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How data engineers can stand out in a competitive job market

​One question I frequently encounter, especially from data engineers, is how to stand out in a highly competitive job market, so I’m going to share some insights on how data engineers can set themselves apart and discuss the latest tools and technologies in the field.

One effective way is by showcasing the savings in cloud costs you've delivered for your organisation through your data engineering work. In this blog, we'll explore how you can leverage this skill to set yourself apart.

Highlighting cloud cost savings

As a data engineer, you can differentiate yourself by emphasising the cost savings you've generated for your organisation through efficient data pipelines. Your CV can be a powerful tool to communicate this value to potential employers. Efficient pipelines should align with the strategic goals of the business, as what works for one company may not work for another. The key to cost-saving is focusing on four types of cloud costs:

•Storage Costs

•Service Costs

•Compute Costs

•I/O (Input/Output) Costs

I/O costs often represent a significant portion of cloud expenses, and one common mistake is loading unnecessary data. For example, building a table holding 90 days of data and querying all 90 days for every report can be costly. A more cost-effective approach is to build the table incrementally, shedding old data, and only loading the new data. By quantifying these savings in your CV, you can demonstrate your tangible contributions to the bottom line.

Emerging tools and technologies

In the Australian data engineering landscape, there are several exciting tools and technologies to consider. Staying up-to-date and acquiring skills in these areas can help you stand out:

1. Microsoft Fabric: This relatively new platform is gaining traction. Learning and getting in early can set you apart in the data engineering field.

2. Azure: In Australia, Azure has the highest adoption rate for cloud data platforms in Australia over AWS and Google.

3. Databricks and Snowflake: Both companies are preparing for IPO launches, indicating their continued growth and significance in the market.

4. Generalised Linear Model (GLM): Within Databricks, focusing on advanced areas like GLM can make you a key player in the Australian market, as it's expected to gain prominence in the coming years.

Fun Fact! Databricks in APAC: The Asia-Pacific region is the third-largest market for Databricks globally, presenting numerous opportunities for data engineers.

Market overview

Despite appearances, the job market is not universally slow. It's essential to view the market in pockets, each with its unique dynamics. In recession-proof industries like healthcare, aged care, utilities, smoking and gambling, demand remains constant, making these sectors resilient to economic changes. Government-related areas, such as state and federal government, government agencies and water corporations are also stable. Researching and targeting positions in these fields can mitigate the impact of broader economic conditions.

In a competitive job market, data engineers can stand out by emphasising the cost savings they've generated for their organisations and staying updated on emerging tools and technologies. By quantifying your contributions and mastering these key areas, you can position yourself as a sought-after data engineer. Additionally, considering recession-proof industries can offer job stability and security in uncertain economic times.

Watch our Hot Tips & Insights video series discussing these points, in our video library.

Thank you for reading, and please reach out to me here if you need or want any further advice on this subject – always keen to continue the conversation.

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