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What is a Data Engineer, What Skills Do You Need, and is the Data Engineer Role Right For You?


Is becoming a data engineer the right move for you? This Introduction to the Data Engineer Role course walks you through the ins and outs of being a data engineer: the tasks and responsibilities of the role, the skills necessary to carry them out, and the personality traits best suited to working as a data engineer. You will also learn the differences between data engineers and both data scientists and database administrators. All of this should help you get a clear idea of what a career in data engineering looks like and if it's the right one for you!

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what a data engineer does
  • Learn the differences between a data engineer and a data scientist and database administrator
  • Understand the skills and character traits that make a successful data engineer

Intended Audience

Anyone who is thinking of embarking on a career as a data engineer, whether they're fresh out of school and thinking about their future, or they already have years of experience under their belt but want a career change.


None! This course is open to everyone.


Hello, Andy Larkin here. I'm going to help you learn more about the data engineer role. We'll talk through what a data engineer actually does, what traits and skills usually help people be successful as data engineers.

We're gonna have three outcomes from this first section. The first outcome is that we want to decide if this role is right for you. If becoming a data engineer sounds like a match, then our next step is getting started on learning the skills we are going to need to become a data engineer.

Now I'm going to be your guide and mentor on that journey, helping you plan and gain the skills you need to become a data engineer. I'll walk you through the learning parts we have, help you set the right timeframes, and give you some study tips along the way.

Our second outcome will be to agree our goals and set a timeframe for achieving them.

Our third outcome is sitting in the right place to begin your personal training plan.


What Does a Data Engineer Do? - Data Engineer vs. Data Scientist - Data Engineer vs. Database Administrator - Key Skills of a Data Engineer - Key Traits of a Data Engineer - Is This Role Right For Me?

About the Author
Andrew Larkin
Head of Content
Learning Paths

Head of Content

Andrew is an AWS certified professional who is passionate about helping others learn how to use and gain benefit from AWS technologies. Andrew has worked for AWS and for AWS technology partners Ooyala and Adobe.  His favorite Amazon leadership principle is "Customer Obsession" as everything AWS starts with the customer. Passions around work are cycling and surfing, and having a laugh about the lessons learnt trying to launch two daughters and a few start ups.