#025: How to Stand Out as a Data Engineer

Dec 24, 2022

I’ve worked with many data engineers far more intelligent and skilled than me.

They know more tools, develop in more languages and things come naturally.

The good news is there's more to being a successful engineer than just raw skills.

Today, I’ll share how you can stand out as a data engineer, regardless of your background, by:

  1. Sharing content online
  2. Getting certification(s)
  3. Learning to speak “business”


Sharing content online makes you credible and more interesting

Myth: An updated resume is the best way to show off experience.

Reality: Resume’s are usually boring, repetitive and limited in space.

We can do better.

Instead, consider also sharing your skills through video tutorials, blog articles or social posts.

You’ll be more interesting and show more depth in your knowledge than any resume.


Example: Post to YouTube, write Medium articles or engage on LinkedIn.


Certifications show you’re both qualified and ambitious

Sometimes a hiring decision comes down to two equally great candidates.

But having a certification related to the job can tip things in your favor.

The key terms here being “related to the job”.

Plus, it shows you’re motivated to improve your skills.

Overall, while certifications aren’t necessary, they can certainly help you stand out.


Example: Get a dbt certification if you want to work on teams using dbt.


Speaking business makes you a double threat

Working as an engineer in data is different than in software.

Our stakeholders are internal managers or directors rather than end users.

So be curious about their business operations and how it relates to the data engineering.

You’ll be seen as an invaluable resource.

Not only do you “get it”, but you can technically “do it” too.

This is a huge difference compared to somebody only focused on assigned tasks.


Example: Try to see the role of a data engineer from the perspective of a business executive.


Being a great data engineer is more than just raw skills.

To stand out, consider sharing content online, getting certified and/or learning to speak business with stakeholders.

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