I'm trying to work out what aspects of software someone with a couple of years' of programming experience under their belt could decide to pivot towards.
What I know so far: 80,000 Hours' software engineering career review says
Much of the work in biosecurity is related to handling and processing large amounts of data, so knowledge of how to work with distributed systems is in demand. Expertise in adjacent fields such as data science could also be helpful.
There is also a big focus on security, particularly at organisations like SecureDNA.
Most code in biosecurity is written in Python.
And elsewhere they and others talk about the relevance of infosecurity to biorisk.
It would be nice to have an ordering of these.
Web development seems like a generically useful skill for almost any organisation, but perhaps I should expect good web developers to be easier to come by than other kinds of specialists?
I wonder if bioinformatics or computational biology would also be useful.
I'd like to point out that often conversations like this in EA send people the wrong way:
Things that are "known" to be useful for certain domains are often misleading.
A good example is the misconception that devs need ML experience to contribute to AI Safety (which is wrong).
To avoid this kind of mistake, I recommend finding one or more concrete jobs that seem appealing to you (or companies and ask what they need, or something like that).
Nowadays the amounts have to be extremely large before it is worth the effort of setting up a distributed system. You can fit 1 TB of RAM and several hundred TB of disk space in a commodity 4U server at a price equivalent to a couple of weeks of salary + overhead for someone with the skills to set up a high performance cluster, port your software to work on it, or debug the mysterious errors.