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S4E13: Pursuing a Career in Machine Learning With CTO Allan Leinwand

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Allan Leinwand is the CTO at ServiceNow. Over his career, he has built a reputation for managing the world’s most demanding clouds.

In his role at ServiceNow, Allan is personally responsible for overseeing all technical aspects and guiding the long-term technology strategy for the company. He is involved in building and running the ServiceNow Enterprise Cloud–the second largest enterprise cloud computing environment on the planet.

During college, Allan knew he wanted to be involved in tech, though he wasn't sure in what specific capacity. His first post-graduation job was at HP, where he fell in love with computer science and networking. He then worked at Cisco, and now ServiceNow, where he has delved more into machine learning and cloud computing.

In our conversation, we talk about how Allan pursued a career in tech leadership, the difference between AI and machine learning, what to do if you want a career in machine learning or technical leadership, and more.

Key takeaways:

  • Want a machine learning career path? Figure out a topic that interests you, e.g. self-driving cars or taking data and producing results. There are many paths you can take.
  • Once you've found a topic you love, go deep. Focus on one particular area, become an expert and the go-to person for your topic, and become known for it.
  • In the future, most “drudge work” will likely be done by machines. Don't stay in a job that can be easily automated.
  • You don’t need to be in management to get ahead in your career. If you're not interested in leadership roles, focus on being the best you can be at the job you have or want.
  • It takes time to become an expert at anything. You might start out working at an IT help desk and grow from there.

Links and mentions from the episode:

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