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How to Become a Storage Engineer

If you have top-notch computer skills, a good ability to multitask, and you enjoy finding solutions to hard problems, you might be a great fit as a storage engineer.  

Storage engineers design, implement, and maintain data storage system resources such as disks and networking. They build strategies and solutions for the storage and maintenance of data as well as off-premises backups. They need excellent interpersonal skills as they work closely with stakeholders to determine requirements and needs and design solutions that meet those needs. They also typically analyze performance and troubleshoot issues involving data storage, recovery, and backups. 

To succeed as a storage engineer, you will need advanced storage hardware architecture skills, a high level of proficiency in using programming languages, and a deep understanding of distributed file systems and network protocols. Keeping current on trends and emerging technologies is essential for a storage engineer to provide the latest and most up-to-date solutions. Multi-tasking skills are required as are outstanding problem-solving skills. 

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Sample job description

We are seeking a storage engineer to provide technical support for our software engineers. The ideal candidate will have experience with data storage applications and cloud-based file systems. A degree in computer science or electrical engineering is preferred, but not required. The engineer will be responsible for designing, implementing, and deploying shared system resources. They will also work on performance analysis and troubleshooting, data recovery strategies, and backup measures. A Bachelor’s degree in computer science or electrical engineering is preferred, but not required. Experience with data storage applications and cloud-based file systems is required.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Design, implement, and deploy shared system resources
  • Work on performance analysis and troubleshooting
  • Data recovery strategies
  • Backup measures
  • Knowledge of storage hardware architectures
  • Familiarity with high-level programming languages
  • Experience working in a distributed file systems environment
  • Stays up-to-date on new technologies to ensure they offer the latest solutions to their clients

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or electrical engineering
  • Experience with data storage applications and cloud-based file systems
  • Knowledgeable in storage hardware architectures and high-level programming languages
  • Should be experienced in working in a distributed file systems environment

Required skills and qualifications

  • Stays up-to-date on new technologies
  • Offers the latest solutions to clients
  • Expertise in hardware and software
  • Familiar with latest trends in data storage, backup strategies, and network security
  • Experience working in a distributed file systems environment
  • Ability to think critically and solve problems

Preferred qualifications

  • Scripting experience with Python or Bash
  • Working knowledge of VMware vSphere and storage area networks (SANs)
  • Experience with machine learning or data mining
  • Understanding of object-oriented programming concepts
  • Knowledge of Redis, PostgreSQL, and Apache Cassandra
  • Linux system administration experience

Typical work environment

The typical working environment of a storage engineer is an office setting with the ability to telework when necessary. There should be no heavy lifting involved and travel should only be necessary for meetings with clients. This is a non-supervisory position involving business-related work in an indoor setting. There are no expectations of being on call, but additional hours may be necessary to meet project deadlines or resolve issues.

Typical hours

This is a full-time position with a 40-hour workweek including normal business hours Monday through Friday. Some overtime may be required. Weekend work and travel are not typically necessary.

Available certifications

  • Redis Certified Developer. This is a professional certification program for software developers who regularly work with Redis. Earning this certification is a great way to ensure that you’ve achieved a high level of Redis mastery. You can also use this certification to demonstrate your Redis expertise to prospective employers.
  • PostgreSQL Certification. Show that you have the expertise needed to set up, deploy, maintain, and monitor high-performance databases for enterprise applications using open source PostgreSQL.
  • DataStax Developer Certification. This certificate is designed for professionals that use Apache Cassandra clusters to manage data. This includes roles such as application developers, data architects, database designers, and database administrators.

Career path

Many candidates for this position have an information technology (IT) or computer science background. Previous experience in data storage applications and cloud-based file systems is desirable. Some experience with machine learning or data mining, scripting languages, and familiarity with object-oriented programming concepts are also important.

Storage engineering is a very broad field, and candidates must be well-versed in many different areas. As you become more experienced, you will be able to focus on particular areas in the field, such as system management and storage security.

Upon completing a bachelor’s degree, a typical entry-level position for a candidate with no experience is an internship or junior engineer. After gaining valuable work experience and becoming familiar with the industry, you may become qualified for higher-level positions such as senior engineer, systems administrator, or storage architect. With more experience, you may eventually become a storage engineering manager.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1241

2020 Employment165,200
Projected Employment in 2030174,200
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 5% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift9,000 increase

.Storage engineers are in high demand because of the increase in data volume. The trend for this position is to move towards more specialized positions that require more skills in big data, analytics, and machine learning. Job titles for storage engineers may change to reflect these new skills, such as data scientist, computer engineer, or cloud developer.

The job outlook for a storage engineer is good. The positions in this field are in high demand and the growth rate is above-average at 5% from 2020 to 2030. There are few qualified candidates in this industry, so an increase in supply will not be enough to push the growth rate down. Individuals with experience and certifications in big data and cloud services will have the best job prospects.

The field of storage engineering is very broad; therefore, the career path for a storage engineer is varied. Additionally, with more experience, you may eventually become a storage engineering manager.