Roles in artificial intelligence and machine learning reported 74 percent annual hiring growth according to LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report. This is remarkably higher compared to the growth rate of other jobs. In fact, artificial intelligence specialists bagged the top spot on the list, underlining machine learning, deep learning, and Python as key skills.
This skyrocketing demand has naturally garnered a lot of interest in the field. However, even for those with previous experience in tech, breaking into machine learning is no easy feat.
For one, the highly competitive job application process can be a daunting multi-step experience. Aside from getting your resume in top shape and passing initial interviews, there’s another important aspect you’ll need to ace: the machine learning interview.
Many people turn to free resources online to prepare themselves for machine learning and coding interviews, but tackling it on your own can be time-consuming. You will likely spend hours scouring dozens of websites with no clear direction. Often, it involves finding a few useful sources, going through and sorting outdated material from relevant ones, and patching together tips and lessons along the way.
In 2017, Clement Mihailescu did just that for his technical interview at Google and decided that there had to be a better way. Enter, AlgoExpert.
Clement created AlgoExpert, which puts together everything an applicant needs to learn before a coding interview in one streamlined platform. One of its newer products is MLExpert, which gives applicants the same level of preparation that it offers for coding interviews, but this time, with a sharper focus on machine learning interviews.
AlgoExpert fully prepares you for coding interviews to help you land your dream job in tech.Learn more about AlgoExpert’s products here.
How MLExpert Started
MLExpert is the brainchild of Ryan Doan, who spent five years as an Amazon ML Infrastructure Engineer before joining AlgoExpert. Ryan was first drawn to machine learning in college, where he earned his degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering, with a focus on Robotics and Machine Learning.
“I was at college, and I was an electrical and computer engineer. I wasn’t in the software field, but I got into robots. I found out that there was this arcane field called control theory which is how you control robots, but then I learned there was a newer way you could do things. The classical way was control theory. The newer way was to use machine learning.”
His experience with robots led him to further explore machine learning. “In college, I made some robots and I taught them how to play soccer. I did that with machine learning. It was extremely fun, but it was very impractical and with no real-world use. I wanted to get more practical applications. I wanted to see if I could get some business value from this,” Ryan said.
So, he started applying ML models to support local politicians, the US government, and trading firms. “I helped political candidates allocate their resources in elections. We figured out where people should go to knock on doors or put up signs. It was my job to tell them where to go to get the most visibility.”
“I had never done this before, but the political candidate won. They won by so much that they didn’t have an opposing candidate the following year because so many people voted for them the previous year when I helped them. That was a really good outcome,” he shared.
“I then applied that knowledge to the government. I worked for the United States government for a while, and then I turned to financial institutions and helped a couple of small firms have machine learning solutions for algorithmic trading.”
“Then I went over to Amazon where it was fair game. Any place on the retail website, I got to optimize. That was fun. I did that for five years. It was incredible,” Ryan continued.
After his time at Amazon, Ryan began working on MLExpert. “I came into AlgoExpert and wanted to create a product that I needed when I first got into the field. I wasn’t a computer science major. I was an electrical engineer.”
“Having that outsider perspective gave me some advantages of how to teach it to people who need a crash course on machine learning or need the coding exercises to make something settle in. In this way, I feel like I have an advantage because I didn’t have classical training,” he explained.
Ryan shared what makes MLExpert unique and effective in imparting machine learning skills.
“There are different ways to go about studying machine learning, but I really wanted to start with the application first. Every video we offer, especially in the ML Crash Course, every model, approach, or strategy we teach is tied to an application.”
“I try to make sure that people understand the math enough to create these models and optimize them. At the same time, I want to be sure that everything can be tied back to an application so that people can answer, ‘Why am I learning this?’”
MLExpert draws upon Ryan’s experience as a machine learning engineer to create lessons that fully prepare applicants for questions they might encounter in an interview. “There [are] different sections of a machine learning interview. One of them is going to be the understanding of a certain model. For almost all the videos in the course, there’s going to be a map to a coding question that makes you implement it.”
“It’s one thing to watch a video, but it’s different from putting your fingers on the keyboard and implementing that model from scratch. We use Python. That’s what sets apart really understanding the models. This is what’s going to help people. You’ll get a grasp of how to implement these models and really understand them. It will allow you to answer questions that you may not have been able to answer had you just watched a video on it,” Ryan shared.
“The other thing that this course does is pull back the curtain on how large companies are doing things. If you wanted to learn how Facebook does something with machine learning at scale, you would have to be in the industry for about five years and be on the right team and in the right areas. And that was me. I was in the right areas, I had a community around me, we were all working on the problems.”
He also shared major highlights of the course, among which is the availability of videos for all the lessons. “A strong component of MLExpert is that you’ll know how Amazon Alexa works or how Facebook does automatic photo tagging by watching a video. There are also several design questions available.”
“If you’re a more general machine learning engineer, and you’re creating an environment for scientists and other ML engineers to develop models in, then our large-scale machine learning section will be useful.”
“That’s where you’ll learn how large companies employ thousands of scientists and machine learning engineers, how they get them to work together, be productive, and leverage each other’s strengths. Students will learn how to wrangle their data into something that people can work on and extract value from,” Ryan continued.
Ryan has brought his extensive experience in machine learning to MLExpert and has made it an invaluable tool for applicants preparing for machine learning interviews.
How Does MLExpert Work?
MLExpert is a revolutionary and comprehensive platform designed specifically for tech applicants preparing for a machine learning technical interview. This extensive machine learning resource includes the following:
ML Crash Course
This section contains 18 modules covering key concepts in machine learning that build upon one another. The ML crash course is a guided and comprehensive tool that equips learners with all the building blocks needed to ace any machine learning technical interview.
ML Coding Questions
Carefully selected machine learning coding interview questions cover essential applied machine learning concepts to fully prepare applicants for interviews. This section encourages intelligent practice to arm applicants with targeted experience.
Large Scale ML
Designed to give applicants specialized knowledge to go one step further than simple machine learning models. This section will teach users how to design large-scale machine learning systems comparable to those used at big companies like Facebook or Amazon.
ML Design Questions
This curated list of systems design questions prepares applicants for some of the toughest machine learning challenges they might face. Practice and learn with challenging prompts. An example: “Design a fraud-detection system to prevent user abuse.”
Test your understanding of machine learning concepts and technologies with MLExpert’s quiz which consists of 75 specially-selected questions.
All these components make up MLExpert, and they work together to help users build strong foundational skills in machine learning and prepare them to tackle the job search.
Who Should Take MLExpert?
Aside from those preparing for a machine learning technical interview, MlExpert can be a great tool for others looking to broaden their skill sets.
For people already in a machine learning career and working in a technical machine learning role, MLExpert will help sharpen their existing skills and teach them new skills to perform better at their current job. Managers of an ML team can also sign their team members up for MLExpert so they can continue to stay on top of their field.
That’s not all.
MLExpert is also a fantastic resource for those looking to have a comfortable level of knowledge in machine learning. This might be a software engineer working with a technical machine learning team or a product manager working on a machine learning team.
If someone already working in tech or software is interested in exploring the field of machine learning, MLExpert offers an opportunity for them to test the waters and see if it’s a field they want to get into.
Machine Learning Success with MLExpert
Although machine learning can be a challenging field to break into, it is not an impossible task. Take it from Ryan who built MLExpert around the gaps he observed in his own experience.
“Just get started. No one is going to stop you from experimenting and trying things out. From my experience, if you’re in a company and you want to try to apply machine learning there, then communicate that. In almost all circumstances, management will be okay with it as long as you can prove that there’s some business impact,” he said.
“That’s what a machine learning expert tries to do, we try to let you know in which areas of business to focus. If you do something outside of work or a side project and you just want to get into machine learning this way, nothing is stopping you. MLExpert will give you the tools to do that. It will teach you how to write models, solve problems, and it can help you get started,” Ryan shared.
If you’re looking for a complete tool to fully prepare you for a machine learning interview or you are interested in gaining machine learning fundamentals, learn more about MLExpert here.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.