While running a search on LinkedIn at the time of writing this article, over 250 remote machine learning (ML) job listings were posted on the platform. A search on Glassdoor yielded over 200 results.
The rise of remote workers in the gig economy seems to be a fixture in the field of software. According to Toptal, tech companies have consistently taken on mass hirings for remote positions, with as many as one-third of GitHub’s employees working remotely today. And this trend is here to stay.
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More and more developers are looking to work remotely by taking on freelance projects or operating in more flexible arrangements. However, this development has largely been missing in the ML community. Onboarding a remote machine learning expert has not become a mainstream practice as of now. What explains this?
Why Are Remote Machine Learning Jobs Rare
What sets apart ML from other engineering disciplines, which usually offer remote work? One of the reasons is that big tech companies who invest in big office spaces are the predominant employers of machine learning experts and they do not offer remote work as often.
Startups, on the other hand, are more flexible towards working remotely. However, they are known to outsource their ML requirements or use public APIs and services. But this has begun to change.
Until that happens, ML specialists can turn to platforms that exclusively offer remote work. But be sure to prepare well before jumping on the remote work bandwagon.
How To Prepare For Remote ML Jobs
First and foremost, take time to introspect and understand what makes you most productive. Do you fall into a bracket of people who thrive amidst a lot of distractions, or do you need a quiet space? Once you have an answer to that, invest in building that set up and ensure that it is supported by a stable electric and internet connection.
The next step would be to ask yourself how self-reliant you can be. Do you have a habit of asking a lot of questions when completing a task? How often do you need help? In a remote environment, you will have to make do with asynchronous communication and work independently with minimal interruptions.
What is more, a lot of your daily social interactions will automatically come down, and you need to either adjust to that or create a social environment that will help you not to become lonely.
Where To Look For Remote ML Jobs
There are ample online platforms that list remote ML jobs. Be sure to set up job notifications to know whenever there is an opening that falls in your domain. More importantly, scan the job descriptions properly — sometimes remote positions are exclusive to certain timezones.
When creating your profile and updating your portfolio, make sure it clearly demonstrates that you have worked on your own before and strongly highlights your AI-related achievements. Also, good communication and collaboration skills should also come through in your profile.
Some of the popular platforms include:
This job board specialises in ML jobs and hosts a community of ML engineers, researchers and developers who work together remotely. It currently has over nearly 4500 members and over 120 job postings at the time of publishing this story.
With the ‘world’s largest startup community’ on one platform, getting the right resources and tools to build a robust network across early-stage startups as well as leading tech companies is not impossible. AngelList offers the perfect platform to discover innovative companies and apply to work there, including for remote positions.
In fact, one of the founders of Angelist Naval Ravikant strongly believes that remote work is the future of work, and that tech companies are on the cusp of hiring everyone remotely.
The platform claims to have over 10,00,000 registered remote workers. This no-frills website categorises listings based on how old or new they are and has jobs across a wide range of areas including software development, marketing, design, and customer support.
What is more, it also shows a live ranking of the top remote companies hiring in the last 12 months, with Clevertech, WalletHub and Source Coders taking the top spots.
This is one of the largest remote work platforms in the world, with over 2.5 million monthly visitors. It boasts clients like Google, Amazon, GitHub, Basecamp and InVision who have hired across a wide range of categories including programming, design, copywriting, sales and marketing, to name a few.
Additionally, it also provides resources like a community Slack group, guides to remote work trends and hiring, etc.
Prepare For Interviews
Firstly, ensure that there is no buffering video stream or even background noise that could interrupt the flow of the interview. Hint towards topics that you know well, but do not do that against the natural flow of the conversation.
Make sure to ask some questions and prepare these beforehand. Some good questions that could be relevant to your work situation could be what the strength of the team will be, who should you turn to for doubts, and whether or not you will have to integrate your model somewhere.
It is also a good practice to follow up with an email to thank them for their time. It may also remind them to touch base with you for another interview.
As the ML talent pool continues to gain more competition, companies should turn to remote hiring to fill these positions. As long as the employee is active and engaged, this could be a better arrangement for them than sharing an open desk office.
Moreover, with tools like Slack for daily reports and quick updates, zoom for formal meetings, and GitHub to share code and documentation, remote working has never been easier.