Software developers 20 min read 01/14/2024

Guide to Hiring ETL Developers: Skills & Responsibilities (2024)

Learn about the role and skills of an ETL developer and get a hiring guide for 2024. Find top talent to manage your data pipelines today

Need an ETL Developer?

In this blog, we’ll answer the question: “Who is an ETL Developer?” We will also discuss their responsibilities and skills you should look out for in one. Let’s get started.

It’s every business’s worst nightmare - the struggle to make sense of the tangle of data despite huge investment in acquiring said data.

Not if you live and breathe data, it is nigh impossible!

Today, there exists a subset of specialists that concern themselves with exploring better ways to collect, process, and store data with the ultimate aim of gleaning insights for businesses.

And as part of their processes, they collect a wide range of data forms from many sources, move the information to the storage, and then transform it into what people or machines can use.

This is the purview of ETL, the acronym for Extract, Transform, and Load.

In this world, a particular kind of data engineer holds forte - The ETL developer.


As we unfold the key skills and responsibilities of ETL Developers in our 2024 guide, it's evident that hiring the right talent is crucial for efficient data management and transformation. If you're looking to enhance your team with skilled ETL Developers, our job portal provides an easy and effective solution to connect with the right professionals.

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  • Target Specific Expertise: Reach ETL Developers with the skills and experience you need.
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  • Cost-Effective Hiring Strategy: Utilize our free job listing service to find your ideal ETL talent.

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Now, let’s get back to discussing the detailed aspects of ETL development and what to look for in top candidates

What does “ETL Developer” really mean?

The term ETL Developer is used to describe a specialized software programmer that deploys and manages ETL systems, technologies, and procedures to Extract, Transform and Load data from a wide variety of sources.

Let’s deep dive into the 3 main phases:


This is the stage where the ETL developer uses his/her skills to gather historical or real-time data existing in various formats and structures from predetermined sources.


The collected data is kept in temporary storage referred to as a “Staging Area” at this stage. That’s not all, the data is also formatted into specific metrics and standards to achieve uniformity. For example, financial data involving monetary units from different countries converted to dollars using standard formats.


As the name suggests, the formatted data is loaded into a database. The database used will depend on the size of the data: Data Warehouse is used for Business Intelligence, Big data processing, and Machine learning purposes, while any kind of database would do for small-sized data. 

What does an ETL Developer do?

The work of an ETL Developer is very diverse. But of course, the exact activities differ per company or function. The management of the entire processes in Extract, Transform, and Load stages are their most important tasks. In other words, the design, programming, and testing of the ETL components.

Typically, an ETL developer also takes the responsibility for tasks relating to data analytics, testing, and system architecture.

Common responsibilities of an ETL developer

Detailing and Administration of ETL processes

The ETL develop or his team is expected to:

  • Define the scope of the data and ETL process
  • Document ETL process requirements
  • Provide ETL system architecture
  • Develop, implement and manage ETL tools

Data Modeling

Prepare the formats and the user interface in which the data is required to be in the warehouse.

Defining data warehouse architecture

Defines the data warehouse as well as tools needed to upload data into it.

ETL Data Management

  •   Data extraction from the specified sources
  • Uploading to a staging area
  • Data formatting - including Data cleansing, structuring/mapping, and addition of metadata to provide more details.
  • Loading and by continuous updating the data to a data warehouse 

ETL testing

The ETL developer is responsible for testing all components of the ETL system in its entirety. A skilled ETL practitioner should test the following:

  •  Data model
  • Data warehouse
  • ETL tools
  • Data flow
  • Uploading/downloading/querying speed
  •  ETL System performance

Competences, skills, and characteristics of a good ETL developer

Are you considering hiring an ETL developer?  The following would help you recognize one:

Good ETL developers are aware of the latest techniques, have completed higher professional education, and focus on the development and maintenance of ETL systems and processes

An ETL developer you consider hiring should have:

Proficiency in popular ETL tools.

There are many out or the box ETL tools available in the market today. Talend, Informatica, and Pentaho are the three most common readymade ETL tools. A fantastic ETL developer should be at home with at least one of these tools. 

Competency in Database/DBA/Architect

It is very important that an ETL developer is skilled in database engineering. This is crucial for determining data storage requirements and building warehouse architecture. SQL/NoSQL databases and data-mapping are knowledge areas where they should demonstrate mastery.

Data analysis skills

Since they would be dealing with data at every stage, the ETL developer should be skillful in data analysis.

Scripting languages capabilities

Common scripting languages for ETL are Bash, Python, and Perl. The best ETL developers use them to automate processes and save time and improve efficiency - so look out for this in your candidate.

Expertise in Programming Languages

Expertise in programming languages such as C++ and Java is a must for an ETL developer that is worth their weight in gold. If your requirements include mobile optimization, knowledge in JavaScript should be top there as part of your requirements as with the other two.

Soft skills

Troubleshooting - dealing and managing a large and eclectic range of data requires the ability to diagnose and fix errors. 

Extremely pragmatic - an ETL developer should be hands-on and practical in their thinking and approach.

Always flexible - the nature of ETL demands a practitioner that is flexible with time and willing to dive straight into the action when issues arise.

Attention to details - Nothing should be left to chance as an ETL developer. With lots of details and standards to maintain, the developer should be profound when keeping tabs on every bit and piece.

Team player - ETL is a complex process that demands that other practitioners chip in now and then. The ability to work independently and with a team is vital.

Where is the best place to hire ETL developers online?

Not many people are currently aware that you can hire exceptional ETL developers /top freelance developers under one roof online with EliteBrains – and as competition for the best talents increases, this solution is increasingly popular with smart recruiters.

Here’s what to expect:

  • World-class services. In a space not known for complete reliability and trust, EliteBrains stands behind their word with confidence thanks to a robust selection process that validates only qualified and exceptionally skilled developers only.
  • Transparent services and prices - not only would you avoid hidden charges, EliteBrains offers the lowest rates for top practitioners; you’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal elsewhere
  • A FREE 8 hours trial period to test the skills of any developer of your choosing 

The tip here is a simple one:

When you need to recruit an ETL developer for your team, make sure that you test out their skills.  This free trial is useful for this – signup here.


Our clients say

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With senior resources from EliteBrains, we are able to drive our digital harmonization agenda: Migration of different reporting platforms to QlikSense analytics and Harmonization of different digital detailing systems into Veeva CLM.

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