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There's more to working in tech than just shipping software. It's vital for your career to build deep professional relationships and make real friends at work, especially if you're looking to grow to senior levels.

How to network with other engineering managers, specifically in AI/ML?

Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community profile pic
Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community

Hello everyone,

I'm reaching out to this community seeking advice and insights as I consider a significant career transition. Currently, I am working in software engineering, but I've recently completed my master's degree with a core focus on Reinforcement Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Throughout my academic journey, I've developed a strong passion for AI/ML, and now, I'm eager to pivot my career in this direction. While I've gained substantial experience in software development, I believe that transitioning to a team more aligned with AI/ML will allow me to fully utilize my skills and contribute more meaningfully to the field.

I understand that networking plays a crucial role in such transitions. However, I'm looking for guidance on the best practices for connecting with AI/ML engineering managers. I am particularly interested in learning about:

  1. Effective ways to initiate conversations with AI/ML leaders, especially when coming from a different technical background.
  2. Strategies to demonstrate my competence and enthusiasm for AI/ML, despite my primary experience being in software engineering.
  3. Insights into the challenges and expectations specific to AI/ML teams that I might not be aware of coming from a different specialization.

Additionally, I'd love to hear any personal stories or experiences about making a similar transition. What were your challenges, and how did you overcome them? How did you leverage your previous experience during this shift?

I appreciate any advice or connections you might offer. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you're open to a conversation.

Thank you for your time and support!

Best regards

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What is the ideal time required to get properly settled in the team and working with autonomy?

Entry-Level Software Engineer [Associate MTS] at Taro Community profile pic
Entry-Level Software Engineer [Associate MTS] at Taro Community

Hey folks have started out on my first full-time job as an Early Career SWE at a Big Tech Company. Wanted to ask what is the ideal line of progress in terms of as months pass by.

For example in 3 months at least I should be capable of doing XYZ things.. in 6 months XYZ things... and within a year's time XYZ things independently.

I ask this question mainly since it's going to be close to 5 months of joining and I do require handholding with other peers on the team my aim is to operate as independently as possible. One of the feedbacks in the first quarterly check-in was to go in full depth for the debugging and independently create test plans for the work assigned before asking questions.

As for the creation of test plans yes since the codebase is too large I do tend to ask other team members if there is an existing functionality that can be leveraged or in case I get stuck as to what to do ahead or when I don't understand something.

The good feedback was the questions I asked were formed and detailed.

From the feedback, I am kind of at a crossroads in understanding whether I should ask questions or not ask questions and also crippled with self-doubt

Another pointer was how to be assertive in the sense I tend to be scared to share my ideology or idea about how we can potentially do something. Communicating with peers also seems intimidating especially Senior or Lead members or Manager too.

Is there a more proper way to communicate/send messages? The primary mode of communication is Slack and at times threads get bulky.

Any tips to understand the feedback properly and improve on the above pointers or in general are highly appreciated. I hope to get better at being a good SWE.

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To FAANG or not to FAANG?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

I live in orange county, CA. I have about 30 years of tech experience where I was a software engineer for most of these 30 years. I also had couple of jobs as manager leading a team of software engineers. For last 5 years, I have been working as a senior software support engineer for a local company here in Orange County, CA.

So I would rather be software engineer than be in a support role where I just do mindless support of enterprise software. And its not very challenging either. So when I started working for this company, 5 years ago, I started to teach myself angular and typescript. Worked on a project and deployed it live on the website and learnt a lot. And really enjoyed programming.

But then 1 year ago, I started applying for actual jobs in angular programming and got zero response. Zero emails from the companies. Zero interviews from the companies. That was very scary. So a friend who works at Microsoft, advised to prepare and apply for SWE job at Microsoft. She mentioned that MS would not care about lack of my latest/greatest experience. If I pass the coding interview, I have a good chance event to get an entry level SWE job which is better than what I am doing these days.

Another reason I would like to work at MS, is that all my 30 years I have worked for midsize companies. I would like to work at MS because I will be surrounded by really smart engineers and people.

I am lucky to have a job, Pay the bills and have health insurance for me and my family. A year ago I started the interview prep, leet code, algoexpert etc. But then for some reason for last 4 months, its really hard for me to study. May be its my age. May be I get very tired after all day of work, and just watch mindless TV and eat sugary snacks and waste my time and health away.

When I used to work on my angular skill sets I was really energized. I had small tasks already in my queue. I could easily get in the flow when programming.

But My highest priority right now is to get a job at Microsoft as a SWE so that I have job part taken care of. Then after that I could work on side projects so that is why I am focused on interview prep but that is not dopaminergic for me. If I work on interview Prep and work on a side project, that could be distracting and not very focused effort (I think)

I feel depressed about my career. Some of my friends are directors, VPs, CIOs for medium to large companies. Here I am still angling for mediocre DEV jobs.

Any how, here at Taro, I would like to meet, interact with engineers, and really find my passion back.

I would really like to join a mastermind here at Taro, where I could hangout with engineers where we could have a conference all once or twice a month, motivate each other, etc.

Thanks for reading..

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