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I'm currently working as a software engineer. I am in the fourth year of my studies, so I have one more year left.

I would like to work in the area of data engineering, not sure what exactly whether some data analysis, exploring some data creating pipelines and similar. I am not sure whether I should keep my software engineering job or better to try looking even for an unpaid internship in data engineering. I am not sure how the employers will look like at my previous experience and whether I'll be able to count it as experience in the area.

Should I try to find at least an unpaid internship ASAP or I can keep calm and look for a data engineering job next year?

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    Sorry, you have to make your choices, based on your priorities and conditions (financial and otherwise) - random people on internet cannot make that choice on behalf of you. – Sourav Ghosh Dec 4 '19 at 14:14
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I am a software engineer and a good friend is a data engineer

“Data Engineering” is not a well defined term. On one extreme, it’s another name for typical data science and business analytics. On the other, it is no different from backend software engineering with databases or frontend engineering with API calls and state changes.

A software engineering background would be valued well anywhere along the spectrum. Typical data scientists are expected to be able to write programming scripts. On the other end, Data Engineer can be little different from Software Engineer — Data or DevOps Engineer — Data. Much of it hinges on the specific technologies which you know though.

Data engineers have to write code. They have to work with databases. Those are certainly transferable from a software engineering role.

Regarding the internship, do not take an unpaid data engineering role over a paid software engineering one. I don't see how a good data engineering internship could attract qualified applicants without pay anyway.

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  • Came here to say basically this. I am a Data Engineer but work mainly in a DevOps capacity. The job title is not very well defined – Randomhero Dec 4 '19 at 14:41
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    "bad programmers focus on code, good programmers focus on data" ;) – Old_Lamplighter Dec 4 '19 at 15:56

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