How To Become A Tableau Developer In 5 Simple Steps
Tableau development is one of the most popular data visualization and analytic skillsets in the business intelligence industry. As a result, demand and competition for Tableau developer jobs are very high.
Are you looking to become a Tableau developer? Not sure where to start? We will discuss what a Tableau Desktop developer does, the Tableau job market, and five key steps to land a developer job!
So, what exactly does a Tableau developer do?
A typical day of a Tableau developer can range from meeting with business clients, gathering requirements, pulling and manipulating data, to designing visualizations. Tableau developers need to be able to turn data into insights. Some common tasks of Tableau Developers include:
- Gather detailed business requirements
- Connect to, blend, and transform data sets (i.e., SQL Server, MySQL, Snowflake, Excel, etc.)
- Investigate, profile, and analyze data
- Leverage problem solving and critical thinking skills to derive insights from data
- Develop powerful data visualizations used to make informed business decisions
- Automate data sources to enable ad hoc data queries, dashboards, and subscriptions/alerts
Last Updated January 2021
Learn data analysis w/ Tableau and prepare for a BI career or Tableau certification (10+ hr, Tableau Server not covered) | By Maven Analytics, Dustin Cabral | Tableau & Data Visualization ExpertExplore Course
What is the market for Tableau developers?
In a recent study from Bentley University, Tableau ranked third in technical skills with the biggest increase in demand!
Technical Skills With The Biggest Increases In Demand:
|Skill||Industry||Increase in demand|
|Big Data||Information Technology||3,977%|
|Tableau||Research and Analysis||1,581%|
|Apache Hadoop||Information Technology||704%|
|Python||Research and Analysis||456%|
Analytics and data visualization are also becoming part of the standard curriculum at the college and even high school levels. Most research companies expect business and technical graduates to have experience with tools like Tableau when entering the workforce. As a result, many organizations consider Tableau as a desired entry-level skill.
How much do Tableau developers get paid?
Tableau developers range in salary depending on experience and location. In the US, the current national average annual salary for a Tableau developer is over $94,000. This does not include pay for consulting on platforms like Upwork.
Top courses in Tableau
US Tableau Developer Average Base Pay [GlassDoor.com]
Besides pay, Tableau developers often have access to additional benefits, including:
- Technical certifications
- Continuing education
- Industry conferences
- Peer Mentoring
- Presentation and leadership development
- Reach projects
What roles involve Tableau development?
Tableau developers come in many forms, and their titles can vary widely. The good news is that most Tableau developer roles do not require a computer science or data science degree. This means that developers come from a variety of different backgrounds.
Some typical roles that involve Tableau development include:
- Tableau Developer
- Business Intelligence Engineer
- Reporting Analyst
- Data Visualization Architect
- Data Visualization Engineer
- Data Analyst
- Database Programmer
- Data Scientist
5 Steps to land a Tableau developer job
1. Learn the Tableau Desktop fundamentals
A baseline knowledge is key to your development as a Tableau developer and the best place to start your journey. Comprehensive Tableau courses like the following are a great place to learn and grow your Tableau developer skillset:
2. Build in Tableau Desktop often
One of the best ways to skill up quickly is to commit to using Tableau for a personal or volunteer project. Doing this will give you a sense of urgency and commitment to finish your projects. These projects will provide you with real-life experience with Tableau Desktop. Try to “Tableau Every Day (TED)” to keep your skills fresh!
Some of the best dashboards I’ve seen have come from public projects! Below is an example of a project I worked on (for free) for the national registry of exonerations.
3. Create a public portfolio
To showcase your work and build a portfolio, you should sign up for Tableau Public. Tableau Public is a free online version of Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server where you can share your dashboards (and view other individuals’ work). Having a public profile will motivate you and give you an edge when interviewing for developer roles. One of the best ways to leverage Tableau Public is to host your own Tableau Resume Example!
If you have trouble finding data sets or content for public visualizations, try participating in these free Tableau community activities:
- Makeover Monday
- Workout Wednesday
- Iron Viz
- Iron Quest
- Viz for a Cause
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Viz project
4. Community involvement and networking
Networking is one of the best ways to get noticed by potential employers. Additionally, participating in Tableau events will broaden your skillset and your network. Some of the best opportunities to be involved in the Tableau community include:
- Tableau User Groups (TUGs)
- Tableau Webinars
- Tableau Developer Competitions (Iron Viz, Iron Quest, etc.)
- Tableau Conference & Tableau Conference Europe
5. Get certified
Getting Tableau Desktop certified is a great way to differentiate yourself from other developers. It is also an excellent way to show potential employers that you know Tableau! There are three levels of desktop certification including:
- Tableau Desktop Specialist
- Tableau Certified Associate
- Tableau Certified Professional
Before attempting certification, it’s a great idea to complete a course like Tableau Certification Prep: Desktop Specialist + Certified Associate.
Finally, you’ll need to apply for a Tableau developer role! Don’t be afraid to apply to a position, even if you feel unqualified. You won’t need to fulfill all the listed qualifications for a job. Below are the primary categories of qualification:
- Work History
- Education Level
- Industry Experience
- Technical Certification
For most jobs, having at least two of these categories will be enough to land a role. You will need at least a bachelor’s degree for most developer jobs, but your degree does not need to be technical in nature. Remember to showcase the assets you’ve built, including:
- Tableau certifications
- Tableau Public portfolio
- Tableau network
- Tableau developer skillset
Finally, make sure to have fun! The main reason Tableau Development has become popular is that it is a rewarding job. You have the opportunity to bring data to life and make a difference in the organization of your choice. Get out there and start helping people see and understand their data!