Wiki Contributions


Should I go straight into EA community-building after graduation or do software engineering first?

I don't feel more than 50% confident that I want to do a community-building or meta-EA career path. Community-building might be over-represented in the career plan I sketched out above, as until a few days ago, I hadn't seriously considered the idea that software engineering or machine learning engineering for AI safety were things that I could be qualified to contribute to.

(Previously, I thought that AI safety ML engineering positions were exceedingly competitive, and I didn't know that software engineering for AI safety was much of a thing. My update was from browsing the Anthropic job board and noticing the lack of hard requirements for many of these positions, and from people on the EA Corner Discord thinking it was doable to get an AI safety position. I also re-read "AI Safety Needs Great Engineers" with a fresh perspective. The first time I read it, I was thinking, "wow, I have no idea how to write a substantial pull request to a major machine learning library; therefore, I can't work in AI safety". The second time I read it, I paid more attention to the sentence "Based on the people working here already, 'great software engineer' and 'easy to get on with' are hard requirements, but the things in the list above are very much nice-to-haves, with several folks having just one or none of them.")