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How to Become a Hadoop Developer

Big data, data science, data analysis, and every other data-centric field are currently experiencing a significant demand surge. This is primarily because the world is growing more reliant on data, leading to the production of massive volumes of it. Hadoop is one of the few frameworks that can be used to parse large datasets efficiently.

Due to its affordability, low entry barrier, ease of use, fault tolerance, and efficiency, Hadoop has become one of the most in-demand platforms for storing and processing large datasets. If you want to become a Hadoop developer, this piece is for you. You are going to learn what it means to be a Hadoop developer, the employment outlook for Hadoop developers, and the average wage across Hadoop careers.

What Is a Hadoop Developer?

A Hadoop developer is a tech expert who specializes in using the Hadoop software framework to deploy applications for large-scale data parsing and storage. These developers work in big data firms helping them to process their data using the Hadoop architecture.

Hadoop was released by the Apache Software Foundation in 2016 as an open-source system that allowed developers to store and manage data in clusters. This means that data stored or managed on the Hadoop software library can exist in several computers at the same time rather than just one. Because of this clustering system, Hadoop can manage petabytes of data efficiently.

Hadoop Developer Job Description

Primarily, a Hadoop developer is charged with creating big data management applications for companies using the open-source framework Hadoop and all its resources. Since Hadoop is a Java-based software, a Hadoop developer must have a sound knowledge of this language and be able to write code and deploy programs in it. These Hadoop developers also create new computer clusters or manage existing ones on the Hadoop system.

Apart from the creation of applications and management of big data, Hadoop developers must ensure the security of the Hadoop-based system to avoid data bridges. They may also create web applications for data tracking and querying purposes. Due to the wide range of duties, Hadoop developers are both software developers and big data analysts.

Hadoop Developer Salary and Job Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish statistics on Hadoop developers specifically. However, for the purposes of this article, Hadoop developers can be classified as database architects and database administrators, which means they will see an eight percent job growth between 2020 and 2030.

As for the average salary expectation, ZipRecruiter reports that Hadoop developers earn about $125,013 annually on average. The salary changes significantly based on the years of experience, job description, job title, location, and several other factors. For example, senior Hadoop developers in the US earn up to $237,000 annually.

Top Reasons to Become a Hadoop Developer in 2021

As you can see from the statistics we have shown you above, becoming a Hadoop developer is an excellent career choice. However, if you're still not sure learning Hadoop is the right move for you, here are a few reasons to convince you.

  • Hadoop has disruptive potential. When it comes to big data warehousing and processing, Hadoop is the go-to option. Compared to similar technologies, Hadoop is faster, runs smoother, and is surprisingly more scalable. These features make it ideal for large data processing and make it one of the most disruptive technologies in the world of data.
  • Hadoop developers are top earners. Hadoop developers earn significantly more money than other programmers or data scientists. Starting your career with an average salary of $125,000 and working your way up to over $237,000 puts you among the top earners on a global scale.
  • There is a high demand for Hadoop developers. Programmers and data scientists who are proficient in Hadoop are currently in high demand. So, after learning how to use Hadoop, there is a strong chance that you will get a job. Your skill isn't going to become obsolete anytime soon.
  • You are not just going to be a Hadoop developer. Learning how to use Hadoop does not mean you are limited to Hadoop-related jobs. Most Hadoop developers can take any software development role, from Java development to web development. In other words, learning Hadoop is a great way to diversify your skills.
  • Hadoop is easy. For a distributed technology that comes with so many benefits, Hadoop is surprisingly easy to use. Parallel processing is handled automatically from the backend. Even though it is a distributed system, you don't need to worry about distributed processing.

Hadoop Developer Job Requirements

The requirements for Hadoop developers vary across companies depending on the job description. However, there are some basic requirements that everyone must meet before they can call themselves Hadoop developers. Some of these requirements are listed below.

  • University degree. You need a Bachelor's Degree in Software Development, Computer Science, or a related field to work as a Hadoop developer in many companies. However, companies might request an associate degree for an entry-level position or a master's degree for a senior position. Learning Hadoop at a coding bootcamp is also a good idea.
  • Programming skills. A Hadoop developer needs to know at least one programming language before they attempt to understand Hadoop. You should first learn Java, Node.js, SQL, and JavaScript, as well as object-oriented analysis and design.
  • Practical Hadoop experience. Employers typically prefer Hadoop developers who have practical experience. The years of experience required will depend on the job description, position, and company in question. lt is also possible to get a Hadoop developer job with no experience at all.
  • Transferable skills. One of the most useful skills you’ll develop as a Hadoop developer is analytical thinking. You’ll also learn project management, communication, and time management, all of which are useful skills across many jobs, particularly for management positions.

Types of Hadoop Developer Careers

Once you have the skills necessary to work with Hadoop, you’ll become very employable and have access to several job roles. Below we take a close look at the top three Hadoop careers.

Hadoop Architect

These experts help to bridge the gap between businesses and the technology they need to process big data. They design, develop, and deploy innovative big data technologies using the Hadoop architecture. Hadoop architects earn about $145,286 on average, but their annual salary can be as high as $216,000, according to ZipRecruiter.

Hadoop Administrator

A Hadoop administrator is responsible for installing, managing, and ensuring the smooth running of Hadoop computer clusters. Traditionally, these Hadoop administration experts work closely with database developers and other software engineers. In the United States, these experts earn around $121,857 annually.

Data Scientist

Due to the extensive knowledge of data, data analytics, and engineering that comes with being a Hadoop developer, becoming a data scientist is also an option. Data scientists gather, store and analyze large datasets using scientific and analytic methods. These experts earn about $119,413 annually in the United States according to ZipRecruiter.

Hadoop Developer Meaning: What Does a Hadoop Developer Do?

Hadoop developers are data experts and programmers who have mastered the development, administration, and management of applications on the Hadoop system. They typically work in companies that process large datasets daily and are among the highest earners in the US tech industry. Below are some specific duties and responsibilities of Hadoop developers.

Develop Applications on the Hadoop Architecture

The primary duty of a Hadoop developer is to design and develop data storage and data processing applications using the Hadoop framework. Hadoop developers must be able to store data and applications on computer clusters since the open-source system is decentralized.

Keep Track of Hadoop Clusters

Hadoop is a decentralized system so a developer must know how to keep track of all the clusters, ensuring connectivity and security. Hadoop administrators may also provide capability-based planning and add new users to the Hadoop system. In addition, they are responsible for ensuring that the Hadoop cluster is performing optimally.

Handle Backup and Recovery

Hadoop developers also back up data for organizations to ensure that vital details are not lost in the event of database compromise. They also need to be experts in data recovery during data migration protocols. This is why all Hadoop developers must understand the HDFS recovery protocol.

Essential Hadoop Developer Skills

Becoming an excellent Hadoop developer requires a combination of abilities. Soft skills like communication and critical thinking are great, but you should start by developing your technical capabilities.

HBase Manipulation Skills

This is a non-relational open-source distributed database that every Hadoop developer should understand. Combined with HDFS, HBase is a fault-tolerant tool ideal for storing datasets. Hbase is written in Java and it was designed by Apache Software Foundation in January 2021.

HDFS Proficiency

One of the first skills you will pick up as you learn Hadoop is how to use the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). This is a Hadoop storage system that allows data-centric organizations to store large volumes of data. It is a preferred option across major companies because it is extremely affordable compared to other systems.

Hadoop Processing Frameworks

The most popular Hadoop processing frameworks are Pig, Hive, Spark, Cascading, Crunch, Tez, Drill, Impala, and Presto. There are many other options out there but these are among the most popular. Make sure that you know how these frameworks work and how you can apply them as a Hadoop developer.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Hadoop Developer?

It takes between one to three months to learn how to use Hadoop. However, the timeline depends significantly on your previous experience in programming and the education path you choose. If you are already a software developer, all you need are a few courses on Hadoop which you can complete on your own time.

If you attend a coding bootcamp, you can master Hadoop in a matter of months. You can also choose to complete an academic degree in computer science, data science, or a related field, but make sure that Hadoop is covered in the curriculum.

Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become a Hadoop Developer?

Yes, you can become a Hadoop developer after a few months of accelerated training in a bootcamp. There are two options when it comes to bootcamp training. On one hand, you can find a bootcamp that offers a program dedicated to Hadoop development. On the other hand, you can find a bootcamp that offers Hadoop courses as part of data science or software development.

Bootcamps like NYC Data Science Academy, Springboard, and Simplilearn offer great Hadoop development programs that are ideal to get hands-on experience. You can get more details about these schools by reading a review of some of the best Hadoop bootcamps and courses.

Can I Become a Hadoop Developer from Home?

Yes, you can become a Hadoop developer from home if you have access to the right resources. The good news is that you can find the resources you need online on platforms like Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, and edX.

Here are some great courses for aspiring Hadoop developers who want to learn from home:

  • Processing Big Data with Hadoop in Azure HDInsight - edX
  • Big Data and Hadoop for Beginners – with Hands-on! - Skillshare
  • Learning Hadoop - LinkedIn Learning

How to Become a Hadoop Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide

To become a Hadoop developer, follow the steps below. This guide will put you on the right path, but what’s really important is that you put in the effort and dedication to learn the required technical skills.

Step 1: Learn Hadoop Development

Before you can call yourself a professional Hadoop developer, you need to know everything there is to know about the Hadoop system. It doesn't matter if you study for a degree, attend a tech bootcamp, or learn from home. Pick the option that suits you and start using Hadoop as soon as possible.

Step 2: Become Familiar with Database Concepts

Since most of your work is going to be in the big data industry, you must learn about databases. Learn about the most important types of databases, how they work, the technology behind them, and how to use Hadoop to deploy databases. Your knowledge of database principles will likely increase as you delve deeper into Hadoop.

Step 3: Start Getting Paid for Your Skills

At this point, you are most likely ready for an entry-level Hadoop developer role. All you need now is an opportunity to put your skills into action. You can start job hunting for entry-level Hadoop development positions on websites like LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and SimplyHired.

Best Schools and Education for a Hadoop Developer Career

The best education venues for learning Hadoop development are universities, coding bootcamps, and community colleges. Each option has its own advantages and drawbacks and you should choose whichever one best meets your specific needs. Below we analyze the most popular options:

Hadoop Development Bootcamps

Hadoop development bootcamps are fast-paced training centers that focus primarily on teaching students Hadoop development. A bootcamp is an ideal alternative to a university degree because it is much more affordable.

Bootcamps typically run for about three to six months, costing between $10,000 and $20,000 in the US. The best coding bootcamps provide job placement services to all successful graduates to help them land high-paying junior developer roles.

Vocational School

Vocational schools are similar to bootcamps because they are postsecondary institutes that offer job-specific training. Vocational schools typically teach hands-on skills but it is possible to find one that offers computer-related programs. However, finding a program that covers Hadoop may be a tall order.

Community College

A community college is an ideal option for anyone who wants a university degree but doesn't have the time or resources to chase a bachelor's degree. You can get an Associate Degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science, or a related field and specialize in Hadoop development. An associate degree will help you secure an entry-level position in the tech industry. It is also a stepping stone to a more advanced degree like a bachelor's.

Hadoop Developer Degrees

If you want to enroll in a university, you can go for a Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science, or related fields. Completing a bachelor's degree usually takes four years, although accelerated programs can be finished in as little as two-and-a-half years. Note that bachelor's degrees are the most expensive education option on this list.

The Most Important Hadoop Developer Certifications

Professional certification in Hadoop will set you apart from your peers. These certifications are offered by independent firms and verify that you meet a certain professional standard. There are different levels of certifications depending on how much professional experience you have.

IBM Certified Data Architect - Big Data

This IBM certification isn't just meant for Hadoop developers, it is useful for all big data professionals. You will be tested on your skills with Hadoop, Cloudant, BigInsights, and BigSQL. There are sample tests on the official website to help you prepare for the main certification exam.

SAS Data Curation Professional Certification

This certification is for SAS and Hadoop professionals. It is meant to test professionals on data curation, big data processing, and a host of other data-related topics. Unlike other professional certifications, this one starts with four training courses. After the courses, experts can take the exam and receive their digital certification.

CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer Exam (CCA175)

This certification offered by Cloudera is for Spark and Hadoop data professionals. The exam takes place remotely and can be completed in about 120 minutes. Candidates need to get at least 70 percent of the questions right to qualify for the certification.

How to Prepare for Your Hadoop Developer Job Interview

Before you attend a Hadoop job interview, it is important that you fully understand how Hadoop works. It also helps to learn as much as you can about the company. The interviewer will most likely ask you technical and behavioral questions. A few examples of what to expect are listed below.

Hadoop Developer Job Interview Practice Questions

  • What is Hadoop and what operating system does Hadoop run on?
  • Hadoop can run in three modes. Name each one and explain how they work.
  • What are the five Vs of big data? Name them with a brief explanation.
  • What is HDFS and what are the components of HDFS?
  • What is the jps command and how can it be used to check NameNode?

Should I Become a Hadoop Developer in 2021?

Yes, you should be a Hadoop developer if you want to launch a career in big data. Hadoop has become the go-to option for most big data companies in the US and beyond so now is the perfect time to pursue this profession. Once you master this open-source framework, you’ll be a hot commodity in the tech industry and have access to a plethora of high-paying and rewarding career paths.


Can You Become a Hadoop Developer Without a Degree?
Yes, you don't necessarily need a university degree to become a Hadoop developer. Major tech firms like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Netflix employ people without degrees as long as they have the required skills. You can secure a junior developer position and start a rewarding career by attending a Hadoop bootcamp or studying from home.
Is It Hard to Become a Hadoop  Developer?
Yes, Hadoop is difficult to learn especially for someone without in-depth knowledge of programming or data science. There are several concepts, frameworks, and programs you need to master before you can become a Hadoop developer. However, with determination and hard work, you can learn Hadoop development.
Is Coding Required for Hadoop?
Yes, you will need to have at least basic knowledge of structured query language (SQL) to become a Hadoop developer. However, it is more important to learn how to manipulate the Hadoop ecosystem. You need knowledge of SQL to use Pig and Hive, two critical Hadoop data warehousing frameworks.
Can I Learn Hadoop Without Knowing Java?
Yes, it is possible to learn Hadoop even without a basic understanding of Java. While Hadoop is written in Java, you do not have to learn it if you don't want to. The Hadoop ecosystem is extremely versatile so there are many ways to use it without programming.
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