Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated globally, making Data Engineers and scientists busier than ever. The more data we have, the greater the value we can derive from it. This is where Snowflake Data Engineer comes in.

As a Snowflake Data Engineer interpreting and understanding data is only the culmination of a long journey, which includes the transformation of raw data into fancy analytical dashboards. Systematically analyzing data requires a dedicated ecosystem called a data pipeline.

This is a set of technologies used to obtain, store, process, and query data in a specific environment.  This article will explain who a Snowflake Data Engineer is, their scope of responsibilities, Developer skill sets, and Snowflake job description.

Who is Snowflake Data Engineer?

Snowflake Data Engineer
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Snowflake Data Engineers develop algorithms for analyzing raw data sets and finding trends in data sets. In order to be successful in this role, you must have extensive experience with SQL Databases and multiple programming languages.

However, a Snowflake Data Engineer must also possess communication skills to collaborate with business leaders to understand what the company wants to achieve from its vast datasets.

Engineers design algorithms to facilitate access to raw data, but understanding an organization’s or client’s goals is necessary to accomplish these objectives. When working with data, it’s crucial to align business objectives, especially when dealing with large and complex datasets.

Snowflake Data Engineers are also expected to know how to optimize the retrieval of data and how to develop dashboards, reports, and other visual representations. As part of their responsibilities, Snowflake Data Engineers also communicate data trends to business executives. 

Categories of Snowflake Data Engineer Roles

Snowflake Data Engineers can be classified into three main roles, listed below:

  • Generalist: Generalists tend to work on smaller teams or in smaller companies. In this setting, as one of the few people in the business with a “data-focused” role, Data Engineers wear many hats. Generalists are often responsible for managing and analyzing data at all stages. Since smaller businesses will not need to worry about engineering “for scale,” this is an ideal role for those looking to transition from data science to Data Engineering.
  • Pipeline-centric: The pipeline-centric Snowflake Data Engineer works with the data scientists to help make the most of the data they collect. They are often found in midsize companies. The pipeline-centric Data Engineers must possess advanced computer science and distributed systems skills.
  • Database-centric: In larger organizations, Data Engineers mainly deal with analytics Databases since managing data flow is a full-time job. As Database-centric Data Engineers, we develop schemas for tables within multiple Databases and work with data warehouses.
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The Role And Responsibilities Of A Snowflake Data Engineer

A Snowflake Data Engineer is expected to perform the following duties and responsibilities:

1. Build a Data Architecture

Data architectures need to be planned, created, and maintained in a systematic manner, and aligned with business needs.

2. Collect Data

Data must be obtained from suitable sources before any work on the Database can begin. Data Engineers develop a set of algorithms for storing optimized data after formulating a set of dataset processes.

3. Conduct Research

To deal with any business challenges that might arise, Data Engineers conduct research in the industry.

4. Improve Skills

A Snowflake Data Engineer doesn’t just rely on theoretical concepts. It is essential that they possess the abilities to work across any development environment, regardless of the language used. As well, they need to stay current with machine learning and its algorithms, such as k-means, random forests, and decision trees.

Furthermore, they should be proficient with analytics tools such as Tableau, Knime, and Apache Spark. Using these tools they generate useful insights from data for businesses of all sizes. 

5. Identify Patterns And Create Models

Historically relevant insight is extracted from data using a descriptive data model. They also develop predictive models using forecasting techniques in order to provide actionable insights for the future. As well, users can use recommendations that are tailored to different outcomes, utilizing a prescriptive model. Data Engineers spend a great deal of time identifying trends in their stored data. 

6. Automate Tasks

Engineers analyze data and identify manual tasks that can be automated to reduce manual effort.

Roles And Responsibilities Of A Snowflake Data Engineer

Snowflake Inc.’s Data Engineers will be responsible for creating very large-scale data analytics solutions based on the Snowflake Data Warehouse.  

The ability to design, implement, and optimize large-scale data and analytics solutions on Snowflake Cloud Data Warehouse is essential. Expertise with Amazon Redshift is a must. A Data Engineer at Snowflake is responsible for:

  • Implementing ETL pipelines within and outside of a data warehouse using Python and Snowflakes Snow SQL
  • Querying Snowflake using SQL.
  • Development of scripts using Unix, Python, etc. for loading, extracting, and transforming data.
  • Knowledge of Amazon Web Services Redshift
  • Assist with production issues in Data Warehouses like reloading data, transformations, and translations
  • Develop a Database Design and Reporting Design based on Business Intelligence and Reporting requirements

Data Engineer Skills

Every specialist has specific skills based on the responsibilities they have. The skillset of a Snowflake Data Engineer can vary, nevertheless, they engage in three basic activities: engineering, data science, and Database/warehouse management.

Engineering Skills

Data analysis and big data systems such as Hadoop and Apache Hive are usually written in Java or Scala. For training and implementing machine learning models, Data Engineers use high-performance languages like Python, R, and Golang. The popularity and clarity of Python and R lang make them popular choices for data projects. 

  • Software architecture 
  • Java
  • Scala
  • Python
  • R
  • C/C#
  • Golang

Data-Related Expertise 

Together, Data Engineers and data scientists would work closely. In order to work effectively with data platforms, you need a deep understanding of data models, algorithms, and data transformation techniques. Engineers will be responsible for building ETL tools (extracting, transforming, and loading), storage, and analytics tools. It is therefore imperative that you have experience with current ETL and BI solutions.

Using Kafka or Hadoop for big data projects requires more specific expertise. Data Engineers need knowledge of machine learning libraries and artificial intelligence frameworks. These include TensorFlow, Spark, PyTorch, and MLPack.

  • A solid understanding of data science concepts is required
  • Data analysis expertise
  • Working knowledge of ETL tools
  • Knowledge of BI tools
  • Experience with Big Data technologies such as Hadoop and Kafka
  • Extensive experience with ML frameworks and libraries including TensorFlow, Spark, PyTorch, and MLPACK

Database/Warehouse

Dara Warehouse icon - Snowflake Data Engineer
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When designing and building data storage, Data Engineers use specialized tools. These storage systems can be used to store structured and unstructured data for analysis, or they can plug into dedicated analytical interfaces. Most of the time, these are relational Databases, so knowing SQL for DB/queries is a must for Data Engineers.

There are also a number of other instruments such as Redshift that can be used to create large distributed data storages (NoSQL), Cloud Data Warehouses, or implement managed data platforms.

We noted above that the level of responsibility varies with the size of a team, the complexity of the project, the size of the platform, and the position of a senior engineer. The roles associated with data science and engineering can vary greatly between organizations.

Snowflake Data Engineer Basic Qualifications

Snowflake Data Engineers are required to have the following qualifications:

  • Minimum of 1 year of experience designing and implementing a full-scale data warehouse solution based on Snowflake.
  • A minimum of three years experience in developing production-ready data ingestion and processing pipelines using Java, Spark, Scala, Python.
  • Experience with complex data warehouse solutions on Teradata, Oracle, or DB2 platforms with 2 years of hands-on experience
  • Expertise and excellent proficiency with Snowflake internals and integration of Snowflake with other technologies for data processing and reporting.
  • A highly effective communicator, both orally and in writing
  • Problem-solving and architecting skills in cases of unclear requirements.
  • A minimum of one year of experience architecting large-scale data solutions, performing architectural assessments, examining architectural alternatives, and choosing the best solution in collaboration with both IT and business stakeholders.
  • Extensive experience with Talend, Informatica, and building data ingestion pipelines.
  • Expertise with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Conclusion 

In this article, you learnt that Database designers lay the foundation as well as the architecture of a Database. In order to build a robust system, they assess multiple requirements and apply relevant Database techniques. A Data Engineer then begins to develop the Database from scratch and begins the implementation process. Additionally, periodic tests are performed to identify any bugs or performance problems. Furthermore, Data Engineers are responsible for maintaining and ensuring the Database runs smoothly and without disruptions. 

Snowflake Data Engineers are expected to have extensive experience developing and implementing production-grade data solutions within the Snowflake Data Warehouse. Additionally, you should have experience with the design and implementation of large-scale data warehouses using Teradata, Oracle, or DB2 platforms, as well as knowledge of building production-scale data ingestion and processing pipelines using Java, Spark, Scala, and Python.

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Share your experience of learning about Snowflake Data Engineer in the comments section below!

Nicholas Samuel
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Skilled in freelance writing within the data industry, Nicholas is passionate about unraveling the complexities of data integration and data analysis through informative content for those delving deeper into these subjects. He has written more than 150+ blogs on databases, processes, and tutorials that help data practitioners solve their day-to-day problems.

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