of UNIX, Linux, and Solaris is very helpful, as many math tools are going to be based in these systems due to their unique demands for root access to hardware and operating system functionality above and beyond that of Microsoft’s Windows or Mac OS.

How Can I Become a Data Engineer?

Data engineering typically requires a more hybrid approach to education than other, more traditional careers. While teachers often have a degree specifically in teaching, Data Engineers often have a Computer Sciences or Information Technology degree that was then further parlayed with vendor specific Certification programs and training materials.


最后,熟悉UNIXLinuxSolaris很有帮助,由于它们对硬件和操作系统功能的根访问的独特需求在微软Windows或Mac OS之上,所以许多数学工具将基于这些系统。




As such, your degree, while important, is only part of the story; getting the proper certifications can be hugely valuable. There are a few data engineering-specific certifications:

  • Google’s Certified Professional — data engineering. This certification establishes that the student is familiar with data engineering principles and can function as either an associate or a professional in the field.
  • IBM Certified Data Engineer — Big Data. This certification focuses more on Big Data-specific applications of data engineering skill sets rather than general skills but is considered a gold standard by many.
  • CCP Data Engineer from Cloudera: Specific to Cloudera’s solutions, this certification shows the student has experience in ETL tools and analytics.
  • Secondary certifications, such as the MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert), cover a wide range of topics but have specific sub-certifications such as MCSE: Data Management and Analytics.


  • 谷歌认证专业— 数据工程师。该认证确立了熟悉数据工程原理,并能在该领域中担任联系人或专业人员的学生。
  • IBM注册数据工程师— 大数据。这种认证更关注于数据工程技能组合的大数据特定应用,而不是一般技能,但被许多人认为是金标准。
  • CCP的Cloudera数据工程师: 针对Cloudera的解决方案。该证书表明学生有ETL工具的使用和分析经验。
  • 二级证书,比如MCSE (微软认证解决方案专家)。涵盖广泛的主题,但有特定的子项认证,如MCSE:数据管理和分析。

There are, of course, online courses that purport to offer significant training in this field. Udemy offers numerous courses in Data Engineering and data science, and other sites, such as EdX and Memrise offer similar coursework. Some sites, such as DataCamp, are heavily focused specifically on data science and engineering, while others, such as Galvanize, are more broad-based.

While these solutions can help you get your feet in the water, so to speak, they come with the caveat that they rarely dispense or confer certification, and at best, many only offer a certificate or diploma. As such, while they are great for general learning, they should not be considered a replacement for actual certification or accredited diploma issuance.




Hopefully, this piece has illuminated the specific talents, skills, and requirements expected of a data engineer. While the field is rapidly growing, it is fraught with obstacles. Therefore, attaining the best education possible while filling any gaps in skill sets with proper certification is key.