SWE beats DS in every aspect?

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yzc

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Jul 15 16 Comments

I see SWE pays more than DS for master new grad, and it’s much harder to get into DS for new grad due to the imbalance in demand and supply, also that the job generally requires some experiences.

I would like to know if SWE is better than DS for sure in other aspects? For example, in higher levels like managers or directors, do software engineers still make more than data scientists at FLAG and hot startups? And for the skills learnt at SWE and DS positions, which help more in later career when you are in management roles? If I would like to open a startup in the future, is it better to be a DS or SWE now?

I’m currently at DS position, but I can write production code as well because I have CS background. Previously I thought DS is a buzz world and DS should earn more than SWE, and I like ML way more than other engineering stuff, so I go for DS. But after coming to Silicon Vally I find the SWE roles are more core to the tech companies and DS are like support roles. Should I transfer back to CS?

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TOP 16 Comments
  • Uber / Eng
    svam

    Uber Eng

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    Google, Facebook
    svam more
    much better to be a SWE who’s data (science)-fluent, than a DS who can code

    from personal experience at FB
    Jul 15 6
    • Amazon
      kcc

      Amazon

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      Uber
      kccmore
      Did your opinion change after join Uber? Uber DS is more powerful than eng
      Jul 15
    • Axtria KzhH222
      What do you mean by powerful?
      Jul 15
    • Uber / Eng
      svam

      Uber Eng

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      Google, Facebook
      svam more
      that’s definitely not true kcc
      Jul 15
    • Uber / Eng
      wH!pp3r

      Uber Eng

      BIO
      Don’t even talk to me if ur TC < 300
      wH!pp3rmore
      Yea idk in what universe our DS org has more powerful than eng.

      The DS org is almost universally disrespected.

      They deserve it like 90% of the time too
      Jul 15
    • Axtria KzhH222
      Why do you say they deserve it? The hiring bar is pretty high for DS at Uber.
      Jul 15
  • Amazon / Eng Pfum24
    Well, the core discipline of all these companies IS software engineering. But, ml and research engineers / scientists usually get paid more. But, you also get more mobility with SDE so, in reality, you’ll probably make similar either way.
    Jul 15 2
    • Visa / Data
      yzc

      Visa Data

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      OP
      How about more senior roles? For example the data science manager and engineering manager, which makes more in the same company?
      Jul 15
    • Facebook / Data
      RScP24

      Facebook Data

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      Amazon
      RScP24more
      Not true.... SWEs get paid more than DS if you factor in Phd vs masters/bachelors
      Jul 15
  • Mostly because DS who can code at best can contribute to the existing project. They generally lack the experience to build things from the ground up. That is where the money is.

    From personal experience (ML PhD but SWE work experience)
    Jul 15 0
  • Microsoft leetworld
    Swe all the way. More diverse and wider career options long term.
    Jul 15 1
    • Visa / Data
      yzc

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      OP
      Can you elaborate on why the career path is wider for SWE? Thanks.
      Jul 15
  • LinkedIn ex-fb
    There are real DS (also called ML engineers and Applied scientists) who are SWEs with ML specialisation and good at CS skill, and fake DS who have basic ML knowledge and are primarily business analyst with poor CS skills.
    You’re confusing the two.
    Jul 15 0
  • Google OAoK43
    At Google, DS is more of a Statistician role. Generally they are second fiddle to Engg (with a few exceptions). But they get promoted super fast. A few of them even manage Engineering teams. But I don't think DS folks are happy overall.
    They have very narrow knowledge, can't write code, but get to call the shots if their models work. Personally I don't think they put in even half the effort of an Engg. And since they don't code, there is no Production stress. At higher levels promos may be difficult.

    Folks in this group usually have PhD in Stats/Math/EE. They are mostly from China/Iran.
    Jul 16 0
  • Amazon
    kcc

    Amazon

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    Uber
    kccmore
    Based on my observation, DS get promoted quicker. DS also join meetings with higher level compared to SDE. E.g, DS-1 may paired with tech-lead to plan a feature
    Jul 15 0