Big Data Developer

In this career guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about big data as a career, from roles and responsibilities, to work environment and roadmap to becoming a Big Data Developer.

Who's a Big Data Developer?

A big data developer is like a mango in a basket of fruits. No matter what the recent trends are or the latest technological development – a big data developer is one of the most popular careers of the decade! As a Big Data Developer, you will read and understand the massive amount of data available out there. You will analyse the data to reveal trends, patterns, and other useful things that can help businesses make plans and products that perform better.

It’s safe to say that the demand for a Big Data Developer is only going to increase at a steady rate as more and more organisations are looking to outsource their work. Sounds interesting? Keep scrolling to know more!

What will you do?

Developing Hadoop Applications

As a Big Data developer, you will be responsible for the actual coding or programming of Hadoop applications (risk management, fraud detection, content management, etc). This role is similar to that of a Software Developer. You will be responsible for the documentation, design, development, and architecture of Hadoop applications.

For example: You will need to take care of the coding and programming of Hadoop applications, to analyse and predict large data sets.

Creating scalable and high-performance web services for data tracking

Scalability is the ability of an application to function smoothly, despite how many people use it at the same time. Hence, you will have to build a large scale app that can handle high volumes of data and traffic and adapt to huge changes without affecting the quality of operations.

For example: You will use Apache Hadoop as one of the best big data tools designed to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines.

Driving User Experience (UX) Development

Your ultimate goal will be to enhance the User Experience (UX) through engaging and user-friendly big data technology. As a big data developer, you will need to come up with data-driven design that will answer the target audience’s expectations. A skilled big data developer will offer a calculated look into the audience’s wishes.

For example: You will need to develop a good UX design, as a great user experience is a necessary component of any powerful big-data system. You will also be asked to explain the resulting information to the people who need it.

Reviewing code and providing feedback

Several developers are involved in developing a complex project. Each developer creates unique features according to requirements. However, there is a good chance that you may misinterpret a requirement, and eventually create a useless feature. As a result, a code review can help you tackle such scenarios, as the process compares  the developed  feature with the expected feature.

For example: As a Big Data Developer,  you may be asked to review your code. This is to look over any logic errors, code requirements, coding style guide, etc.

Utilising Informatica or similar products

Informatica Big Data Management enables you to process large, diverse, and fast changing data sets so you can get insights into your data. You can use Informatica to collect diverse data faster, build business logic in a visual environment, and eliminate hand-coding.

For example: You will view if there is a data system accessible, and at the backend, you will perform specific data operations. You will use Informatica to pick up data, alter the data, etc. for easy storing of bulk data across systems.

Where will you work?

Retail Industry

As a Big Data Developer, you will provide retailers the information they need to keep their customers happy and returning to their stores. This is because retailers need to correctly understand what their customers want and then provide those things. If they don’t offer what customers want they might lag behind and become unsuccessful.

Medical Industry

The medical industry is using big data to improve health in a variety of ways. As a Big Data Developer working in the Medical Industry, you will play a huge role! From wearable trackers to help physicians offer better care to patients to providing physicians with necessary information regarding their patient’s wellbeing.

Banking and Finance Industry

The banking industry is not known to invest in the latest technology. However, this is slowly changing as bankers are beginning to increasingly use technology for effective decision-making. For instance, the Bank of America now uses natural language processing and predictive analytics to create a virtual assistant called Erica. This helps customers to view information on upcoming bills or view transaction histories.

Communication and Media Industry

The role of a BIg Data Developer in the field of Communication and Media goes above and beyond. Nowadays, people expect rich media in different formats. As a result, collecting and analysing insights has now become a challenge that data science is trying to tackle. For example, Spotify uses Hadoop big data analytics to collect and analyse data from its millions of users to provide better music recommendations to individual users. 

Government Sector

Big data has many applications in the public services field. Areas where your skills are highly needed include financial market analysis, health-related research, environmental protection, energy exploration, and fraud detection.

How do you get there?

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

Step 1: Class XI-XII/Junior College

You need to take Physics, Chemistry and Maths as your combination of subjects if you wish to pursue a career as a big data developer. In addition, you will have to choose computer science or IT while studying for your Class XII exams. You should have passed the Class XII examination with at least a 55% aggregate score in the science stream.

Step 2: Graduation

Choose a B.Sc. in Data Science or a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science. A B.Sc. is a three year undergraduate course that offers around 31 subjects. A B.Sc in data science will teach you how to work around business analytics, computer science, and the Language of Artificial Intelligence in order to maintain proper data flow. Admission to any bachelor’s degree usually takes place on the basis of merit and performance in the university level Common Entrance Tests. Some colleges also conduct a personal interview after shortlisting candidates based on the entrance test.  The minimum eligibility to enrol for these courses is the completion of Class 12 with Science (Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics) with a minimum aggregate of 50%.

Step 3: Internship

Doing online projects and courses is a great option for learning Data Science but an internship is extremely important. It provides you with real industry experience and the chance to work with experienced professionals. Some of the ways you can get a data science internship is by working on projects. Some of the popular projects that you can try on are Kaggle as a beginner, including the Titanic Survival Project, the Personality Prediction Project, the Loan Prediction Project, etc.

Create a GitHub profile – it can serve as a portfolio that showcases some of your best work. LinkedIn is also a great way to build your professional network and gain more connections.

Step 4: Land a Job

Recruiters are constantly looking for big data talent among people who already demonstrate a good deal of expertise and skills. This is why there is a huge demand for big data certifications in the market today. It is very important to get the right validation for your skills especially when you are looking for big data jobs as a fresher. Here are some certifications that you can aim for to land better opportunities:

Obtaining relevant skills through well-designed IT courses and clearing the relevant certification exams will enable you to get a foothold in the industry. It would be better for you to spend a reasonable amount of quality time in building Big Data skills such as Hadoop (an open-source framework used for running applications and storing data), SQL database and querying (several companies go from the basic-to-advanced level SQL to extract information), and data mining (a process to examine huge databases for generating new information) before venturing into the world of Big Data.

Step 5: Postgraduate Degree

After you’ve worked for two to four years and built enough on-the-job experience, you can opt for a Master’s or MBA in Data Science. You could also opt for a PG Diploma in Data Science. Course fees range from INR 1,00,000 to 4,00,000 for two to three years degree or diploma courses, and INR 12 – 14 lakhs for an MBA in data science. A post-graduate programme in big data analytics will help you become well-versed in data analytics and business understanding. This course will teach you business intelligence, data analytics and information technology, along with the skills necessary for business process analysis and predictive modelling.

What skills would you need?

Analytical and Data Skills

Analytical and Data Skills

You will receive huge amounts of data from your client. This data will have to be analysed effectively so you can find ways that will help your client reach their customers is the best way possible. While it is true that the more data you analyse, the more insights you generate; analytical thinking will help you narrow down your search and find your key actionable items, thus saving you a lot of time and resources.

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Problem-solving Skills

Problem-solving Skills

Patients will be coming to you with different issues with fertility. You must be able to assess their problem, analyse the reason and work on coming up with a solution.

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Communication Skills

Communication Skills

Communication and interpersonal skills are very important while dealing with patients. You will have to guide certain people about a procedure or treatment. You may need to provide them with some serious information about their fertility and treatment progress. Hence these issues would need to be handled sensitively.

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You need to perform research on the eggs, sperms and embryos you obtain from the patient. This will involve some long hours of research.

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How do you make it to the top ranks?

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Data Analyst

As a data analyst, you will collect and store data on sales numbers, market research, logistics, linguistics, and other behaviours. You will bring technical expertise for quality assurance and accuracy of data. You will then process, design, and present this data in to help people, businesses, and organisations make better decisions.

Big Data Developer

As a Big Data Developer, you are responsible for the actual coding or programming of Hadoop applications: quite similar to a Software Developer. They could work on trillions of bytes of data each day with the help of different programming languages like Java, C++, Ruby, etc. along with several databases.

Data Scientist

As a data scientist, you will collect, clean, and validate business data. Your primary role will require persistence and software engineering skills to understand data bias and to debug output from code. In simple terms, you will find patterns in otherwise meaningless data and use this knowledge to improve and enhance it.

Big Data Engineer

As a Big Data Engineer, it will be your responsibility to create and manage data infrastructure and tools, including collecting, storing, processing and analysing a range of data and data systems. If you can work quickly and accurately, using the best solutions to analyse mass data sets, then you know how to get results. As a big data engineer, it will be your task to make data easily accessible and usable in multiple departments across the company.

Vice President of Data Science

As a VP of Data Science, you’ll define, lead and convert ground breaking analytics solutions. You will lead several cross-functional teams to define, implement and promote cutting-edge data engineering solutions with new and existing clients. You will have to provide expertise in fundamental skill areas, such as statistical methods, machine learning, AI, distributed computing, and programming with open-source languages. You will have to deliver thought leadership and innovation in process.

Pursuing your career locally VS abroad

Big Data is everywhere and there is the need to collect and preserve whatever data is being generated, for the fear of missing out on something important. With the huge amount of data available, the demand for big data developers has skyrocketed. It is expected that in the next few years, the size of the analytics market will evolve to at least one-thirds of the global IT market from the current one-tenths.

Though India has a concentration of analytics globally, the data scarcity talent is rather acute and there is a huge demand for this talent. More and more organisations are outsourcing their work to skilled professionals. In India, the salary for big data professionals is one of the highest among software engineers.

As a Big Data Developer, your salary in India can range between ₹ 4.0 Lakhs to ₹ 15.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 7.0 Lakhs. A huge array of organisations like Ayata, IBM, Alteryx, Teradata, TIBCO, Microsoft, Platfora, ITrend, Karmasphere, Oracle, Opera, Datameer, Pentaho, Centrifuge, FICO, Domo, Quid, Saffron, Jaspersoft, GoodData, Bluefin Labs, Tracx, Panorama Software, and countless more are implementing Big Data Analytics in their business models thereby providing a vast number of job opportunities.

If you wish to pursue a Master’s in Data Science or Big Data from abroad then you have to be careful of the university you are applying to. Ideally, it should be from one of the top 10 schools in the world, like CMU, Cornell or Stanford, among others, since anything less than the top 10 could mean that your chances of getting a job are slim.

However, there are many who believe that a Master’s in a specialised field like Data Science or Big Data Analytics may not be as helpful as a MS in Computer Science or Statistics. Since these jobs have become the need of the hour, several international universities have kick-started data science programmes to ride in on the big data wave. The curriculum design is largely representative of what top-notch universities like Berkeley, CMU, Stanford and MIT offer.

However, whichever university you are choosing to do your degree from, a STEM degree can set one back by INR 46,00,000, minimum which coupled with the cost of living and upkeep, would make it even costlier. A postgraduate degree in the US consisting of a combination of theory, applied learning and hands-on projects makes it a better option than traditional postgraduate courses offered in India.

If you believe you can make it well on your own by putting together online certifications, boot camps and work experience, then an MS option is not compulsory for pursuing a career as a big data developer.

How much would you get paid?

Normally, as a Big data Developer, you will get a starting package of INR 3.5 to INR 5 lakhs per annum, which with an experience of around two to three years, it can easily go up to INR 9 to 10 lakhs per annum. However, the big data job market is highly competitive so you need to be properly equipped with adequate certifications and hands-on project experience.

What are your career options?

Big Data Tester

A Big Data Tester is like a quality assurance (QA) analyst. As a Big Data Tester, you will put data plans to test and assist in the delivery of data-related products. You will also write and execute test scripts, and study data execution scripts. You will define and track QA metrics, such as defects and test results. For example: You will be required to check the quality of data and consider it as a part of database testing. It will involve checking various characteristics like conformity, accuracy, duplication, consistency, validity, data completeness, etc.

Database Manager

A Database Manager is a creative technical professional who understands database technology on a larger scale. As a Database Manager, you will maintain the database environment and handle project management tasks. You will also handle a variety of standard management duties, such as leading the data team, managing personnel issues and adjusting budgets. Furthermore, you will be responsible for developing and maintaining an organisation’s systems that store and organise data for companies.

Data Analyst

Data analysts are problem-solvers who analyse data systems. As a Data Analyst, you will create automated systems that retrieve information from a database. You will also compile reports. For instance, you will collect and store data on sales numbers, market research, logistics, linguistics, or other behaviours. You will bring your experience and knowledge to ensure the quality and accuracy of that data, then process, design, and present it in ways to help people make better decisions.

Data Governance Consultant

A Data Governance consultant develops data structures to help protect and regulate the use of data. As a Data Governance, you will influence the collection, management, use and archiving of data assets. You will overlook procedures and policies to ensure data usage is followed within established guidelines. For example: You will have to provide recommendations on how to implement or improve data governance policies and procedures. You will have to create data governance plans that outline policies, procedures, and standards for data management.

Data Architect

Data Architects combine creative skills and a comprehension of the entire database design to develop business directions and database solutions. As a Data Architect, you will coordinate with data engineers to create data workflows to help the company achieve their overall goals. You will also design and test new database prototypes. For instance, you will have to formulate the organisational data strategy, including standards of data quality, the flow of data within the organisation, and security of data. It will be your vision that converts business requirements into technical requirements.

You’ve only scratched the surface.

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