It's almost my one year anniversary in MSFT (joined Oct 2018). I'm giving back to Blind, so AMA.
First, I have a Non-Trad PhD (aka not CS or maths). I made a mistake of not following TC. Wasted 5 years of my life for a useless PhD, and condemned to endless postdoc in the hope of shitty professor position (TC $100k). I have 15 papers from grad sch, 9 first author ones. 3-5x more than the average grad student. My tip for the academia cult: NOBODY GIVES A FUCK about your stupid papers (maybe unless it's a relevant PhD?).
In my 4th year of grad school I woke up, but it was too late to change. I grad in 5th year and did 2 yrs postdoc (TC $46k) because I had no fucking options when looking for a job. Even though I was superstar, I didn't matter. Life outside tech is PURE SHIT.
During this time 'data science' and 'big data' was hot. For the next 2 yrs, I chased it too, but chased deep learning (aka 'AI') as I thought it would be the next big thing. I also stopped publishing in journals. Fuck papers, they weren't getting me what I wanted.
Fast forward to today, I got promoted to L63 and have 140% target bonus. Was hired as L62 at MSFT last year. In 2016, I had 1 onsite and 1 offer. Fuck this! In 2018, I had 10+ onsites and 6 offers! My highest offer was AMZN L5 at $240k. But I took MSFT. My TC is now $220k. Not too bad but could be better. Current YOE is 5yrs PhD, 2yrs postdoc, 1yr at MSFT.
I feel very liberated now that I am outside the ivory tower. I feel fucking loved. For those who want out, I know the feeling. It can be done.
1. How important is LC? How much did u LC?
2. What kind of knowledge did u have to learn to qualify for the ML role
3. I took a DS class in college and is trying to refresh myself on it by studying more on DS. Like the usual 10 algorithms of supervised and unsupervised learning, EDA, cleaning dirty data, cross validation. Is this going towards the right direction for ML? Or is this for DS?
4. How important are side projects?
5. Was your ML knowledge self studied or did you take a boot camp or classes