So You Want to Be a Data Engineer?

Value Mindset Over Background

We both experienced moments of imposter syndrome when transitioning into data engineering during our early careers. We questioned whether our qualifications in mechanical engineering were enough of a foundation or whether we were simply out of our depth. Over time, we have found that mindset is more important than background. If you’re the kind of person who likes taking things apart, working out how they do what they do and whether they can be improved, you will likely suit data engineering.

Appreciate — And Write — Production-Ready Code

Aspiring data engineers often ask what technologies they should learn. While we could reel off a list of ten technologies we are currently fans of, the landscape evolves so rapidly that this article would soon be out of date. Perhaps a better question is, what skills will make a great data engineer?

Recognise That No Data Engineer Is An Island

Since joining QuantumBlack, we have had the opportunity to work on cutting-edge data engineering R&D and across Quantumblack’s largest recommendation-engine project. This has been exhilarating, rewarding work but has also presented complex problems that can only be achieved by working as a team.



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QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey

QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey


An advanced analytics firm operating at the intersection of strategy, technology and design. @quantumblack