What Does a Data Engineer Do?
What Does a Data Engineer Do?

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.


So, what is a data engineer and what does a data engineer do? As the name suggests, a data engineer essentially engineers solutions out of raw data. "So what does that involve?" I hear you ask. A data engineer develops, constructs, tests, and maintains data architectures.

Common task for data engineers is transforming data into a format that can be easily analyzed by other people. As a data engineer, you're likely going to be responsible for finding trends in data sets and developing algorithms to help make raw data more useful to your colleagues and customers.

It's an IT role, which is more likely to report into the IT team, rather than say, a business role that might sit within the analysts and program or product managers.

So let's not shy away from the fact that you will be working with raw data a lot. So you need to be sure that that is something you enjoy. If you already know you are comfortable with that, perhaps you are already working with SQL, or perhaps you have some experience with databases already, then this is going to be an easy decision.

Now, if you're not sure about that yet, don't worry, we're gonna build up slowly so you can get a feel for the type of tasks and work that are required for this role. And remember, no one is born a data engineer, it is all learnt. Being hands-on with data means you are very valuable to everyone around you. And what I like most about that is that this a true superhero enablement role.

Business teams really respect the fact that you can convert raw data into insights they can use. Data scientists really respect the job that you do for them to help them prepare data in a way that can then turn into insights. It has a lot of value as you are a doer, the person who can bring all this data to life.


Introduction - 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
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.