4.1 How long do I need for my job search?
The job search is a long, stressful, and occasionally demoralizing process. The timeline varies based on where you are and where you want to work. In the US, your job search should start three to six months before you want to start at your new job. For students, it may start at the beginning of your last year in school. If you’re required to give notice before leaving -- for example, in Germany, leaving employees must give a three-month notice -- this process should start much earlier. If you need a visa, you need to take into account the time it takes to obtain a visa.
If you plan on getting a job in a year, you might be able to, in your free time, go over all those resources and build up your online presence. When going over an online course, make sure to do assignments on top of watching lectures. You can try to reimplement the papers that you find interesting, improve on them, and put them on GitHub. Try to enter at least a couple of Kaggle competitions.
Three months before your interviews, you might have time to do two to three courses and read three books. For courses, I’d recommend one hands-on course like fast.ai’s Practical Deep Learning for Coders and one theoretical course like Machine Learning by Coursera. You might also want to check out my course at Stanford: Machine Learning Systems Design since the course covers practical challenges and solutions for ML in production. For books, I’d recommend Deep Learning by Goodfellow et al., Machine Learning: A Probabilistic Perspective by Kevin P. Murphy.
A week before your interviews, review the notes of CS231N: Convolutional Neural Networks for Visual Recognition, especially the parts about gradient descent, activations, and optimizations as well as rewatch Full Stack Deep Learning lectures, especially the ones on Setting up Machine Learning Projects and Infrastructure and Tooling. You might want to skim the questions in part 2 and part 3 of this book again. You should also review your previous projects in case your interviewers want to know all about them.
A day before your interviews, make sure that you get enough sleep. Don’t repeat my mistake of staying up late cramming and showing up to my interviews half-asleep. Arrive 10 minutes before so you have time to settle in.
If you get the job but want a better job in the future, prepare early this time. If you don’t get the job, rinse and repeat.
⚠ How to become a machine learning expert in 3 months ⚠
You can't. Becoming an expert in anything takes years, if not decades. Stay clear of anyone who claims that they can give you a shortcut to becoming a machine learning expert. At best, they teach you bad machine learning. At worst, it's a scam.
Peter Norvig, director of search at Google, wrote a wonderful blog post on how long it takes to learn programming: Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years. His advice is applicable to ML.