AI Developer: Decision-Maker. Pragmatic Leader. Generalist.
by Modev Staff Writers on May 5, 2023
It is 2023 and AI innovation is taking off. The world’s largest e-commerce giant Alibaba uses NLP to automatically generate product descriptions and AI algorithms to reduce traffic jams; Netflix’s recommendation engine is worth $1 billion a year, and this is just the beginning.
AI is reshaping the way digital transformation processes are organized. 83% of businesses say AI is a strategic priority for their business, which means companies need professionals who can not only build and guide digital transformation journeys but also build and guide AI and digital transformation journeys. We are stepping into an age where digital transformation and AI go hand in hand.
But who is simplifying and speeding up AI transformation? Who is making this transition for companies smooth, painless, and above all - profitable?
On the journey of launching or implementing a new AI solution, the AI developer becomes not only the end user but one of the first decision-makers. The software industry has undergone a power shift from selling software to using software to sell. As a result, free trials have become the norm, as customers are unwilling to pay for a product without testing it out first.
But who is actually an AI Developer?
Image is generated with the help of DALL-E 2
It cannot be argued that AI developers play a crucial role in the decision-making process when it comes to implementing new AI tools. They are responsible for ensuring that the tools are designed to meet the needs and requirements of the customer, are reliable and accurate, and can be easily integrated into existing systems and workflows. AI developers work closely with other stakeholders, such as business analysts and senior managers, to ensure that the AI tools are aligned with the overall goals and strategies of the organization. Ultimately, the decision to implement a new AI tool is a collaborative effort that involves multiple stakeholders, but AI developers jump on that process first.
How much do we know about professionals who are capable of building, customizing, and influencing buying decisions of advanced artificial intelligence systems? What will make them work for your company?
Insights from users of revolutionary technology.
As AI becomes more prevalent, developers will have a greater impact on the decisions made by businesses and organizations. At Modev, we built a detailed audience profile of AI developers, which provides a glimpse into the characteristics and preferences of AI developers. The profile includes information on the demographics, job responsibilities, and interests of AI developers, as well as their preferred communication channels, challenges, and motivations.
This information can be helpful for companies looking to hire or work with AI developers, as it can provide a better understanding of their needs and preferences.
This short video is a showcase of the User Persona Profile of AI Developer.
Download AI Developer User Profile
In this blog post, we will dive into the analysis of the most important characteristics of the user persona.
To build a user profile, it is necessary to gather and analyze data from various sources. The process involves researching and analyzing social media profiles, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook. Additionally, conducting in-depth interviews with the target audience can provide valuable insights. Finally, researching online chats on platforms like Discord, Twitter, Reddit, or Slack can reveal important questions, pain points, and different ideas discussed by the target audience. Combining and analyzing these different data sources is crucial to building an accurate and comprehensive user profile.
The data collected from various sources is analyzed and presented in a visually appealing format using slides. Companies looking to hire or work with AI developers can benefit from this information to better understand the needs and preferences of this critical role.
Download AI Developer User Profile
Let's dive deep into the User Persona of AI Developer!
First, it is important to outline that profile of AI developer is built on the analysis of the profiles of different AI specialists. Data engineers, ML engineers, and data scientists - all have a role in building an AI solution. Take a look at some of the Titles of real AI specialists that were analyzed by Modev:
AI Developer at Work: Pragmatic Leader
AI professionals, while they are capable of creating software, have spent a significant amount of time and resources focusing on something other than engineering. The amount of time spent on meetings versus programming varies depending on the project and its status.
- On average, AI developers spend about two-thirds of their time programming, but some days may be entirely composed of meetings or programming.
- New software development takes up roughly 50% of their time, while the remaining time is spent on validating new queries or analytic code, profiling implementations to assess their speed and correctness, or participating in code reviews.
- When new data is received, one or two team members may spend a full day cleansing and renormalizing the data before loading it into the database.
- AI professionals come from a variety of backgrounds, but most hold degrees in computer science or mathematics, with about 20% holding PhDs.
AI Developers describe their work challenges as follows:
As an AI engineer, I know firsthand how building an AI model can be challenging and time-consuming. It's not uncommon to be a disconnect between the ambitious goals of managers and executives and what we as AI engineers can realistically achieve within the given time constraints and resources.
I've also seen how frequently artificial intelligence is misunderstood, and its capabilities can be overestimated.
When an organization has low-quality data, we have to spend a significant amount of time cleaning and preparing the data to make it compatible with a model.
According to the statistics, AI Developers stay in a job for less than one year. It can be explained by the way they perceive their work in general.
User research shows the purpose of the job for them is to make money and provide for their family. Unlike the common attitude towards work spread out by influencers’ “You need to be passionate about your mission and share the company’s values”, AI developers employees are seeing their job as a job, they are not trying to find a deeper purpose and meaning in it. Moreover, a filled with false positivity work culture will only push them away rather than attract them. They experience fulfillment in their work when tasks are done correctly and when managers show their appreciation.
Being a Generalist is a Necessity
Modev learned the online behavior of AI developers with a special emphasis on what they post, share, and recommend on social media. Among the 15 Slides of the AI Developer Profile, there’s a Slide under the title “Books”. Lots of content that gets impressions from AI developers includes book recommendations.
Many AI developers share the following book with their audience:
A new book called "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World" argues you can be more successful in life if you learn different things and don't try to be an expert. Author David Epstein says diverse experiences are helpful in science, music, parenting, and even sports.
Just 5-8 years ago, software developers were specialists in a specific language and industry. But the age of hyperspecialization has ended with the beginning of the Generative AI revolution.
AI developers are becoming generalists because of the constantly evolving nature of their field. They need to stay current with the latest tools, techniques, and best practices, as well as have a broad range of skills that can be applied to a variety of projects. Additionally, as AI becomes more prevalent, developers will have a greater impact on the decisions made by businesses and organizations, which requires them to have a diverse set of skills and experiences.
AI Developers are generalists.
“Everyone used to say that AI will help but not replace jobs. Well, I'm a developer, and GPT-4 can do in minutes, what I can do in a week.
Since a PM job is a generalist job that involves strategy and communication. I feel AI will help PMs in their jobs but not replace them. Should I consider switching to PM?”
AI developers believe, that in the future, programming will be drastically different due to the integration of AI into code editors and decision-making processes. As networks become too large for humans to manage, AI will become more prevalent in other fields as well. However, those in the field can remain relevant by continually learning and adapting to new tools and methodologies, rather than focusing on deep knowledge of specific languages.
Thoughts of AI Developers on the Future of Programming:
“Programming will not be the same 5-10 years from now, no less 30. AI is already integrated into code editors that can make suggestions for classes or functions. Also, networks have gotten so large (cloud) with so many variables, humans can no longer successfully manage them and will be looking to AI to make decisions. I'm sure AI will find itself inserted into the decision tree in other fields too.
However, if you get into the field, you will continue to learn, grow, and adapt to your skillset remain relevant.
For example, 5/10/15 years ago, there were a lot more 'software' jobs that involved writing code (development). You'd find a lot of applications written in Java and C# and employers would look for folks who had a deep knowledge of Java for example. Now I'd say 'software' jobs have shifted focus to using tools to augment and enhance applications as well as managing deployment pipelines into production ('engineering' if you will).
The point is, the requirements and relevant skill sets will always be changing (no one cares if you're a Java genius imo). It's what type of position you get into that matters. You should look for a position that works with modern tools and methodologies to keep yourself relevant”.
Download AI Developer User Profile
In the next article, we will talk about the AI Developer Journey Map and A New Type of Influencer AI Developers follow.
Join us and thousands of AI developers at VOICE & AI Sept 5-7 in Washington, DC. Get your ticket here.
Modev believes that markets are made and thus focuses on bringing together the right ingredients to accelerate market growth. Modev has been instrumental in the growth of mobile applications, cloud, and generative AI, and is exploring new markets such as climate tech. Founded in 2008 on the simple belief that human connection is vital in the era of digital transformation, Modev makes markets by bringing together high-profile key decision-makers, partners, and influencers. Today, Modev produces market-leading events such as VOICE & AI, ESG Tech Summit and the soon to be released Developers.AI series of hands-on training events. Modev staff, better known as "Modevators," include community building and transformation experts worldwide.
To learn more about Modev, and the breadth of events offered live and virtually, visit Modev's website and join Modev on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.