Profile of a Data Engineer

How to hire a Data Engineer

What is a Data Engineer?

A Data Engineer, simply put, helps a company manage, organize and use data to grow their business or make critical decisions. In the instance of a company that sells data or data-based products, Data Engineers can also play an important role in helping companies generate revenue.

What is a typical background of a Data Engineer?

Similar to Machine Learning Engineers, many Data Engineers will have a background in computer science, coding or math from undergrad. Others may have a Masters degree and will have studied Data Engineering itself. Many team leads who are directing the day to day work and projects of their teams will have advanced degrees, like PhDs.

What are some of the typical responsibilities of a Data Engineer?

  • Building databases: A Data Engineer may be responsible for building and maintaining databases that house critical data for the company, whether that data is on customers, clients, products, data that informs algorithms the company uses, or other uses.
  • Partnering with and evaluating external data sources: Many companies may contract with different third party data sources that bring additional data into their company’s projects. As a result, a Data Engineer may be responsible for integrating these data sources through APIs (or other methods) so that user information is securely stored, or that parts of the site or product “talk” to each other for applications in marketing or otherwise.
  • Recommend process improvements: Working with Security Engineers or other engineers, Data Engineers may help companies develop processes that safeguard data from attacks or leaks, and help design practices that make data difficult to reach for bad actors.
  • Developing infrastructure to help companies scale the use of their data: Many Data Engineers may work on initiatives that help take a company’s use of data to the next level. For example, a small startup that’s growing, and interested in expanding their use of data, will need to figure out which systems and processes they need as they grow their teams.

What are some of the skills a Data Engineer should have?

  • A solid background in coding: Understanding coding and being able to write clear code that other team members can understand is a great skill for any Data Engineer to have.
  • Knowledge of what a well-designed model looks like: In addition to being able to build models for data use, Data Engineers should have an understanding of what clean data looks like and the models required to produce clean data.
  • Presentation and communication skills: A Data Engineer may often need to organize and present their data findings to other teams. The ability to analyze and identify important data points can be critical to the success of a company’s data department. Being able to tell a story from the numbers and helping senior leadership identify areas of improvement is a plus for any Data Engineer.
  • A passion or demonstrated interest in their field: A Data Engineer may often have passion projects they work on - like analyzing big data sets around a particular sport, or hobby.

What are some of the programming languages a Data Engineer should be familiar with?

Data Engineers will often need advanced programming skills. Many Data Engineer candidates should have experience in Java, Python, AWS, and cloud infrastructure.

    What are some of the typical job titles of a Data Engineer?

    We’ve recruited for many different Data Engineer roles, including job titles like:
    • Lead Data Engineer
    • Senior Data Engineer
    • Head of Data Engineering and Machine Learning Operations
    • Senior Data Engineer
    • Senior Data Infrastructure Engineer
    View Data Engineer Jobs