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    [–] 7 absolute truths I unlearned as junior developer stirling_archer 5 points ago in programming

    A dogma of >x% coverage is what really sinks people. They're very worthwhile if you're strategic about them, but it takes some experience to know what is and isn't worth having tests for. The most useful thing I've learnt so far is that a handful of representative integration tests trumps a full suite of unit tests, and pays off additionally by doubling as documentation.

    [–] [D] PhD or work stirling_archer 17 points ago in MachineLearning

    Before I launch into the negatives: if you know some ML and are a solid software engineer, you're in a really good position as it is. From what I've seen, there's no significant difference in seniority and career potential between ML engineer and ML scientist roles. With the exception of the really big places with proper research labs, they're both mostly doing engineering. Source: have PhD, am on a team that does ML research, and most of the work is still engineering.

    My family is my #1 priority now so I hope I can at least maintain some work(school)-life balance.

    Unless you have superhuman context-switching ability and are very well prepared, you won't be able to. The pace of PhD programs is geared to hyper-caffeinated 22-year-olds with boundless passion and no responsibilities.

    If I decide to work and switch to an ML engineer role (which I think I can get), is it easy to transition into more research-oriented roles without a PhD?

    Generally, no. The competition for those roles is growing, and "must have PhD" is an easy filter.

    I'd go with the other advice in the thread, and start out willing to convert to an MS. Maybe the pace is manageable and you just continue with a PhD anyway. Even better, try to get in touch with some students currently in the program you're considering, and ask them about their experiences. Similarly, look at what the career prospects of the graduating class were and see if they compare favourably with what you could currently get.

    [–] [D] Machine learning productivity hacks stirling_archer 42 points ago in MachineLearning

    The comment about shortcuts and little helper scripts is spot on. Encourage your teammates to make and share these too; I've accumulated some neat ones that I wouldn't have thought of myself this way.

    The biggest productivity jump for me came from never exploring a damn thing without first writing down an explicit hypothesis. It can be as simple and small in scope as you like, but for generating knowledge there's no substitute for resolving hypotheses one at a time. Maybe I'm preaching to the choir on this sub, but I've seen a lot of people go in circles because they don't do this.

    Have a location where your team can see all pending and resolved hypotheses ever made on a relevant project, and get people in the habit of reading and interacting with these so that knowledge and expertise are shared. This is also good for alleviating the pressure of not feeling like you're being productive when you're doing more exploratory work.

    [–] A Heavily Commented Linux Kernel Source Code (PDF) stirling_archer 11 points ago in programming

    The author appears to be Chinese-speaking, and spoken Chinese doesn't have gendered pronouns, so presumably it's a second language slip. I live in an area where some second-language English speakers have a home language with this property, and they occasionally make this slip. I imagine it's similar to struggling with language features that seem exotic and over-complicated from an English-speaker's perspective, like gendered nouns.

    [–] Using AI to Find Where Clowns End and Juggalos Begin stirling_archer 1 points ago in programming

    jiggling juggling juggalo faygo

    I think that should be

    jiggling juggalo juggling faygo

    Sorry, gotta uphold the rigour in this sub.

    [–] [1807.02581] The Goldilocks zone: Towards better understanding of neural network loss landscapes stirling_archer 10 points ago in MachineLearning

    Yes, the distinction between people talking about the benefits of different neural network initialisation schemes and those talking about astrobiology will be incredibly difficult to tease apart from context.

    [–] ELI5: How can the same side of the moon always face earth? Doesn't it rotate? stirling_archer 1 points ago in explainlikeimfive

    (the dark side)

    There is no dark side of the Moon. The side we can't see is in full daylight when it's a new moon from our perspective.

    [–] ELI5: How can the same side of the moon always face earth? Doesn't it rotate? stirling_archer 1 points ago in explainlikeimfive

    It has converged to that rate through tidal locking.

    ELI5: all stuff (with mass) pulls all other stuff through a force called gravity. The Earth and Moon both pull on each other through gravity. This pull keeps the Moon going round the Earth, like if you were swinging a ball on a string. The pull also causes them to squish a little (and the Earth's case, the ocean to slosh a little). This changes how they pull each other by a tiny, tiny bit, so that they aren't just pulling towards each other, but a little bit to the side as well. This slowly changes the speed at which the Moon orbits the Earth and the speed at which they each rotate. When a moon is significantly smaller than its planet, this eventually forces it to rotate at the same speed that it orbits, and when it is a similar size, it also forces the planet to rotate at the same speed.

    [–] [R] Upgrading to Nvidia RTX cards: Does anything break with FP16 training? stirling_archer 4 points ago in MachineLearning

    The main thing is scaling your loss so that the distribution of gradients falls into the (normalised) representable range for FP16, which is quite simple in principle. However, I found I still had to fiddle a fair bit to get rid of some sneaky sources of nans/infs from intermediate operations. This guide was helpful. Also, depending on your framework, varying amounts of effort in specifying you want to use FP16 for all operations. For a large/complex model, I'd budget about a day or two to get to stable FP16 training.

    [–] Started my first job in a startup and it’s driving me crazy! stirling_archer 1 points ago in cscareerquestions

    Sounds like a poor fit, but since it's a startup you at least have some influence over the culture. You can just tell your boss that you're having trouble concentrating with all the conversations going on loudly around you. I'd be surprised if they don't respond thoughtfully to that. I'm at a place that's similar. The lead developer (who is also the first employee so has essentially co-founder status) likes to play ambient music for the whole office. I found it too loud and tried to suck it up for a while, but eventually just asked him if he could turn it down a little. He was totally happy to and now it's at a level that's there for those who want it, but can be easily tuned out or overpowered by some basic headphones. So try asking for changes that would make your life easier, and take it from there.

    [–] Dangers of reneging offer? stirling_archer 3 points ago in cscareerquestions

    It's their job to pressure you into a decision and they have a lot of practice with it. For some ideas on resisting the pressure, read this, under "Negotiating Jiu Jitsu": These techniques allowed me to extend a decision by about 2-3 weeks, and in the end I signed with a company that was a much better fit for me. I would also recommend reading the whole article, including part 1. Helped a lot with negotiating in general, and all my interactions with companies were positive throughout.

    [–] Resume Advice Thread - November 10, 2018 stirling_archer 2 points ago in cscareerquestions

    Agree with the previous commenter. Another comment: try to reduce the number of parenthetical remarks. They slow down reading a lot. If it's important, state it plainly. If it isn't, remove it. Likewise with uninformative statements. E.g. this

    Applied analytical procedures (ratio analysis, trend analysis and reasonableness test) to detect unusual financial statement relationships and inform misstatements to the senior team leader for further investigation.

    is exactly as informative of your technical competence as this:

    Applied ratio analysis, trend analysis and reasonableness test to detect unusual financial statement relationships.

    [–] I understand software engineers have spent long hours in the industry to get to where they are but please be more humble and treat people who have less experience with more respect. stirling_archer 57 points ago in cscareerquestions

    > Again, as a female, I noticed that a lot of female software engineers think that being a female software engineer is like this special thing because they are females in a male dominated industry and less likely to help other females to break into this industry.

    I've seen this effect in male-dominated academic fields as well. There's a study on this (that I haven't been able to dig up yet) where female professors had a stronger bias against female postdoc applicants than male professors. Not sure what the cause is. My hypothesis is that if you've had to fight hard to feel like you belong somewhere, it makes you more likely to unconsciously punish out group members to cement your belonging.

    [–] One of the largest banks issued an alarming warning that Earth is running out of the resources to sustain life stirling_archer 1 points ago in Foodforthought

    Change your actions. Learn to cook well given your new diet. Make treats for people. Answer questions patiently and honestly and don't make people feel like shit for just acting in line with how we were (mostly) all raised. I've found that most people are actually curious and want to know more if you make the discussion pleasant. The long game works; I was swayed this way and have about 10 vegetarian/vegan "descendants" of my own over a few years with this approach.

    [–] I’m Sam Beckbessinger, the author of a bestselling book called “How to Manage Your Money Like a Fucking Grownup”. AMA! stirling_archer 12 points ago in IAmA

    You, your parent commenter and the OP are all making the same mistake: laws vary a lot between countries. In South Africa (where the OP is from) an RA is a totally legit move for a young person. The returns are solid, uncapped and tax free, and the fees aren't high in general (but there is still the barrier to withdrawal). It's also a tax deduction up to a whopping 27.5% of your gross income. This is how I save for retirement and it's like a freight train. We also don't have to fear getting financially mangled by things like American healthcare costs, so it's more tolerable not to have an enormous rainy day fund. Anyway, when it comes to retirement and taxes especially, there's basically no point in trying to make universal statements because things vary so much.

    [–] No, I have no side code projects to show you stirling_archer 4 points ago in programming

    And /u/1000bedavas, even if your only goal is to be as effective at work as possible, there's research that shows every hour over 55 per week is balanced by an hour worth of lost productivity. And you're already hitting seriously diminishing returns before that. Focus on improving your efficiency, not time spent. Sharpen the saw rather than furiously wearing it out.

    [–] White America’s Age-Old, Misguided Obsession With Civility stirling_archer 3 points ago in Foodforthought

    I'd like to know your basis for suggesting that the author is arguing that America should solve its problems in a manner similar to 1930s Germany, the French Revolution or the October Revolution.

    For the former, where have they advocated for something similar?

    For the latter two, where in the text have they advocated for an armed insurrection?

    [–] Judges give longer sentences when their home teams lose a game. In particular to black defendants. stirling_archer 3 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago) in science

    The path of loss->committing crime->arrest->trial->sentencing would take far longer on average than the length of time between games.

    [–] [D] Machine Learning MASSIVELY Undersold on Freelance Websites stirling_archer 1 points ago in MachineLearning

    Do you have anything in particular against a "permanent" position at a company? I recently made that switch from postdoc and I've been loving it so far. Even if you'd prefer freelancing, maybe some time in a company would help you develop those business skills.

    [–] A lot of negative posts lately. Who of you actually enjoys their work? stirling_archer 1 points ago in cscareerquestions

    This, really. Similar background, I invest about a quarter of my pre-tax income as a non-negotiable rule. I'd consider using that money to be stealing from an old person (retired me). What's left I consider my actual salary and adjust lifestyle accordingly.

    [–] America Has Never Looked More Like 'The Handmaid's Tale' stirling_archer 8 points ago in TrueReddit

    "Remember" is often used to mean "keep in mind when considering your actions", i.e. "be considerate of/towards".