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AI, Career Development, Coding

ChatGPT: A Tool, Not an Enemy for Tech Jobs

General Assembly
March 8, 2023

Have you tried ChatGPT yet?

Open AI’s latest chatbot is gaining people’s attention globally for its human-like responses and sophisticated capabilities. From writing stories and workout plans to essays, code, and more — at first use, it seems like there’s nothing ChatGPT can’t do. 

But what exactly is ChatGPT? And, more importantly, why should you care? 

ChatGPT is a natural language processing software that launched in December 2022. It’s a chatbot that answers your questions in real-time based on a huge pool of internet data and other sources. 

As natural language processing software becomes increasingly prevalent in life and at work, it will impact the way we operate. While you don’t need to worry about AI robots taking over any time soon, you do need to stay on top of these tech advancements and adapt as needed. 

With a proper understanding of their capabilities, AI tools won’t be a threat to you. They’ll be an aid. In this article, we’ll explore why ChatGPT is a helpful tool for people working in tech, how it can enhance productivity, and the soft skills that are more important than ever. 

Transforming tech jobs: 6 Examples of how AI tools can help

Don’t worry, ChatGPT isn’t going to take over your job any time soon. 

While the tool might seem as sophisticated as a human, accuracy is one of its biggest weaknesses. The website itself states,  “ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers. Fixing this issue is challenging[…]” 

But just because it’s not perfect doesn’t mean you should discount it altogether. ChatGPT and AI tools like it are revolutionizing how we work. Think less tedious tasks and more productivity. 

There are a lot of ways in which ChatGPT can help you be more productive and efficient. Below are some examples of how AI tools can be a helpful resource for some of the most promising careers in tech: Engineering, Data Analysis, and Data Science.

How engineers can use AI tools

Is ChatGPT the end of software engineers? Definitely not. Demand for software engineers isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, it’s supposed to grow a whopping 25% by 2031.

Increasingly, software engineers are turning to AI to help accelerate their work in several capacities, including: 

Code generation

While ChatGPT can’t be relied on solely for code generation, it’s a great place to begin — so you don’t need to start from scratch. Leaning on AI tools can help reduce the risk of bugs and increase productivity.

For this reason, software development AI tools are popping up left, right, and center, like Amazon’s Code Whisperer or DeepMind’s AlphaCode

Documentation

Documentation is essential for software engineers as it provides a clear and concise record of a project’s design, development, and operation. But it’s also a tedious part of the job. With ChatGPT, engineers can quickly create technical documentation for their projects so that they can focus their attention on more critical tasks. 

How data analysts can use AI tools

While ChatGPT won’t threaten a career in data analysis, it will alter what the job looks like. Instead of focusing on tasks that can be automated, companies will rely on data analysts for their complex problem-solving skills and strategic planning.

There are many ways ChatGPT can assist data analysts, including:

Natural language processing

Data analysts can use ChatGPT’s natural language processing capabilities to analyze unstructured data, such as social media comments or customer reviews, and extract insights from them. This can be particularly useful in sentiment analysis, where analysts need to determine the overall sentiment of large volumes of text.

Define data structures

Organizing data is half the battle and can take a lot of upfront work to do right. ChatGPT can help you decide on the best way to collect data, like what rows to include in a database or how to format your spreadsheet for a particular data set.

How data scientists can use AI tools

Much like its role for engineers and data analysts, ChatGPT can help data scientists streamline their workflows and automate more tedious tasks prone to error so that they can focus on more strategic work. 

Data Cleaning and Preparation 

Any data analyst will tell you your data needs to be clean before analyzing. This can be a tedious process, and it can be challenging to spot the errors. ChatGPT can assist data scientists in cleaning and preparing data by suggesting ways to deal with missing values, identifying outliers, and normalizing data.

SQL queries 

ChatGPT can help data scientists create and optimize their SQL queries. The tool can generate SQL queries based on natural language inputs. By understanding the intent behind the query, ChatGPT can develop the appropriate SQL code for the desired outcome. When optimizing the code, you can simply input the query, and the tool will identify areas of improvement, like different join types or indexing strategies.

These are just a handful of the ways in which ChatGPT can work with people to make their jobs easier and their output more efficient. As we mentioned before, accuracy isn’t the tool’s greatest strength, so always ensure you review ChatGPT’s work.

Soft skills to learn and improve

Some hard skills can be automated, but qualities like empathy and creativity can’t. Those are uniquely human. 

Machines can’t replace the soft skills humans bring to the table. You’d be hard-pressed to find a job that doesn’t require them. The following are necessary skills to learn to excel in your tech career. 

Communication skills

Effective workplace communication is incredibly important and can’t be done through technology alone. While ChatGPT can be used to communicate some types of information, it can’t match the nuanced communication skills of a human being. 

Human communication involves active listening, empathy, and understanding the context and tone of a conversation. Without it, projects and overall work culture are bound for disaster. 

Emotional intelligence

A huge part of a successful career is your interpersonal relationships. How do you interact with people? Do you pick up on the emotions of those around you and respond appropriately? 

While AI can provide data-driven insights and analysis, it can’t read emotions or understand the emotional impact of a situation. That’s a skill only you can bring to the table — and it’s an essential part of navigating work life. 

Creativity

ChatGPT collects its data from existing sources — Wikipedia, books, news articles, etc. Without any agency, the tool can’t think outside of the box.

So while it can come up with answers and insights with a click of a button, it has no creativity. Only humans have the ability to generate new ideas and find innovative solutions. Creativity is an incredibly powerful skill and one that needs to be nurtured. Don’t underestimate your creative abilities. 

Collaboration

As the age-old saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work. Collaborating with your team and cross-functionally is a necessary part of productivity. Understanding how different people work best and picking up on all the nuances involved in working with others is essential. After all, you won’t hit goals alone. 

Leadership

Do you want to report to a robot? Of course not. 

Leadership involves inspiring and motivating others, setting a vision and direction, and making decisions that benefit the team and organization. These are things that AI tools will never be able to do. 

Note, you don’t need to be in a leadership position for this to be an important skill. Showing leadership capabilities will help you progress in your tech career, no matter your seniority level or role.

These are just a few of the areas of improvement at work that will always be relevant. By upskilling not only your hard skills but also the qualities listed above, you’re setting yourself up for success. 

A future with AI

Don’t let fear of change or insecurity hinder you from adapting to the latest technology. In tech, new tools will continue to emerge and get increasingly sophisticated. This doesn’t make human talent obsolete. 

Roles might evolve, and it’s important to evolve with them by continuing to stay on top of the latest technology, using it to your benefit, and constantly upskilling. In short, it’s essential to never stop learning. 

Refresh your skills and find a new sense of confidence and excitement for what’s to come by taking a General Assembly refresher course.

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