5 Bad Habits Killing Your Potential as a Data Engineer | by Madison Schott | Feb, 2024

And easy solutions that can immediately turn them around

Photo by t Kaiser on Unsplash

Every data engineer wants to feel like they are constantly evolving as a professional and growing their technical skills. As data engineers we like to be challenged and feel we are progressing towards our end goal.

This is the nature of the work we do—improving systems, implementing processes to increase data quality, and finding innovative ways to cut down costs. Everything is about taking steps forward rather than back.

Three years into my role as a data engineer, I started to feel that my growth was plateauing. I was no longer excited about the work I was doing. I didn’t feel as if I was learning from those around me. There were no new technical skills that I was able to learn through my job.

Now, looking back, I can see it was the right time for me to move on to my next role. However, there were a few specific habits of mine that I can pinpoint as reasons for why my success began to stall at that company.

In this article, I am going to share the bad habits that may also be killing your potential as a data engineer, and how you can fix them.

This is one that data engineers tend to embrace when first getting started. In fact, I don’t think you can become a successful data engineer without embracing the suck.

You need to be able to push through debugging something that went wrong and working on difficult projects because that is the only thing that is going to make you better.

As we progress in our data engineering careers, we almost don’t want to look like we don’t know something. We become insecure about the skills we may be lacking, avoiding taking on projects where we struggle.

However, this is a huge mistake.

You can’t improve your Python scripting, for example, if you never volunteer to write a Python script. You won’t learn the latest modern data stack orchestration tool if you let someone with more experience build out the data pipeline.

You need to ask your manager for hard tasks that you may not know how to do, to

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