Roman Ceresnak (Adastra): AWS Developer vs. AWS Solutions Architect vs. AWS Data Engineer

After I passed all the AWS certifications at the associate and professional levels, I wondered which professional path would be the best for me. I found out the job positions as AWS Developer, AWS Solutions Architect and AWS Data Engineer, but I did not understand the differences between these positions. If you are unsure about the differences between those two jobs, read on.

In this article, I will sum up the main differences between the aforementioned three positions, but be aware that differences can vary across companies.

AWS Developers create and maintain applications based on AWS tools. AWS Developers code in different languages most of the time, but a preferred language is python, based on my experiences. Most developers need to know how to connect to the projects through various ways, such as AWS APIs, AWS CLI, and SDKs.

You need to understand the core AWS services such as EC2, VPC, RDS, IAM, etc. AWS Developers cooperate with AWS Solution Architect and Data engineer to fulfil all the customer’s requirements.

AWS Developer Skills and Experience

  • Deep knowledge of a specific high-level programming language
  • Familiarity with the core services of AWS
  • Ability to use AWS APIs, AWS CLI, and SDKs
  • Ability to use a CI/CD pipeline to deploy applications on AWS cloud
  • Ability to use or interact with AWS services
  • Familiarity with the use of containers

    AWS Solutions Architect deals with solution designing. AWS Solution is the right person to help you decide if the migration from on-premises to AWS cloud is worth it. He can tell how much the migration will cost you or which services will be needed during the migration. ​Based on user demand, the Solutions Architect selects the best AWS tools to achieve users’ goals.
    AWS Solution Architect is a role where you need to understand services in great detail. When you pass AWS Solution Architect professional level, you will be able to understand the differences with ease. This role requires in-depth knowledge of all services and the ability to communicate with customers and provide a simple description of used services.

AWS Solutions Architect Skills and Experience

  • Experience with designing and developing cloud architecture on AWS
  • Ability to provide an architectural recommendation for implementing and deploying the application on AWS
  • Familiarity with AWS CLI, AWS APIs, AWS CloudFormation templates or Terraform
  • Familiarity with tools like a scripting language, window and Linux Environment
  • Ability to map an architecture that forms a continuous integration and deployment process

AWS Data Engineer

From the name of the position it is clear that the significant part of the job is to work with data. The data come from on-prem systems or other clouds, and you have to work with them based on customer requirements. AWS Data Engineer is responsible for designing and implementing automated tools for collecting and transferring data from multiple source systems to the AWS cloud platform. Another vital role is creating and developing large-scale data processing and analysis projects.

AWS Data Engineer Skills and Experience

  • Experiences with Spark / pySpark / Python
  • Knowledge of services like S3 — Cloud Storage (HDFS and EMRFS), EC2 — Compute Service in the Cloud
  • Scripting in any language and basic administration skills
  • Batch data processing
  • Experience in any relational DBs such as PostgreSQLMySQLOracleMS SQL