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There is some truth to this. Many jobs in machine learning are all bark and no bite. The company may even have created a machine learning team solely out of hype, and just equivocates machine learning with making d3.js visualizations or maintaining Spark jobs that just tabulate summary statistics.

Yet these jobs will still require you to do outrageous things during the interviews, like deriving the full backpropagation formulas for a 3-layer MLP network, or explain some esoteric issue with vanishing gradients or offer from memory a bunch of time complexity info about the SVM fitting algorithm, etc.

They require exponentially more impressive knowledge about machine learning in the interview than what the job experience will actually offer once you’re hired. Most positions will fundamentally make your skills atrophy.

As a result, a lot of people resort to writing blog posts or courses about their experiences implementing toy models, studying trade-offs between approaches, analyzing publicly available data sets.

In part it’s to help pad a resume and look relevant for getting hired. In part it’s to build or exercise skills that the person’s day job won’t actually enable them to use. And in part to try to get your name out there and associated with a hyped up field.




I'm not questioning your analysis of behavioral psychology of the herd, but this particular example, prof. Hal Daume of University of Maryland and Microsoft Research has been long associated with the field, though not particularly neural networks, since way before the current hype.


I totally agree for this specific link. Many well-respected and established people in machine learning write course materials.

I was only responding to the parent comment regarding why random blog posts, articles, and course materials seem so widespread and constant in machine learning overall.


It's the second time I see you whine about job interviews. If you're still bitter more than a few days after the rejection, you better start attitude adjustment process. Learn from your mistakes and move on.


Your comment is significantly uncivil and seems to indicate that you take a capricious attitude towards others.

I deny that any part of pointing out the hypocrisy, inefficiency and myopia of tech hiring in general, including specific parts in machine learning, is "whining."

Rather, speaking clearly about how ridiculous it is happens to be progress, however small, toward correcting glaring social wrongs in our myopic industry.

And finally, none of this is in connection to my own job. I manage a team of machine learning engineers in a large enterprise company. From my own experiences earlier in my career, from some of the battles I have had to fight to protect my current team members, and from some of the horror stories my team members and job candidates I've interviewed have shared with me, my general certainty that our industry gets it completely backwards has been informed.

Between this topic and the abject failure of open-plan offices, I cannot think of any more worthwhile tech industry topics to continuously and unrelentingly "whine" about, and feel that such "whining" is in fact a civic responsibility for any mature critical thinker, and indeed I am quite proud of it, and hope to keep it up with ebullience.




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