Big Data Engineer: Role, Responsibilities, and Job Description

Data Engineering positions have grown by half and they typically require big data skills. In 2020 the average time to fill a Big Data Engineer position is about to increase as more companies compete for available talent to handle their big data infrastructure, Source: Dice Tech Job Report 2020

Data engineering vs big data engineering

Regular data processing
  1. A data warehouse is often replaced by a data lake where big data engineers modify the sequence of ETL operations.
  2. Loading starts immediately after extracting data, so a data lake stores data in its native format in contrast to the warehouse where data is already processed and ready for use. That’s very convenient if data scientists haven’t yet decided on its further use. So, once they make up their minds, they can easily access and process a selected data chunk on demand. This greatly increases data processing capabilities.
  3. Data lakes have much larger storage capacity. So, storing a lot of raw data, they risk mutating into data swamps. To prevent that, big data engineers must carefully exercise appropriate data quality and data governance measures. For instance, giving unique identifiers and metadata tags to every data element.
  4. Having very few limitations, data lakes are flexible in terms of making changes to data.
Big data processing
The role of a big data engineer

Big data engineer responsibilities

  • designing the architecture of a big data platform
  • maintaining data pipeline
  • customizing and managing integration tools, databases, warehouses, and analytical systems
  • managing and structuring data
  • setting up data-access tools for data scientists

Performance optimization

Stream processing

How stream processing works

Deploying ML models

Big data engineer skills and toolset

Big data processing frameworks

Big data frameworks classified by data analysis type, Source: Octoparse
Big data frameworks mapped out, Source: Shubham Sinha

NoSQL technologies

Big data Machine Learning toolkit

When to hire a big data engineer?

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