I am a post graduate engineering student (computer science). I have only one conference publication (not very good) as a first author.
One of my senior labmates worked on a very good research project a few months ago and wrote a paper. I have been approached by him to generate a few more results for his paper and proof reading and extending his paper with a literature survey and elaborate explanation of results. I have been offered co-authorship (second author) for this paper.
Now, though I can dedicate some time to do that work, I wonder whether being the second author is worth it.
I would like to ask in general as well, that is: Is it worth it to put effort in papers to become the second author, given that the paper is not related to my primary area of research or rather work, as opposed to dedicating time to one’s own research and getting papers as a first author?
Note: I have seen that in academia (where I want to go), usually advertisements call for applications from people having some number of papers as a first author.