ML Systems or applied ML for career growth

Amazon
bambooo

Amazon

PRE
Adobe
bambooomore
Apr 29 19 Comments

People who have been in the industry for a while, what would you recommend a junior starting out his career to do. I have an applied scientist and an sde in an ML team offer from Amazon.

The SDE role would involve around building the infra / services to scale the ML models and deal with things like metrics, logging, alarms, etc.

The applied scientist role would be an ML role in which I get to train models and write inference code in production. This would involve reading a lot of papers.

I do not have a PhD but have a strong master's background and do think that I'll be able to do both jobs well.

I have been told that distributed systems is mostly a solved problem and ai would offer rapid growth but would like to hear the opinion of people who have had few years in the industry.

It would be great if you can mention your yoe as well in your response.

Edit: I am a returning intern. I interned as an sde.

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TOP 19 Comments
  • Comcast ichiban
    Clearing L5 ceiling should be easier as sde than as applied scientist. (If you plan on staying the course, if you like the domain etc)
    Apr 29 4
    • Amazon
      bambooo

      Amazon

      PRE
      Adobe
      bambooomore
      OP
      not really, i know 2-3 applied scientists who moved from 5 to 6 in two years.
      Apr 29
    • Comcast ichiban
      Without PhD?
      Apr 29
    • Amazon
      bambooo

      Amazon

      PRE
      Adobe
      bambooomore
      OP
      yup, talked to them and they said its possible you just have to work hard
      Apr 29
    • Amazon dhiekshxe
      No path to 7 without phd. Also I see so much garbage coming from those non-phd ppl. Few are really rock stars for sure but large majority are simply inexperienced to do proper science. Note: reimplementing existing stuff is not doing science
      Apr 30
  • How about asking for an MLE role. From what I've heard it's SDE + ML. You get to work on both distributed systems and ML. Best of both worlds
    Apr 29 4
    • Amazon
      bambooo

      Amazon

      PRE
      Adobe
      bambooomore
      OP
      i tried that, i was told its just a phone tool title. you are basically an sde in the platform team but you work closely with scientists
      Apr 29
    • Ah I see, so I guess it's just a straight up SDE with the benefit of running shoulders with Scientists
      Apr 29
    • Are you going in as an SDE2 or SDE1?
      Apr 29
    • Amazon
      bambooo

      Amazon

      PRE
      Adobe
      bambooomore
      OP
      sde1, i am not concerned about salary at this point
      Apr 29
  • Google dlss
    Applied scientist for sure. Distributed systems is not solved though at the scale of FANG.
    Apr 29 3
    • Amazon
      bambooo

      Amazon

      PRE
      Adobe
      bambooomore
      OP
      Thanks for replying. i am also interested in Google and was reached out by a recruiter for swe ml role. Is that what you would compare to an applied scientist role at amazon or is that something else?
      Apr 29
    • Google dlss
      I don't do ML so unfortunately not sure. SWE ML is not a job title though, there is just SWE and RS. Be very careful with the recruiter to not be sold on something bad.
      Apr 29
    • Amazon
      bambooo

      Amazon

      PRE
      Adobe
      bambooomore
      OP
      Apr 29
  • Can you detail your interview experience?
    Apr 29 2
    • Amazon
      bambooo

      Amazon

      PRE
      Adobe
      bambooomore
      OP
      Sure! Since I already qualified the sde bar (return sde offer) i only had science rounds. 2 of them involved around my projects in which i had to dive deep into my project and the interviewer would ask mr question on the components in the architecture / any choices i made. 2 were mostly concerned with ml design in which i was asked to describe how i would solve a problem, which models i would choose, what would be the dataset, etc.
      Apr 29
    • Thanks. Do you mind if I pm you?
      Apr 29
  • Amazon / Product MDMA90
    Did you study machine learning in Masters?
    Apr 29 1
    • Amazon
      bambooo

      Amazon

      PRE
      Adobe
      bambooomore
      OP
      Yes, I have several projects and in process of publishing one paper.
      Apr 29

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