Future-Proofing a 15-Year Tech Career with AI for Social Good

Ben, a student Dev Academy's AI Program

November 23, 2023 | AI, Part-Time, Student Life, Student Projects

Ben's story unfolds with the unexpected twist of the COVID-19 lockdown, turning what might have been a setback into an opportunity for profound exploration into AI and tech innovation. As he navigated the challenges of lockdown, Ben became more aware of the profound impact that commercially interested algorithmically driven newsfeeds wielded over people's perceptions and opinions. 

As a master's graduate with a thesis exploring the parallels between nutrition and social media consumption, Ben's unique perspective forms the foundation of his AI project. His vision is to create a local chatbot trained on his Facebook data, resembling a 'nutritionist' for social media habits. He aims to give users insights into their digital consumption, akin to fitness trackers offering a personalised dashboard.

After completing Dev Academy Bootcamp, Ben found himself drawn to Practical AI for Devs after staying in touch with Joshua Vial, Dev Academy co-founder and course facilitator. Ben highlights the course's flexibility by navigating the course from Brisbane, three hours behind New Zealand. Despite different time zones and personal research projects, he finds it convenient to attend classes, thanks to the approximate 12 hours a week on your schedule structure, which fits into Ben's working life. 

Ben's enthusiasm for the course stems from its practicality. He emphasises the course's ability to quickly elevate one's productivity, even for those who could be better-versed in Python, the primary programming language used. The scaffolding provided by Joshua enables participants to navigate the complexities of AI, offering ready-built frameworks, coding systems, and intuitive tools.

Reflecting on his own experience, Ben notes the need for well-documented resources in the rapidly evolving field of AI. The support and guidance provided by Dev Academy alleviated the frustration of searching for resources. The availability of JV on Discord and the assistance from facilitators and peers made a significant difference, turning potential roadblocks into manageable challenges.

Ben's journey underscores the course's potential as a strategic investment for individuals seeking to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving tech landscape. He acknowledges the transformative impact of upskilling and unlocking AI's possibilities for career enhancement and reshaping industries.

Without this course, I would have given up. It's all emerging with no documentation. Dev Academy provided the scaffolding. I'm thrilled with the support and guidance; it's a supportive community always on the spot to help me succeed!"

His advice? Keep it practical. Nailing the technical setup is crucial for newcomers to get it right. The course isn't just education for coders of all levels, from greenhorns to veterans—it's a career rocket. Ben sees it as a stepping stone to a future where AI and code shake hands seamlessly.

As he charges ahead with his AI venture, Ben embodies the transformative journey of upskilling, thriving in a supportive learning haven, and unlocking AI's boundless possibilities. He's already talking about coming back for a refresher course!

Read more about Ben's work promoting healthy social media consumption at Socially Fed.

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