In this digital age, the need to gather data and analyse them in real-time has become almost mandatory, as decision makers have begun to understand the value of real-time data that reflects the current situation of business. This has been sighted in virtually every industry domain. Real-time data is now one of the ways to quantify performance and take necessary actions quickly. Due to these reasons, real-time analytics has been gaining popularity and in the months to come, we can expect to witness a huge shift in Big Data and Analytics, from batch to near real-time processing. Apache projects like Kafka, Storm and Spark continue to be popular when it comes to stream processing. Over the years, Engineers have also started integrating Kafka with Storm and Spark. Further, Confluent, a new startup founded by the founders of Kafka, is stepping up the Kafka game. This has given rise to a multitude of career opportunities in Apache Kafka across the globe.
Before we head on to the ‘meat’ of the topic, let’s take a quick look at what Apache Kafka is all about and what it does.
What is Apache Kafka?
Kafka is an open-source message broker project developed by the Apache Software Foundation and is written in the Scala language. Kafka’s objective is to provide a unified, high-throughput, low-latency platform for handling real-time data feeds. Kafka’s design is predominantly based on transaction logs.
When used for the right use case, Kafka has unique attributes that make it a highly attractive option for data integration. Features like scalability, data partitioning, low latency, and the ability to handle large number of diverse consumers make it a good fit for data integration related use cases.
The other uses for Kafka are website activity tracking, operational metrics, log aggregation and stream processing.
Popularity of Apache Kafka
Kafka is so popular that it had recently joined the four comma club after hitting 1.1 Trillion messages per day (1,100,000,000,000 – four commas…get it?). LinkedIn’s deployment of Apache Kafka has surpassed 1.1 Trillion and is by far the largest deployment of Kafka in production at any organization.
Kafka had a serious impact on LinkedIn’s ability to tackle data that was previously inaccessible but is now spontaneously available for processing. Data like user activity data and log data, that could not be collected previously in LinkedIn’s legacy systems are now easily collected using Kafka. Kafka plays a critical role in shaping LinkedIn’s infrastructure as well as that for the hundreds of other organizations that have adopted Kafka.
Dice recently analyzed its online job postings and identified tech skills that have skyrocketed in terms of demand. The result was that Kafka did make it to the Top 10. It is evident that Kafka skill is becoming vital.
Apache Kafka Careers:
Let’s look at the job trend for Kafka from a global or sort-of global standpoint. Even though the census only belongs to U.K and U.S, it does give us a very good idea about how Kafka is doing (Source: Indeed Job Trends)
From the above image, it is evident that Kafka has been doing pretty good. Kafka has moved up the rank and has more than double the number of jobs than in 2014.
Similar trend has been observed on Indeed, a popular US-based job portal as well.
Apache Kafka Salary Trends:
Kafka has been the buzzword lately when it comes to real-time processing. Since the demand is high and the technology as such is doing well, the pay package for professionals with Kafka skill is in par with industry standards.
According to Indeed, the average salary for Kafka professional is 122,000 USD per annum. This is 112% higher than the average salaries of other jobs. The salary trend also indicates a steady and zooming growth from early 2015 that is still on the rise.
Now that we have established that Apache Kafka is ‘hot’, let’s look at who needs to have this skill.
Who should learn Apache Kafka?
Kafka is a must-have skill for those who want to learn Kafka techniques and is highly recommended for the following professionals:
- Developers who want to accelerate their career as a ‘Kafka Big Data Developer’.
- Testing professionals who are currently working on Queuing and Messaging systems.
- Big Data Architects who would like to include Kafka in their ecosystem.
Project Managers involved in projects related to messaging systems.
Apache Kafka has become the de-facto standard for real-time data analytics and LinkedIn isn’t the only company that is harnessing vast streams of data. With Kafka, one can be assured to excel in their Big Data Analytics career.
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