Shifting from software development to data engineering is not uncommon, especially since developers already have a background in programming languages. However, to excel as a data engineer, you need to develop the ability to collect, query, and store information from databases. Here are three tips to help you shift to data engineering:
Improve your communication skills: Data engineers have to collaborate with colleagues who may not have technical expertise, so being able to communicate your thoughts clearly and without relying heavily on jargon is a must. Having strong communication skills ensures that you design and implement systems that are accessible to others.
Develop an “eye” for finding patterns: If you don’t love, or (at the very least) have an interest in data, you’re going to have a difficult time. A data engineer needs to enjoy finding patterns, identify new ways to create complex systems that work and keep the big picture in mind.
Keep up to date with trends: As data science is a dynamic field, data engineers must constantly upskill so they can work well with data scientists, analysts, and architects. Trends in concepts and technologies related to AI/ML for automating processes, tools that can keep data management affordable, and data privacy compliance are just some of the things data engineers should be familiar with. You may also need to unlearn old skills; some coding languages like Python are still important, but it’s more critical to develop your skills in machine learning, algorithm design, and domain knowledge. With technology changing faster than ever, data engineers must be quick in adopting new tools.