I definitely need practice to become a Data Engineer.
So I’ve completed Introduction to Data Engineering, offered by Coursera and I’m going to be frank, a lot of it just blew by me.
To me it felt like I was a kid placed in front of a screen and told to watch without really being taught about what I was watching. The informational videos, though informative, were hard to take in. Sure, I understood what was being said but being asked to recite what I watched would’ve have been a trial.
That said, I’m not saying the course was bad, but what I am saying is that I wished there were more videos like the Viewpoint’s videos. Those videos had four data engineers talk about Data Engineering by answering specific questions. This was a lot more helpful in understanding what was being taught.
But, its not like I came away with nothing.
I learned about gathering data from different sources in what is called ‘extracting’ (hoping that was right) and I found that’s what I’ve been doing a lot while I’ve been writing my programs using Python, web scraping as it’s called. I don’t consider myself an expert by any stretch but I feel like I’m able to do it without much thought these days. Then we come to loading extracted data into temporary storage and then sending it into a Data Warehouse, with it finally being cleaned up to be used by the end user. All of that is called the Data Pipeline.
The thing I remember most was in Week 4 where in Viewpoints they talked about what a Data Engineer is expected to do and what you can do to become one. I personally felt, that should be near the beginning of the course (Week 1 or 2) because going through the course to that point left me wondering what exactly about these videos I should be taking away from it.
They then mentioned these as core to becoming a Junior Data Engineer:
- Proficiency in at least one RDMBS,
- Proficiency in at least one NoSQL,
- Proficiency in at lease one query/scripting language,
- Show your knowledge through blogging or video creation and projects on GitHub.
So again, I’m not saying the course was bad and I’m saying I didn’t get much out of the introductory course but it did at least point me in a direction and give me a better idea of what I should be doing to become a Junior Data Engineer. I’ll also be continuing the course and hopefully more hands-on work that isn’t primarily copy/paste to get a result will be given because that helps me out more than listening to videos.