Key Traits of a Data Engineer
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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.


What are the key traits of a data engineer? Well, data engineers in my view are practical people, right? Hands-on, they're critical thinkers, data engineers connect the dots and see the big picture to evaluate how data insights affect the business. They're collaborative. They have the ability to collaborate with both internal technology and business teams, as well as with integration partners and customers. You'd be working with a number of different people. And they're curious, so data engineers demonstrate a track record of learning and deep diving into complex systems and problems. 

Let's imagine you're working in this role. You'll be expected to design, develop, and deploy scalable data pipelines and data services. You'll be expected to promote best practices that enable teams to accelerate their consumption and understanding of data. You'll need to integrate new data development technologies and software engineering tools into your existing infrastructure. And you'll need to improve overall efficiency by introducing new engineering processes and tools.

You'll be expected to research opportunities for data acquisition and new uses for existing data. And you'll have to have an understanding of these existing systems and be able to recommend ways to marry disparate data sets using automation. You need to collaborate with data scientists and researchers to develop algorithms, including prototypes, predictive models, and proofs of concepts. So it's all very outcome orientated. As I mentioned earlier, you become a superhero because you're the person that can bring all this data to life.


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

About the Author
Learning Paths

Andrew is fanatical about helping business teams gain the maximum ROI possible from adopting, using, and optimizing Public Cloud Services. Having built  70+ Cloud Academy courses, Andrew has helped over 50,000 students master cloud computing by sharing the skills and experiences he gained during 20+  years leading digital teams in code and consulting. Before joining Cloud Academy, Andrew worked for AWS and for AWS technology partners Ooyala and Adobe.