Dear Dev: Worried that AI will overtake you? This workshop will help you “Build software with AI”

Strive Karadzangare Avatar

What first came to your mind when you first heard of or discovered the popular AI model, ChatGPT and its amazing capabilities to understand complex questions and to give concise answers? How about when you first had a glimpse of AI-generated pictures making rounds on social media, that looked so real that you were almost fooled to believe they were real, eg the image of Pope Francis wearing a white puffer jacket? Many of us were undoubtedly awestruck by the level of ingenuity possessed by AI and how capable it now is. Nevertheless, I would like to believe that, not everyone feels this optimistic about the capabilities of AI in general.

| If you are in a hurry; This article is notifying software developers in Harare, Zimbabwe of an upcoming developer workshop on Saturday 27 April 2024. Just click this link to register to attend:

https://gdg.community.dev/events/details/google-gdg-harare-presents-build-with-ai-harare/

According to one of the organisers, everyone is free to attend even if they come from a non-technical background.

I am tempted to believe that many people have convoluted feelings about AI, like I do. Although AI has a lot of positives, it could also have undesirable effects on livelihood. Think of this, AI is now capable of generating artistic masterpieces, writing software code, controlling autonomous vehicles and conducting job interviews. Its applications are virtually innumerable and it is only getting better at doing jobs that used to require human intelligence. No wonder why many people feel threatened by the emergence of AI. More than ever, many people fear for their job security.

It has gotten serious even to the point where popular names in the music industry such as Nicki Minaj, Billie Eilish, Katy Perry and others have signed an open letter calling on tech companies and developers to not undermine human creativity with AI generation tools, (Find the story here). I also read a LinkedIn post in which some influential figures threatened to promote mass boycotts for job interviews conducted by AI.

Will any of these attempts against AI’s pending dominance amount to something? I am no prophet and so I wouldn’t want to place my bet on that. I am just but a humble full-stack developer grappling with the question of whether AI will exterminate my chances of working as a software developer in the future. I was especially astounded to learn of Devin, which is dubbed the world’s first AI software engineer. According to OpenCV, Devin is an autonomous AI model that can plan, analyze, and execute complex code and software engineering tasks with a single prompt. What follows is that AI software development models can generate code and fix bugs faster and unlike humans, those models are not predisposed to fatigue. So what do you think of the future of software developers in the wake of such immense technological advancement? Maybe we should, just like everyone else, attempt to stop AI in its track to widespread dominance.

Whatever the case may be, I have come to learn that no one can single-handedly abate technological change from occurring. “Change is always upon us”, I once wrote, “It usually comes to us, full steam ahead like a huge unstoppable locomotive with great momentum. Our best bet at surviving is on purposefully jumping onto that locomotive of change and moving along with it.” We must adapt, that is.

I still get goosebumps to think that I once conceived such a meaningful and optimistic piece of philosophy. Naturally, when met with crisis or uncertainty, some humans tend to bury their heads in the sand, remaining “blindly” optimistic that any impending changes, (in our case, AI) won’t have any undesirable effect on them. However, on the other end of the spectrum some may tend to feel rightfully threatened by an emerging technology and yet still choose to feel helpless about the situation.

A recent conversation in one of the software developer WhatsApp groups which I am a member of, revealed to me just how much some developers are uncertain about the future, especially with AI in the picture. Will AI eventually wipe out a majority of software developer jobs in the future? Should we view AI as a threat or as an “opportunity”? Well following the optimistic piece of philosophy I previously laid out we should view it as an “opportunity” to enhance our, workflow as developers. We could even integrate it into the software products which we build to give users a seamless experience. Using AI we could develop AI-powered search features in our apps, chatbots and umm, yeah umm.

I ran short of quick examples as I wrote that part, because I am yet to up my game in terms of learning about AI and all its offerings. That goes to show that if we are to envisage practical use cases for AI in the software that we develop, we have to be well versed with what it is capable of and how it may be utilised with various kinds of software development tools. There is also a need for some “inspired” horizontal thinking or thinking outside the box in terms of realising possible areas in which AI can be utilised. Thought leaders on AI technology call it “developer empowerment”, in the wake of AI programming assistants. That means that a developer has to continuously learn and gain perspectives from their colleagues through tech workshops, online forums and blog posts.

That’s why I was particularly thrilled to learn that a Google Developer Group in Harare will be hosting a workshop for all software developers, on Saturday 27 April 2024. The workshop is themed, “Build with AI Harare”.

Registration Link: https://gdg.community.dev/events/details/google-gdg-harare-presents-build-with-ai-harare/

Venue: Impact Hub Harare, 194 Baines Avenue Harare

Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM GMT+2

The workshop description reads A walkthrough on building using Gemini AI and Vertex AI. In this session, we will be building a realtime conversational app using Google Gemini AI using Node/Web/Flutter. Our session will include integration of Gemini AI to projects using JavaScript, then we will also host a NodeJS workshop to complete a walkthrough on how to build on the Web.

In addition to the main agenda listed in the description, I am sure the workshop will present huge networking opportunities. I have also been told that even though the event description fits software developers, the talks that will be presented cater for everyone including those from non-technical backgrounds. I am really looking forward to it. See you there.

Strive Karadzangare is an Audiology Graduate, a self-taught Fullstack Developer (React & NodeJS) and Tech Enthusiast. I enjoy building good looking web and mobile applications. I am currently building a group meals planner and food budget app using React Native. Also learning Java as I look forward to landing my first internship role.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/strive-karadzangare-88902311a/
Email: strikay8 at gmail

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11 comments

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  1. Xon

    Ai is going to take the world by storm

    1. John Doe

      When?

  2. Cde Ernesto Che Guevara

    AI is taking the world by storm. I now find it easy to search about certain things without surfing on the web. When I’m even bored sometimes I chat with AI bot. The only problem is that the type of AI I use is sometimes a bit swamped

  3. Admire Kamutimbe Safe AI Researcher

    Dear author, thank you for event notice. There is more to AI than software development. AI is far and wide .Depending on what you are trying to achieve at a given point in your time, your expirience of AI is created. One could know so much about AI that is not linked to coding. Complete Automation and super intelligence is all thats left to occur as expected. Google , has contributed immensely towards AI through Gemini just as Microsoft via vested interests in Open AI. And these two major players will drive humanity towards it’s down fall.

    We need to cover all angles of AI otherwise the topic remains vague.

  4. Fargo

    Ai will never take people’s jobs . In turn it will create a plethora of new opportunities and those who will be smart enough to adapt with will come up on top . New technologies come up every time and we as a civilization just have to adapt with it

    1. Strive Karadzangare

      Yeah, that’s what I have been made to realise, especially after attending the event earlier in the day.

      Although AI has so much capability and the promise of boosting productivity, it is still dependent on human input in some way or another. For example it’s still pretty much a human task to decide on which AI model to utilise for a certain problem. Also, whether they have to be used in conjunction or if they must be augmented in some way.

      Therefore, what may just happen in the change of roles in the wake of AI , some roles will slowly become extinct while a lot more, such as prompt engineering, will emerge.

      I guess some of what emerging AIs are claimed to do is sensationalised and hyped for publicity sake. Therefore leaving many people uncertain of the future. That’s why it is important to have accurate knowledge being publicised about AI

      1. Cephas Gambe

        Yeah you’re right right but we need to remember that because of restrictions in Zimbabwe some AI chatbots don’t work for example ChatGPT which is restricted in Zimbabwe using it is considered a crime,but we all know that the law enforcers of Zimbabwe are noobs so you can use anyway you like
        Not forgetting about data issues

        1. X

          Traditionally technology ended up creating more jobs than it took but quite recently it has been taking more jobs and creating less, good example is netflix, at it’s peak boxoffice had more a million workers in it’s distribution network and netflix employees almost 15 thousand, do the maths, AI is going to be more disruptive than any technology we have experienced before, being a realist I think we should stop this behavior of sugar coating stuff, change is coming and it’s going to hit us hard let’s brace ourselves for a crash landing

  5. Nitpik

    Pandoras box has been busted open, there’s a world before and after Ai. Jobs will be lost of course that’s the point of innovation economists call it labor substitution but it won’t be as hard here with these data prices. These are interesting times we’re in for

  6. Skynet

    If Zimbabwe doesn’t adapt and incorporate AI in our various sectors we might fail to catch up with more developed nations.AI use is likely going to improve production in all sectors such as Mining, Agriculture,health, education, manufacturing and entertainment. The quality of products that will be produced with help of AI will definitely be greater.In the mining sector, exploration and mapping of mineral deposits will be faster and more accurate this can even improve mining operations as you can predict mining yield more accurately before you even start. AI will do wonders. But it should be noted that AI can also be of harm because it is designed to be more beneficial to the wealthy ruling class than it is to the working class it will slowly take over the jobs of the working class as it improves.Who wants to employ someone when there is a machine that can do it faster,better and cheaper.

  7. Iqra Technology

    Dear Strive,

    Your article beautifully captures the spectrum of emotions and uncertainties surrounding the rise of AI in the world of software development. It’s understandable that many developers, including yourself, may feel a mix of awe, apprehension, and curiosity about the implications of AI on their careers and the industry as a whole.

    Your analogy of technological change being like an unstoppable locomotive is both poignant and accurate. Indeed, as you rightly point out, adaptation is key to thriving in an ever-evolving landscape. Embracing AI as an opportunity rather than viewing it solely as a threat is a refreshing perspective.

    Your enthusiasm for learning more about AI and its potential applications shines through, and it’s inspiring to see your proactive approach to staying abreast of technological advancements. The upcoming workshop you mentioned sounds like a fantastic opportunity for developers in Harare to delve deeper into AI and explore its integration into their projects.

    Your journey from Audiology Graduate to self-taught Fullstack Developer is impressive, and your dedication to building impactful applications is evident. The group meals planner and food budget app you’re working on using React Native sounds intriguing, and it’s exciting to hear about your ventures into Java as well.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with such honesty and enthusiasm. Your article serves as a reminder that, while the future may be uncertain, it’s also full of endless possibilities for those willing to embrace change and continuously learn and adapt.

    Best wishes for your future endeavors, and I hope the workshop proves to be both enlightening and enriching for you and your fellow developers.

    Warm regards,
    [Iqra Technology]
    https://iqratechnology.com/academy/

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