Today’s an exciting day for deep learning enthusiasts! The uber-popular deep learning MOOC, Fast.ai is launching its third version of Part 1 of the course. [Read more…]
In this post, I use General Adversarial Networks (GANs), specifically Wasserstein GANs to generate images based on three training sets. All three training sets are image-based and happen to feature tobacco products. As an avid cigar smoker, who works out of cigar shops quite a bit, it’s not difficult to see where the inspiration came from.
Since there are many excellent resources that provide a good general introduction to the theory of GANs, I will refrain from going into depth on the topic. To keep things simple, the general idea is to create two neural networks, one called a Generator and the other referred to as a Discriminator. The Generator creates fakes. The Discriminator passes judgment of whether the output of the Generator is a legitimate example of the class, by developing a data distribution (think model) and judging images based on that distribution.
There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.
― Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell, a New York Times best-selling author, maintains that most top professionals make most of their decisions in the blink of an eye. His conclusion seems to be a fact of life today, especially in this age of information overload.
To understand how this process applies to your job search, let’s consider the life cycle your resume may take from initial posting to offer letter. Imagine you throw it up on a site such as Monster, and it sits there, on the cloud, not causing any response, until a recruiter or some HR rep has it, along with a host of others, usually based on an extremely focused set of search criteria.
The famous Hungarian-American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, one of the founders of the anti-psychiatry movement, pointed out decades ago foundational issues in the field of mental health that still plague the industry to this day. One of his most enduring contributions was in the area of family systems, where Szasz coined the term “the struggle for definition.” He used this term to describe the process whereby family members define labels and then develop narratives based on those labels to lower the position of certain family members in the domestic pecking order.
According to Szasz, this is often done by a parent to maintain power or to elevate the status of a favorite child. In this way, roles that can last a lifetime are programmed and defined.
Would a specialized cs major (bioinformatics) negatively affect chances for general cs jobs?
I don’t think so in the least! Think about it this way. Programming is one of the few fields where you don’t need to have a degree to land a high-paying job. People these days can get hired on the strength of a GitHub profile alone.
A CS degree is a “feather in your cap”–an added bonus. In our economy today, we pay more for specialization. I would try to use a CS degree in bioinformatics to my advantage in a couple of different ways.
First, when interviewing for a non-bio-specific role, I would point out how rare bioinformatics degrees are compared with the already highly competitive CS degree. Second, I’d do some research and create a list of target companies in the bioinformatics space.
One of the great benefits of using recruiters during your job search is that they are some of the world’s best salespeople. As soon as I start talking to one of them about a position I’m actually interested in, I’ll ask, “So what did you like about my background?”
This question is actually “magical” across the board in all interview situations, as we will demonstrate later. It will cause most interviewers to give you valuable information they might have never mentioned otherwise. Recruiters, as a group, almost never hesitate to answer this question.
Since they have little resistance, they are a great group to start practicing on. I’d strongly suggest getting in the habit of asking this question each time you speak to a recruiter for the first time. This will start them down the path of telling you a narrative about yourself.
The “Never Ready” syndrome is a horrible malady that affects software developers and is closely related to “Impostor” syndrome. Basically, it means that for whatever reason developers often feel there is always one more thing they absolutely must do before making their next significant career transition.
In this case, we are talking about transitioning to remote jobs. Developers with a year or more of experience in a brick-and-mortar setting may feel they need to learn some new framework, complete a new GitHub project, or have spoken at a local Meetup before they can feel personally validated enough to start looking for a remote gig.
The baseline standard we use here at Remote Coder for transitioning into remote jobs is either one year of work experience in your chosen programming language or two years of development experience in another language and at least six months of project work/training in the area you’d like to work in remotely.
One of the main problems that software developers often face when looking for a new opportunity is managing the signal-to-noise issue. Once we put ourselves “out there” and actively start searching, we can be bombarded by so many opportunities that it becomes really difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.
This situation makes some job seekers dread hearing from recruiters and HR professionals. Since most opportunities will not be appealing, they often cringe whenever an HR rep contacts them. So what options do we have? Are we supposed to just “grin and bear it” every time we hear about a new position?
To be effective at lifestyle engineering, we need space in our lives, but if our lives are so jam-packed with family responsibilities, work requirements, and the demands of life that we feel constantly overwhelmed, then it will be very challenging to make good decisions about our lifestyle engineering options.
One of the best ways to fine-tune and test options is with a remote job. When you remove the daily commute, meaningless office chitchat, and mindless meetings, you are left with lots of free time on your hands. Along with the flextime that many remote gigs afford, you can now work when and where you want.
Welcome to Remote Coder. We help software developers optimize their lifestyle engineering. Those who write code for a living work in some of the most in-demand fields on the planet. The skills they’ve built took years of time and effort to develop. These are areas that many have tried to enter only to wash out.
For these reasons among others, developers should be in high demand. Why is it then that even in these highly selective and specialized fields that so many coding professionals are dissatisfied? Some love their jobs, of course, and some are able to literally live the dream, coding from a laptop on the beach, professionals who are so specialized that industry wage standards don’t apply to them.