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Debasmita Ghosh
Debasmita Ghosh

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From Novice to Expert: A Complete Roadmap to Become an ML Backend Engineer!

In 2023, the world of technology is witnessing an unprecedented demand for Machine Learning (ML) Engineers. The synergy of data, algorithms, and computational power has propelled ML into the forefront of innovation, revolutionizing industries from healthcare to finance.
Are you also finding ways to become an ML Backend Engineer? Well, there are several strategies present that can help you become what you desire. So, let's delve into the current state of this dynamic field and explore the steps to become an ML Backend Engineer, providing you with an insider's view of this exciting career path.

The demand for ML Engineers in 2023

The demand for ML Engineers in 2023 is nothing short of remarkable. The technological landscape is experiencing a seismic shift, and ML is at the heart of this transformation.
Here are some current statistics that highlight the demand for ML Engineers:


According to LinkedIn's Workforce Report, job listings for ML Engineers have grown by an astonishing 300% in the past five years. This surge in demand reflects the critical role these professionals play in shaping the future.


A study by Glassdoor reveals that the average salary for an ML Engineer in 2023 is $120,000, making it one of the most lucrative careers in the tech industry.


Forbes predicts that the global market for machine learning will reach $20.83 billion by 2024, driven by the integration of ML in various sectors, including healthcare, finance, and e-commerce.
Backend engineers who specialize in machine learning (ML) have emerged as leaders in the ever-evolving field of technology, driven by a constant need to lead, adapt, and innovate. Since product quality is crucial for success in the fiercely competitive technology sector, ML backend engineers must come up with innovative methods for enhancing their offerings.

Why are ML Engineers in demand?

To understand why ML Engineers are in such high demand, let's explore the factors driving this trend.

Data Revolution:

The proliferation of data from various sources, including IoT devices and social media, has created a goldmine of information. ML Engineers are needed to unlock the potential of this data for informed decision-making and innovation.

AI-Powered Solutions:

Machine Learning is at the core of AI-driven solutions. Businesses are harnessing AI to optimize processes, enhance customer experiences, and gain a competitive edge, fueling the demand for ML Engineers.

Industry Adoption:

ML is no longer confined to tech giants. Industries such as healthcare, finance, and retail are integrating ML into their operations, creating opportunities for engineers with expertise in ML.

Innovation Acceleration

: The relentless pursuit of innovation and automation has elevated the need for ML Engineers who can develop and maintain the backend systems that power AI applications.
Apart from this, ML Engineers can also perform the necessary tasks given in the detail boxes:
Data engineering, software engineering methods, CI-CD, MLOps, deployment, logging, and monitoring are only a few of the engineering specialities needed to develop a production application based on the model. Here's when ML engineers come in useful.

Strategies to Become an ML Engineer

Step 1:

Educational Foundation
Start with a solid educational foundation in computer science, software engineering or a related field. A bachelor's or master's degree will give you a head start. The foundation is the key to growing your career seamlessly. With a better foundation, you can probably get familiar with cross-cutting concerns, such as error handling, performance, logging, security, networking, and more.

Step 2:

Mastering Python
Python is the language of choice for ML. This language is used to write the majority of models, frameworks, and infrastructure in the machine learning field. Even if you are an experienced software engineer with knowledge of other languages like Java, C++, Go, or NodeJS (Javascript), you still need to be proficient in Python in order to work in the machine learning industry. So, to become an ML Engineer, master the basics and explore libraries like Pandas and NumPy for data manipulation.
Also, Python is strongly recommended to understand the major topics like GIL, Multithreading, and Multiprocessing.
Python Software Development not only performs the Prediction and Action phases but also comes in handy to support the training and Research phases done by the Data Scientists of ML.

Other Frameworks to Consider-
R- R is a free and open-source programming language that was first released in 1995. It is derived from the S programming language and offers a wide variety of high-quality domain-specific packages to meet almost all of a data scientist's needs for statistical and data visualization applications, including advanced plotting, neural networks, and non-linear regression.
SQL- SQL, which stands for "Structured Query Language," has been essential to data archiving and retrieval for many years. Data scientists, who depend on SQL for updating, querying, modifying, manipulating, and extracting data from databases, need to be proficient in this domain-specific language known as SQL.
Java- Java is one of the most widely used general-purpose languages among data scientists. Its popularity and ubiquity arise from the fact that many businesses, particularly large, global businesses, have utilized Java to develop backend systems and online, mobile, and desktop apps.
Scala- Scala is a flexible and user-friendly programming language that works well with large amounts of data. This programming language combines object-oriented and functional programming with each other. Its static types help to prevent problems in complicated systems, enable large-scale parallel processing, and offer high-performance cluster computing when combined with Apache Spark.
MATLAB- This proprietary numerical computing language, which is extensively used in statistical research, will be useful for Data Scientists handling complex mathematical tasks including image processing, signal processing, Fourier transforms, and matrix algebra. Because of MATLAB's extensive mathematical functionality, it is now widely utilized in both academia and industry.

Step 3:

Learn Data Engineering
Acquire expertise in data science, including statistics and data visualization, to understand the fundamentals of data analysis.
In general, data lakes and warehouses are areas used by companies to store their data. Well-known data warehouses include Snowflake, which is frequently referred to as a data lake, Amazon Redshift, and Google's BigQuery. Building end-to-end infrastructure for ML projects requires the ML engineer's knowledge and experience with some of these tools. Data pipeline orchestration technologies are also helpful. The most well-known is Apache Airflow. DBT, which aids in schema definition, pipeline execution, and data quality testing, is another rising star in the realm of data warehouse management.
The SQL language is the foundation of all of these instruments. Proficiency in SQL is a prerequisite. Nearly every system that uses data pipelines exposes an SQL engine for data interaction.

Step 4:

Dive into MLOps
Over time, DevOps's responsibilities are evolving, and developers are gaining more and more access to its prior capabilities. When it comes to ML, issues like CI-CD, ML Pipelines, Serving, and Monitoring are distinct. The MLOps component of DevOps is generally underdeveloped in many organizations, thus you may find yourself advocating for the topic on your own more frequently.
The performance of the model serving is important, particularly in real-time scenarios. Selecting the right model can be aided by learning about model types and their performance. Even if the Data Scientist should choose the model, your ML engineers can save valuable time by discussing and advising the Data Scientist on the topic. There are a lot of model-serving instruments on the market. A job for an ML Engineer is to choose one or create serving solutions internally.
Certainly, developing model pipelines for training and prediction is very helpful in understanding the role of GPU, which libraries support it, and how GPU affects total performance.

Step 5:

Perform Data Management
Understand databases, both relational and NoSQL, as they are crucial for managing the data required for machine learning.

Step 6:

Develop API Skills
Learn API design and development to connect your backend systems with machine learning models effectively.
Learn the principles of API design, including RESTful architecture, endpoints, and data formats.
Develop your skills in building robust APIs using frameworks like Flask and Django.

Step 7:

Scaling and Performance Optimization
Explore strategies for scaling your systems to handle the demands of real-world ML applications and optimize performance.

Step 8:

Learn ML Basic Concept
Study machine learning concepts, algorithms, and models. Hands-on experience with ML frameworks like TensorFlow and PyTorch is essential.

Understanding the Role of an ML Backend Engineer

To excel in this field, it's vital to understand the role of an ML Backend Engineer. These professionals are the architects who build the infrastructure, data pipelines, and APIs that enable machine learning models to function. They are the backbone of AI applications, ensuring data flows seamlessly and the algorithms produce actionable insights.


The journey from a novice to an expert ML Backend Engineer is an exciting and rewarding one. The demand for ML Engineers in 2023 is higher than ever, with promising career prospects and opportunities in diverse industries. By following the steps outlined in this roadmap and understanding the role of an ML Backend Engineer, you can embark on a fulfilling career in a field that is shaping the future of technology. Stay updated, continuously learn, and seize the opportunities that this dynamic profession has to offer. Your journey to becoming an ML Backend Engineer starts now.

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