“Backend engineer” has traditionally referred to writing software that interacts with the data layer, I guess “data engineer” maybe more specifically refers to skills like architecting ETL pipelines etc.
One one end you have data scientist, which is a statistician. On the other end is a software engineer. A data engineer is roughly in the middle of those two.
In huge ass tech companies where you’re working on complex shit, people become more and more specialized. Those job titles become more granular.
The dude that has to manage a billion people’s data in real time isn’t the same as the dude who makes the buttons orange.
At small startups the ‘data engineer’ usually have credentials of both data scientist and software engineer. (Expert in the data science stack of input, analyze, mange and output).
At large companies like facebook and microsoft the term ‘data engineer’ can mean low level sql or nosql people.
Utterly meaningless title. I know ‘data engineers’ that have ZERO software engineering experience. At most they know a _bit_ of SQL and zero knowledge of how the databases actually work.
Honestly, almost noone who is a ‘data scientist’ these days has ANY experience with statistics. Most are eng/commerce/maths/physics grads who know a bit of python (or maybe R) and know how to make some nice plots.
I got an email from my alma mater yesterday saying they had added Data Science as a major/minor. I had never heard of it before.