How should one start a career in machine learning?

This question was originally asked and answered on Quora, by Xavier Amatriain, VP of engineering at Quora, and a few other people also contributed. Here we provide Xavier's answer. 

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Comment by Héctor Droguett on November 19, 2016 at 8:09pm
I am doing myself a favor learning R and Python.
Comment by Philipp Probst on March 3, 2016 at 8:00am

Do yourself a favor and learn R. ;)

Comment by Vincent Granville on March 2, 2016 at 6:12am

Increasingly, many are coming from an even different background: domain experts with some real experience working with data. For instance biologist, astronomer, mechanical engineer, statistician, nuclear physicist, and so on. Some of these people have worked on signal processing, optimization, clustering, and related fields. The transition to ML and data science is usually smooth.

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