The artificial intelligence revolution has swept across the globe and is now infiltrating every industry, including software development. The number of AI software engineer positions has grown in the last few years, and skills such as machine learning and data mining are some of the most sought-after on the market. Becoming an AI software engineer is not an easy task. However, it can be rewarding considering the skyrocketing demand for these positions.
What is an AI software engineer?
The AI software engineer is a specialized position responsible for designing, implementing, and integrating software with AI to analyze data, predict future events, and make decisions.
AI engineers are developers & programmers that help to create, program, and teach AI algorithms how to think like humans. They develop artificial intelligence software and applications that will suit the particular needs of a business hence they need to be experts in software development, data science, data engineering, and programming.
Unlike data engineers, AI engineers are more focused on what they can do with the data after cleaning it up for analysis. An AI engineer extracts data efficiently from a variety of different sources, builds and tests their own machine learning models, and deploys them using either embedded code or application program interface (API) calls.
What skills are needed to become an AI software engineer?
If you want to work in this field, you need to have the right skills, and quite a few of them are, in fact, quantitative. Specifically, you need to be well versed in statistics, computer science, machine learning, and AI.
If you don’t have any of those skills, either get a degree or take AI courses and try to get certified. The first thing you should know is that AI doesn’t make sense unless you know how to build one. You have to have programming skills and must be able to understand machine learning algorithms. If you’re able to understand these algorithms, then you’ll be able to write code and develop your own software. Once you are able to write software, then you’ll need to focus on data management and other critical components of data processing.
How do you become an AI software engineer?
Becoming an AI software engineer requires both a strong analytical and theoretical background and an adaptable nature. It is most likely that you will work on software that uses AI to enhance existing products and services or create entirely new solutions.
- Get a degree or certification in computer information science
Start by exploring your interests and doing research on the topic, as it is not as simple as just picking up a computer science degree.
The first step is to identify which type of AI you want to specialize in. You can choose from areas such as natural language processing, deep learning, neural networks, machine learning, and more. Then you will need to learn about the programming languages used by that field.
You have to learn the foundations of artificial intelligence which is computer information science. Most workplaces will require some sort of college degree or certification in computer science to show that you’ve learned the basics of programming and algorithms. Understanding the core principles of the field will give you a solid foundation and help you decide on a career path.
- Sharpen your skills
After acquiring a degree in computer science or getting certified, it is important to develop both technical and personal skills to be a successful AI engineer. You have to build technical competencies which include:
- Programming Languages
- Statistical Knowledge
- Machine Learning
- Natural Language Processing
- Deep Learning Neural Systems
- Big Data Technologies
Technical skills such as programming and data processing are necessary to build AI systems, but building AI systems is not just about technical skills.
Communication and creativity are the keys to success in this field. Communication builds connections and strengthens relationships while creativity is needed because it generates new ideas and solutions to problems. These two skills enable teams of people to be more productive, which results in success for any project.
- Build your profile and work experience
Though AI is still relatively new, there are many employers that don’t require employees to have formal higher education qualifications. What they’re looking for instead is a combination of online training, reading around the topic, and experience in the field.
The more work experience you have, the better your chances of being picked for a good-paying AI engineer job. You can search on software engineer research sites to have an overview of the current job and salary trend.
Having at least one year in the field and extensive work experience will give an individual a significant advantage in this competitive market. In addition, having a good portfolio of your previous projects will help you get hired.
- Stay in the loop with the current AI trend
With the growth of the AI industry, it has become vitally important for professionals to stay up-to-date on the latest knowledge. There are many resources available to help them do just that. Many companies offer free courses and learning materials, in addition to a variety of in-person opportunities for professional development. Ultimately the quality of the AI system you create will be determined by how well it keeps up with and incorporates changes in the programming world.