Tech recruiter shares insights and advice for IT pros with Hadoop skills looking to land a new gig.
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When you're hot, you're hot, and the open-source Apache Hadoop project has been scorching for a while. That's good news for IT job hunters with serious Hadoop chops and related skills.
Demand for those skills has pointed skyward for the past several years, according to Matt Andrieux, lead technical recruiter at Riviera Partners in the San Francisco Bay Area. "Our portfolio companies, which are mostly startups, are looking for a wide range of engineers that can help them leverage data in various ways that will help their bottom line," Andrieux said in an email interview. "Many companies are basing their entire business off of data collection and analysis, which can be useful for any industry."
Andrieux noted that it's not Hadoop itself that's actually fueling the boom; rather, rising demand for Hadoop and similar skills is a byproduct of the enormous sums of data we're generating these days.
"The hype is actually being driven by the massive explosion of unstructured data created by human and machine activity on the internet," Andrieux said. "There is value in this unstructured data, but it's nearly impossible to comb through it all with past indexing technologies like SQL. Hadoop and similar tools in the big data ecosystem provide engineers the ability to create structured data from unstructured data and derive valuable business insight on a massively distributed scale."
Experience with big data tools similar to Hadoop, such as Cassandra, CouchDB, MongoDB, Riak, and more, is likewise in high demand, according Andrieux.
We asked Andrieux to help dig past the hype for insights into the current job market for IT pros with Hadoop and related expertise.
1. Sorry, greenhorns -- experience matters. Asked what his clients most commonly demand when looking for IT pros with Hadoop skills, Andrieux replied, "The more experience the better." Sorry, newbies. You might find choppier seas when trying to land a coveted data gig -- though there are certainly ways to build experience. (More on that in a moment.)
If you've got the requisite experience, on the other hand, flaunt it as appropriate.
"Our startup clientele are looking for engineers who can come into a production environment and hit the ground running," Andrieux said. "Exposure to it is not enough, but engineers who have hands-on implementation in large-scale environments are preferred."
2. Here's how to build experience. For younger IT pros or experienced ones looking to add new skills, Andrieux recommended two paths: professional training and certifications, and getting involved in local industry meetups.
"For someone looking to break into and learn Hadoop, I would suggest going through professional Hadoop training and certifications that companies like Cloudera and Hortonworks offer," Andrieux advised. "These trainings give engineers real-world experience and are usually conducted by experts in the field."
Local industry organizations offer another kind of education as well as significant networking opportunities. "Various meetup groups around the
Kevin Casey is a writer based in North Carolina who writes about technology for small and mid-size businesses. View Full Bio
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