Data Science or SWE

Financial Engines
dinero

Financial Engines

PRE
Akamai Technologies
dineromore
May 7 15 Comments

I have worked as a Software Engineer for 3 years and I am interested in Data science ( creating data models, finding valuable insights and developing business acumen).

Many people are telling me Data science is a glorified term in tech companies where data science title is given to over paid data analysts .

The aspect I love about data science is the one where you have to find trends , improve business maybe build some cool models to do forecasting etc .

I wanna switch to DS but I don’t want to work on data analyst type work .

If I make a switch what are my chances of getting the type of work I like ? Also I’m afraid if I switch to DS and don’t end up liking it I’ll switch back to a swe role but it will come at a opportunity cost because I’ll miss potential salary bums .

For a guy without a PhD and just a masters in CS and dev experience how realistic is it to break in to Data science world and do the kind of work described above ?

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TOP 15 Comments
  • New / Eng
    tbdk82

    New Eng

    BIO
    Machine Learning Engineer
    tbdk82more
    I think you can try machine learning engineer role.
    May 7 5
    • Financial Engines
      dinero

      Financial Engines

      PRE
      Akamai Technologies
      dineromore
      OP
      Do they consider CS background for machine learning or do you need a mathematical background?? ML = algebra and calculus but I imagine I wanna be in a applied role not a research role.
      May 7
    • New / Eng
      tbdk82

      New Eng

      BIO
      Machine Learning Engineer
      tbdk82more
      Knowledge of machine learning is needed, and also knowledge about probability and statistics, but everyone can learn it as long as they are interested in. I’m a machine learning engineer working in a small company, and I am think about transferring to Software Engineer, Machine Learning role.
      May 7
    • Financial Engines
      dinero

      Financial Engines

      PRE
      Akamai Technologies
      dineromore
      OP
      If you don’t mind can you private message me and tell me why you are doing that ? I’d love to learn as I’m super confused about my next move
      May 7
    • New / Eng urboi
      I’m actually curious what the differences are between an ML Engineer and a Software Engineer, ML role?
      May 7
    • New / Eng
      tbdk82

      New Eng

      BIO
      Machine Learning Engineer
      tbdk82more
      As for me, MLE and SWE(ML) are kind of similar except that MLE may be more focus on model building and implementing new models based on new papers (sometimes new algo implementations are required but not always), and swe(ml) needs to build ml system like deploying systems (most like full stack sometimes).
      May 7
  • Nvidia Inuf25
    I recommend MLE as well. MLE in FAANG companies at least require you to be a SWE first with ML knowledge. From there you can either continue to be SWE, become a data scientist or continue as MLE. MLE = SWE + ML it's a more advanced and specialized role. If anything your market value as a SWE will go up because many teams use ML nowadays, so your SWE knowledge + ML is a great combo
    May 7 4
    • Financial Engines
      dinero

      Financial Engines

      PRE
      Akamai Technologies
      dineromore
      OP
      So I am currently a swe . How would I break in to a MLE role ? Do they consider pure swe for interviews or do I need a math background etc because I only have masters in CS. I do have a couple of personal ML projects I worked on for fun
      May 7
    • Nvidia Inuf25
      It's good that you have projects. MLE interviews will be exactly the same as SDE interviews + possibly an ML round in case your work experience in ML is not sufficient. I'd recommend starting off with some fundamentals of ML courses. I'd also recommend taking active interest in the data side of your SWE work. This includes understanding your metrics, dashboards and data pipeline. Familiarize yourself with data science concepts. Watch some videos to remind yourself of probability and stats concepts. Once you do all that you should be good to go
      May 7
    • Financial Engines
      dinero

      Financial Engines

      PRE
      Akamai Technologies
      dineromore
      OP
      Makes sense. are you a MLE by any chance and do you know the tc for s MLE compare to a regular SWE etc ?
      May 8
    • Nvidia dopEffect
      I dm'd you
      May 8
  • Barclays PLC blinder429
    If you just want to build models, then either you can participate in Kaggle competition... or do systematic trading... U can continue work as a SWE... You will know only when you walk the path, rest is every individuals experience
    May 7 3
    • Financial Engines
      dinero

      Financial Engines

      PRE
      Akamai Technologies
      dineromore
      OP
      Valid point , I thought about the whole learning on the side thing but I feel like if I say develop interest in data science a year or two after trying s few projects I would have to take a lower salary since in the DS world I would be less experienced . If I go all in now then in 2 years I could possibly be working as a senior data scientist
      May 7
    • Ascension Health / Eng
      10xUrTC

      Ascension Health Eng

      PRE
      Facebook
      10xUrTCmore
      You can make the same argument about the SWE salary you are gonna lose now for changing to DS, instead of changing later.
      May 7
    • Financial Engines
      dinero

      Financial Engines

      PRE
      Akamai Technologies
      dineromore
      OP
      Yes but the loss later would be larger than the loss I would take now ...at least in theory
      May 7

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