Obligatory post about artificial intelligence by Josh Sherman

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Within the tech community, it seems like all we’re talking about these days is AI, ChatGPT, alternatives, and the like. Recently, I had a chance to hang out with someone outside of the tech community, and they actually brought up ChatGPT to me, and how they took advantage of it.

But also, they mentioned that they saw this thing on Twitter about how this respected source had ChatGPT experiment and teach it how to replicate the code and, and, and we’re doomed.

I figured at this point it was probably worth a post to get my thoughts down on the matter. Fair warning, some of these opinions will probably offend.

AI is going to take my job.

I hear this a lot, usually in jest, but then there are people who actually seem legitimately afraid that their ability to generate income is now in jeopardy.

To every person who mentioned this to me, those of you who seem hesitant to even bother with the shiny new toys we have, I have to agree, AI is going to take your job.

Not even because the technology is going to be so advanced that you are now obsolete. No, you will lose your job because the most sought after people will leverage the tools and technology to be leaps and bounds better than they would have done with them.

I remember how people used to talk about the 10x key. With things like ChatGPT and AI coding assistants, I think we’ll soon be talking about 100x more developers.

This is an extinction event for junior developers.

Speaking of developers, the last time I hired a back-end engineer, it became very apparent that the market was flooded with newly minted, bootcamp-trained, “full-stack” developers.

Fun fact: they’re easy to spot because they almost always use the same exact template for their resumes. Also their work history looks more like a list of chores than actual jobs, because it probably is.

Now that’s not to say I’m against people improving themselves and/or changing careers, but the fact is junior developers add a lot of drag to a team.

Not every company or team is at the point where they can take on the tow of someone who will likely consume more than they produce in their young state.

Not only that, but if engineering talent grows exponentially, the gap between a reliable mid-level engineer and someone just starting out is going to be even more massive than it is now.

But if there is no need for junior developers, how will people break into the industry?

The same way most of their peers did in the past. We hacked the computer because we enjoyed it, not because we were trained on it. We built things, we messed around, and when we entered the job market we already had years of experience.

Stack on access to more tools, I won’t be shocked when we have kids graduating high school and their first job is as a senior engineer.

In my day, something something, coding in the snow, yada yada, but it built character.

Old man jokes aside, I believe people should learn how to code instead of just diving in and leveraging these tools. Depending on where you are in terms of your engineering career, AI can level you up, or it can be a crutch that keeps you from learning.

In this developing world dependent on artificial intelligence, people still need to know how to do things. Shit happens, often, and just relying on those crutches will leave you pretty exhausted when the AI ​​is down, or hell, when the AI ​​doesn’t actually know the answer to a question.

Do you think AI knows how to debug an offline web server at 4am after drinking a few too many beers? I would say “maybe”, but I actually asked ChatGPT what I should do because my web server is down, and it just came up with a bunch of general stuff to try.

Funny enough, it didn’t even list the first two things I would check. am i able ssh into the box, and is the web server even running?

It will get worse before it gets better.

It’s the wild west right now. In addition to people who are afraid of new things, there are also a lot of obnoxious people out there who leverage artificial intelligence and pass it off as if it were their job.

I’m not even talking about asking ChatGPT to do an emotional analysis of Piggy M Beelzebub and cheat on homework. I’m talking about people trying to communicate whole ideas on their own instead of acknowledging that they got some help, singing the praises of technology.

Although at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter, because let’s be honest, we all search the internet when we don’t know something. At some point the use of artificial intelligence will be as ubiquitous as this, but until then, if we’re all going to level up as a society, we absolutely need to sell the benefits, rather than hoard it in a vain attempt to look like the smartest person in the room.

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