The likes of us

Everybody spoke of Convolutional Neural Networks. I was impressed. I have some rudimentary experience with deep learning, though my layers were only five-deep. These candidates had done so much more. So I asked them about the perceptron. I was disillusioned after the first few explanations. Then there was big-data, everywhere. Very few people did not look confused when I asked them about how they had chosen to initialize K-means. A lot of people told me about scipy’s k-means and k-means++ routines. There were many with strong programming backgrounds, but very few possessed mathematical intuition about the algorithms they worked with.

Still, the confidence they display is impressive.

I make a poor job candidate. I have very little to talk about, because I am comfortable speaking about only things I have done well by my standards. I shy away from buzzwords on my resume. I can’t describe myself as a ‘passionate go-getter who works well as a part of a team or alone’ or as a ‘generalist data-scientist rock-star who excels at shipping great products on time’. I leave the ‘career objective’ section blank on job sites and don’t have that on the resume. I don’t give myself more than average on most questionnaires for rating yourself. My hobbies have little to do with open-source projects on GitHub. I am introverted, shy, and not comfortable with speaking to strangers. Pimping my work is something I despise having to do. Come to think, I am surprised I can make a living in today’s world.

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