Unveiling the Unpredictable Path: My Journey from Process Engineering to Data Engineering

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Unveiling the Unpredictable Path: My Journey from Process Engineering to Data Engineering


Hey everyone, welcome to my very first blog post! Today, I'm thrilled to share with you the story of how I went from being a Process Engineer at a local manufacturing company to becoming a Data Engineer for big organizations. This story shows that your career path can take unexpected turns, and even if you don't have a background in something like Data Engineering, you can still make the transition.

The beginning

It all started in 2019, when I was just about to finish my studies in Mechanical Engineering. Little did I know that my career was about to take a surprising twist.

Fresh out of university, I started working as a Process Engineer Trainee at a local manufacturing company. One of my first tasks was to figure out why a certain production line kept having the same problem over and over again. With my technical background and a lot of curiosity, I jumped right into the challenge. I thought that analyzing the numbers related to certain critical factors might give us some answers.

The problem

The production floor was a maze of different lines and machines, each one churning out tons of data with every cycle. I saw it as a goldmine of information. But getting access to all that data turned out to be a real struggle – there was no easy way to gather and analyze it. But I wasn't discouraged. I started collecting data manually, going to the production floor every day armed with just a flash drive.

Back in my office, I dove into the world of data exploration and visualization using CSV files and Python notebooks. I had no idea what I was doing at first. I had to learn everything from scratch, even Python, which I chose because it seemed better suited for handling large amounts of data compared to Excel. My previous experience with MATLAB in university gave me some confidence, but I quickly realized I had a lot to learn.

Change is coming

Little did I know, my efforts weren't going unnoticed. Upstairs, the management was having discussions about digitizing our production lines and using Business Intelligence in new ways. And it was during one of my secret data-gathering missions that I caught the attention of the manager leading the digitalization project.

He was impressed by my unconventional approach and made me an offer I couldn't refuse – to switch from working in production to working in IT, where I'd be in charge of automating and improving our data processes.

Walking towards the unknown

And just like that, I found myself diving headfirst into the world of Data Engineering – a world filled with strange terms and unfamiliar territory. But armed with determination and a thirst for knowledge, I embraced the challenge.

As luck would have it, my transition happened right as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It was a tough time for everyone, but I found comfort in learning. I spent hours taking online courses, reading books, and doing endless Google searches to improve my skills.

Day by day, my understanding grew, and my contributions to the digitalization project went from ideas to actual solutions. Through trial and error and a lot of hard work, I built a strong system that could handle modern data analysis needs.


Looking back on my journey, I'm grateful for the lessons learned and the obstacles overcome. My path might have been unusual, but it's proof that with determination, you can overcome any challenge and seize unexpected opportunities even if you are a total outsider.

As I start this blogging adventure, I invite you to join me on a journey of discovery, growth, and transformation. Let's explore the ever-changing world of technology together and embrace all the possibilities it offers.

Stay tuned for more stories from the world of data engineering, where every challenge is a chance to learn and every setback is a step toward success.

Until next time,

Christos Georgoulis