As a basis for discussion:
- Does anyone know stories of people without degrees or PHD’s doing strong research work in their respective fields (submitting co-authoring papers etc)?
- If so, what their journey was like?
- What other companies / organizations have research teams beside Amazon, MSFT, Google?
Some experience of breaking into “researchy” roles & teams:
Note all these folks below that I’ve observed have habits of reading research papers, RFC’s (perhaps expected), they’re pretty phenomenal engineers & people
Friend at Microsoft Research works alongside researchers, they build tools that bring the researchers tools to life; they have to have a solid grasp of the tech side to a certain degree
Friend alongside a team full of CS/Physics PHDs; they spoke at a quantum conference recently
& they do some research; bootcamp grad, dropout
Friend works on database internals / distributed systems, has worked alongside creators of core tech, has presented at conferences, written very strong technical content for his company’s engineering blog (FAANG+ company)
; bootcamp grad, no tech degree
From the outside, breaking into research doesn’t seem impossible, BUT it seems there are some factors that can increase your opportunity:
- Does the current organization have research opportunities/teams?
- Joining the right team/timing; maybe who you know?
- Breaking in from the inside – years at the company, /social capital, reputation internally?