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Machine Learning Interviews book - March newsletter
Hi all! Welcome to this Substack issue, where I share 2 recommended books for machine learning jobs, as well as updates on my in-progress book, “Machine Learning Interviews”, published by O’Reilly. You can read the early release (raw and unedited) book here.
You can sign up for the next iteration of the live course here! If you have attended it in January already, feel free to share it with friends. Thank you for the support.
How’s the book writing going?
I’ve been staying on the deadlines, as they motivate me (hah!) The upcoming previews will be on machine learning algorithms and theory, and then behavioral interviews. I hope you enjoy them once they are submitted and my editor sends them to the powers that be to release them to the public (raw and unedited!)
This doesn’t mean my editor doesn’t also review and edit my work. That portion of the book writing process happens in parallel to the early releases, behind-the-scenes; this is so that the unedited text can reach readers like you as soon as possible!
Has the book writing been stressful?
To my surprise, it hasn’t been! During weeks that I focus on book writing, I spend 1-2 hours in the evening writing each day, around 6pm-7pm. I avoid writing after 8 pm because my brain can’t focus as well after a long day of working + writing afterwards.
I’ve been watching the TV show “Survivor”, and doing other relaxing activities such as watching anime to empty my brain.
I have also been reading on the weekends, since reading high quality books can also help my writing. That said, I do have a book recommendation:
A book I wish I had read when I had 2~3 years of IC experience.
I recently finished the book, “The Manager’s Path” which walks through an engineering career path up the management track to VP, CTO. Even if the author comes from a software engineering background, it is equally applicable for machine learning jobs. I really wish I had read this book earlier in my career, even if I am not a manager in my full time job right now. Though, I have experience founding my own company and so have structured teams, led hiring (and even performance review and an unfortunate firing).
The reason I recommend this book, is that this book doesn’t only cover the management track, but also covers an IC (individual contributor’s) path in the early stages, from entry level to senior and tech lead. In addition, it shares many ideas and rationale by management, so as an IC it is important to know what goes on behind the scenes. For example, the rationale for hiring a certain job candidate, or the reason to promote a certain person to senior engineer/data scientist/machine learning engineer, but not another person?
“The Manager’s Path”, by Camille Fournier. Link
Even if I am now longer just at 2-3 years into my machine learning career, and I’ve learned a lot of the lessons in this book from experience, I still wish I had read this book earlier. In addition, the chapters cover higher levels such as VP, CTO that I have not experienced, so it is useful to learn through osmosis.
I have read the book, “The Staff Engineer’s Path” twice, and highly recommend it as well. This book is targeted towards ICs.
Anyone based in Germany or familiar with German business customs?
I am a keynote speaker at PyCon DE & PyData Berlin in April. Link
When I spoke at PyCon India, I tried to make sure that my presentation would be relatable to the audience. With PyCon DE (in-person in Germany), I also want to make sure that my presentation can be useful to the attendees and not only coming from a North American perspective. So far, the advice I’ve read online is to 1) be direct, 2) no need for much humor, 3) back things up with data and examples as much as possible.
If anyone is based in Germany or is otherwise familiar with German conference/business culture, I’d love to get some quick feedback. Feel free reach out at email@example.com and I’ll send you the slides in early April (April 7 or so) to do a cursory review! Please use the subject line, “PyCon DE slides review offer to help”.
Image: Tweaking my slides when I spoke at PyCon India 2020.
That’s it for this newsletter issue, thanks for reading!
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