AI Changes Everything: How to Grow Your Tech Career with AI Instead of Being Replaced By It

AI Changes Everything: How to Grow Your Tech Career with AI Instead of Being Replaced By It

As artificial intelligence transforms the tech industry, many hands-on technology professionals face a critical decision – embrace AI as a career booster or risk being replaced by it, writes Michael Gibbs, CEO of Go Cloud Careers. In this article, Michael explores how tech workers can leverage AI to enhance their skills and performance while pivoting into in-demand roles like cloud architect. With an expert perspective drawn from his 25 years of experience, Gibbs provides a timely warning and valuable advice for tech pros looking to future-proof their careers in the age of AI.

If you are a hands-on technology professional, you have an important choice to make. You can either embrace artificial intelligence as a powerful tool for growing your tech career, or you can ignore AI and lose your job to a revolutionary new technology that is more efficient, effective, and affordable than you can ever be.

Don’t wait too long to decide, because AI is already changing everything in the tech space. If you ask ChatGPT — the AI-driven chatbot that exploded onto the tech scene in late 2022 — it will tell you it expects to replace 4.8 million jobs in the US. Goldman Sachs recently reported that as many as 300 million jobs around the world could be replaced by AI-driven technology.  Experts say tech jobs like data analysts, coders, computer programmers, and software engineers are at the top of the list of workers AI could displace.

In the past, cloud engineers configured the cloud, network engineers configured the network, and software engineers wrote the code. Now, AI is poised to do much of that work (and more) that has traditionally kept engineers and other hands-on tech workers busy. Many tech workers who were once in demand are becoming obsolete because of the innovations AI is empowering in the tech space.

Now let me give you some good news. AI will also create a lot of new jobs in the tech space. Those willing to adapt as technology evolves will find that AI will boost their performance and open the door to new opportunities.

Leveraging AI to enhance performance

For some, AI will become a tool that empowers them to do their job better. For example, tech pros can spend a lot of time preparing documentation. Generative AI tools like Bard or ChatGPT can streamline those tasks. While they may not provide the originality or quality required for a finished project, they can provide a draft or template in a matter of seconds that a tech pro can then smooth over and add the finishing touches to.

The same tools can be used by engineers to write stock code. Rather than scouring online code repositories for buggy code that needs to be cleaned up and tweaked for specific projects, engineers can turn to generative AI for the code they need. Using AI for this purpose cuts down significantly on the time and effort engineers must contribute to a project.

At the enterprise level, companies will look to AI tools to allow them to trim back their tech staff. Armed with generative AI, one engineer who knows how to leverage AI can do the work of ten. Now is the time to become an expert at using those tools. Explore which tools and prompts work the best, where they typically fall short, and what steps must be taken to optimize AI-generated content.

Stepping into architecture roles

Moving from roles focused on engineering to roles focused on architecture is another step that will help tech pros grow their career in the AI era. Architects, such as cloud architects and enterprise architects, don’t write code and configure networks. Cloud architects design technology solutions to improve business performance, something that will always be in demand.

Architects have a deep understanding of both the business world and the tech world. They can speak with business leaders in the language of the C-Suite, understand their goals, and develop tech solutions that will help achieve those goals. They can also lead the tech pros who develop and deploy tech systems.

On its own, AI can’t replace the architect. It can’t meet with business leaders, process their pain points, and discern their business challenges. It can’t deliver the soft skills that are critical to the process. It can’t sell executives on a project or motivate the teams that bring projects to life. Tech pros who add those types of skills to their current certifications will find themselves with plenty of opportunities to thrive despite the challenges posed by AI.

If you work in the tech space, consider this a warning. Now is the time to future-proof your career. AI can be your competition or your partner. I recommend you decide now to become the type of tech worker who can provide the skills that complement the new efficiencies AI brings to the tech space.


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