Hey everyone, I've been working at a seed stage startup in London for 5 months now. I am the sole contributor to an ML product the company is launching and I'm taking care of the entire ML life cycle (training/testing/deploying/monitoring/integrating)
But the startup is trying to scale vertically (creating a suite of products/ecosystem of tools for its niche). This is the company's second product and is the bigger product compared to the first product they launched and has more revenue opportunities
I haven't had much exposure to the software side of the product as there is currently so much scope for ML opportunities
I am also a junior. I have about .75 YoE before I started working here and I am terrified that the company is going to lay me off once they get enough of this AI product done and its time to move on to the next. I worry they're gonna want some SWE with 10 YoE and I'm not that. I don't want to have to job search in this market as well
About me: my expertise is 70% ML and 30% SWE. I also have a bs in cs so I'm not a noob at SWE. MLE is also 80% SWE and 20% ML realistically
I am totally okay and happy to contribute to the software efforts as well should they decide to move on. just don't want to get laid off!
I can't read the minds of your founders obviously, but given the scope that you have (literally everything), I imagine it would be pretty hard to get rid of you. That being said, my main advice is to think about this from the following lens: "How painful and regretful would it be for the company to lose me?".
So how do you make the answer to that a question "A LOT"? Be an excellent teammate and do stellar work:
Lastly, I recommend this video as well: This Is How You Become A Layoff-Proof Software Engineer
How to ensure that if the company decides to start another product that they won't just ditch me?
Have an input into the direction of the company -- what gets built, what is prioritized, and what the customer wants. If people start to trust your judgment on the product side, you become much more indispensable.