MAXX Potential

Eddie Cardwell

Data Analyst, Hamilton Beach Brands

By MAXX Potential

Eddie worked as an Apprentice for over a year and a half, gaining valuable on-the-job tech experience before he exited MAXX Potential to work at Hamilton Beach Brands as a Data Analyst.

What were you doing before MAXX Potential? What drew you to pursue a career in technology?

I was a Florist at Coleman Brothers Flowers before MAXX. 

I’ve always found myself gravitating towards computers, eager to understand how they functioned and what they could do. This curiosity led me to delve deeper into coding, software development, and machine learning. I believed that my career in technology would allow me to combine my natural curiosity, problem-solving skills, and passion for making a meaningful difference in the world.

Can you talk about what you’re currently working on? What are some of your job responsibilities?

I am currently working on projects that use SQL, Python, Machine Learning, and Power BI to clean and present data to help the business make better decisions and improve productivity. 

Below is part of the actual list of responsibilities from the job posting:

  • Collect and validate data and apply advanced statistical methods to identify trends.  
  • Contribute to the development of data structures that support the generation of business insights and strategic decision-making. 
  • Maintain and execute data infrastructure and self-sustained scripts for periodic reporting processes.  
  • Assist in the periodic validation of extracted and transformed data through self-sustained scripts.  
  • Support the Supply Chain Ops, Quality Engineering, Sales, among other departments in maintaining automated reports, code libraries and extracts, and develop ad-hoc reports as needed.  
  • Perform data analysis, visualizations, and utilize appropriate metrics and dashboards to meet business requirements. 

Aid the Analytics Team in creating management dashboards and reports using Power BI and migrate existing Tableau reports to Power BI.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your current role?

The work my team does has a substantial impact on the company’s decision-making process. Knowing that my work contributes directly to the success and growth of the organization is extremely rewarding.

How do you keep your skills up to date? What’s the best way to learn new concepts, technologies, programming languages, etc.?

I keep my skills up to date by taking online courses, and constantly discussing and working on side projects with friends and coworkers.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone early in their IT career or looking to get their start?

My advice would be to build a solid technical foundation by getting as much hands-on experience as possible. Start your own project for something you are passionate about and never be afraid to ask questions. Stay Curious.

 

Interested in becoming or working with a MAXX Apprentice? Attend Career Lab or explore MAXX Business Solutions.

MORE POSTS

Eddie Cardwell

Data Analyst, Hamilton Beach Brands

By MAXX Potential

Eddie worked as an Apprentice for over a year and a half, gaining valuable on-the-job tech experience before he exited MAXX Potential to work at Hamilton Beach Brands as a Data Analyst.

What were you doing before MAXX Potential? What drew you to pursue a career in technology?

I was a Florist at Coleman Brothers Flowers before MAXX. 

I’ve always found myself gravitating towards computers, eager to understand how they functioned and what they could do. This curiosity led me to delve deeper into coding, software development, and machine learning. I believed that my career in technology would allow me to combine my natural curiosity, problem-solving skills, and passion for making a meaningful difference in the world.

Can you talk about what you’re currently working on? What are some of your job responsibilities?

I am currently working on projects that use SQL, Python, Machine Learning, and Power BI to clean and present data to help the business make better decisions and improve productivity. 

Below is part of the actual list of responsibilities from the job posting:

  • Collect and validate data and apply advanced statistical methods to identify trends.  
  • Contribute to the development of data structures that support the generation of business insights and strategic decision-making. 
  • Maintain and execute data infrastructure and self-sustained scripts for periodic reporting processes.  
  • Assist in the periodic validation of extracted and transformed data through self-sustained scripts.  
  • Support the Supply Chain Ops, Quality Engineering, Sales, among other departments in maintaining automated reports, code libraries and extracts, and develop ad-hoc reports as needed.  
  • Perform data analysis, visualizations, and utilize appropriate metrics and dashboards to meet business requirements. 

Aid the Analytics Team in creating management dashboards and reports using Power BI and migrate existing Tableau reports to Power BI.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your current role?

The work my team does has a substantial impact on the company’s decision-making process. Knowing that my work contributes directly to the success and growth of the organization is extremely rewarding.

How do you keep your skills up to date? What’s the best way to learn new concepts, technologies, programming languages, etc.?

I keep my skills up to date by taking online courses, and constantly discussing and working on side projects with friends and coworkers.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone early in their IT career or looking to get their start?

My advice would be to build a solid technical foundation by getting as much hands-on experience as possible. Start your own project for something you are passionate about and never be afraid to ask questions. Stay Curious.

 

Interested in becoming or working with a MAXX Apprentice? Attend Career Lab or explore MAXX Business Solutions.

Demystifying Spooky AI Technology Fears

How AI Technology Benefits Employees and Companies

By MAXX Potential

From science fiction to reality, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology evokes many emotions in humans, whether it is fear or intrigue. AI technology has become a part of our daily lives from the in-home speakers that answer our questions to chatGPT and other LLMs that have revolutionized software’s generative capabilities. It’s exciting and terrifying.

Tech professionals guess at what these advancements will mean for humans, and some people experience so much fear about what AI could mean for our world. We wanted to talk about some of those spooky AI technology fears and do our best to demystify them.

Body Snatching: AI will replace human jobs

As language learning models, automation, and machine learning advances, it’s no surprise that workers fear for their jobs. Common questions circulate: Will machines replace humans? How can I protect my job? What can I do to work with AI now?

Some version of automation has been in use since the 1700s to handle repetitive tasks, and yet, the skill of automation now can be seen as scary. Automation and machines should replace workers who may face dangerous scenarios every day where a machine would be better equipped and safer to handle the work. 

“While I do believe that years later AI will take away some jobs I do believe that it will open many other types of job opportunities that could be more technical or something that we never would have thought of before.” Says James Stanley, MAXX Apprentice, in “From Hobby to Innovation: Exploring AI Passion Projects.”

The truth is that AI technology is inspiring workers to reimagine job roles.  AI allows humans to focus on higher-level responsibilities that use skills like critical thinking, creativity, and empathy. AI can enable workers to be more productive, take on more fulfilling responsibilities, and create entirely new types of jobs. With thoughtful implementation, AI can be harnessed to create positive economic and workforce impacts.

Poltergeist Prejudice: Perpetuated Bias, Ethical Concerns, and Irresponsibility

AI technology speeds up tasks like sorting through resumes for a job opening or tracking data. With that said, AI systems can inherit and amplify existing societal biases. This raises a number of concerns as more and more organizations turn to AI technologies for the automation capabilities. 

A National Institute of Standards and Technology report shared a study of 189 facial recognition algorithms and how most of them demonstrated bias. The researchers reported that the technology falsely identified Black and Asian faces 10 to 100 times more often than they did white faces. Women were also more often falsely identified.

Governments seek to determine best ways to regulate AI with New York City being the first to pass a law in 2021 with rules enforced this July. Thoughtful design and smart governance frameworks are required to ensure that AI doesn’t perpetuate societal problems. Companies and governments deploying AI must audit for biases, ensure transparency, evaluate use cases carefully, and institute human oversight measures.

In a “New Regulatory Approach to Facial Recognition,” Jason Schultz, a professor at the New York University School of Law, believes that facial recognition companies must consider new, consent-based approaches to their image gathering as right-of-publicity claims gain momentum. As technology advances so too must the guiding principles and frameworks to protect privacy, avoid bias, and disrupt irresponsibility.

AI Data Voodoo: Protecting User Data While Leveraging AI

Data breaches are scary, and bad actors are discovering new ways to use AI technologies to access user information, such as the AI-controlled botnet data breach with TaskRabbit in 2018 or the more recent and accidental Microsoft AI researchers data leak. Protecting private information alongside the use of AI is important.

Three possible solutions to protecting user data include federated learning, differential privacy, and encrypted data. Federated learning trains AI models with decentralized data stored on user devices while differential privacy anonymizes data by adding controlled noise. End-to-end encryption also helps keep information secure. 

Let’s not forget that AI and automation are powerful tools in cybersecurity, and they have demonstrated accelerated data breach identification and containment, saving companies as much as USD 1.8 million in data breach costs according to the Cost of a Data Breach 2023 global survey.

With deliberate effort, companies can find ways to benefit from AI while also earning user trust through robust privacy protections. Establishing oversight groups and following frameworks like the EU’s GDPR can guide policies that give users more control over their data. Being transparent, providing opt-out options, and restricting data usage are key principles.

Bewitching: AI Dependence vs. AI Assistance

Artificial Intelligence can be scary because some view it as a complete replacement of humans across the board; however, that skips the fact that humans have a unique ability to make decisions based on data as well as external factors. AI technologies can be a great tool, but they work best with a human manager. The goal of AI should be to augment, not replace, human intelligence.

One article observes that “the fear of AI often boils down to the fear of loss – loss of control, loss of privacy, and loss of human value.”

Some solutions for preventing overreliance include having humans remain “in the loop” for consequential decisions rather than fully automating them. Companies and governments deploying AI should also conduct impact assessments to anticipate risks. Additionally, requiring transparency and explanation from AI systems can build understanding and trust in their capabilities.

AI can be viewed as a powerful collaborative tool rather than a decision-making authority. While AI dependence is a valid concern, keeping humans ultimately in control can allow society to reap the benefits of AI assistance without surrendering our agency or discernment. The ideal future combines the strengths of human and artificial intelligence.

The key is shaping policies, education, incentives, and labor models to focus AI on enhancing humans rather than replacing them. With forethought, humans and AI can positively co-evolve. Truth is that AI is not even ready or able to completely replace humans.

 

Interested in learning about how AI can cut business costs and boost company productivity? Reach out to MAXXpotential.com about your interest in optimizing your back office capabilities.

MORE POSTS

Demystifying Spooky AI Technology Fears

How AI Technology Benefits Employees and Companies

By MAXX Potential

From science fiction to reality, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology evokes many emotions in humans, whether it is fear or intrigue. AI technology has become a part of our daily lives from the in-home speakers that answer our questions to chatGPT and other LLMs that have revolutionized software’s generative capabilities. It’s exciting and terrifying.

Tech professionals guess at what these advancements will mean for humans, and some people experience so much fear about what AI could mean for our world. We wanted to talk about some of those spooky AI technology fears and do our best to demystify them.

Body Snatching: AI will replace human jobs

As language learning models, automation, and machine learning advances, it’s no surprise that workers fear for their jobs. Common questions circulate: Will machines replace humans? How can I protect my job? What can I do to work with AI now?

Some version of automation has been in use since the 1700s to handle repetitive tasks, and yet, the skill of automation now can be seen as scary. Automation and machines should replace workers who may face dangerous scenarios every day where a machine would be better equipped and safer to handle the work. 

“While I do believe that years later AI will take away some jobs I do believe that it will open many other types of job opportunities that could be more technical or something that we never would have thought of before.” Says James Stanley, MAXX Apprentice, in “From Hobby to Innovation: Exploring AI Passion Projects.”

The truth is that AI technology is inspiring workers to reimagine job roles.  AI allows humans to focus on higher-level responsibilities that use skills like critical thinking, creativity, and empathy. AI can enable workers to be more productive, take on more fulfilling responsibilities, and create entirely new types of jobs. With thoughtful implementation, AI can be harnessed to create positive economic and workforce impacts.

Poltergeist Prejudice: Perpetuated Bias, Ethical Concerns, and Irresponsibility

AI technology speeds up tasks like sorting through resumes for a job opening or tracking data. With that said, AI systems can inherit and amplify existing societal biases. This raises a number of concerns as more and more organizations turn to AI technologies for the automation capabilities. 

A National Institute of Standards and Technology report shared a study of 189 facial recognition algorithms and how most of them demonstrated bias. The researchers reported that the technology falsely identified Black and Asian faces 10 to 100 times more often than they did white faces. Women were also more often falsely identified.

Governments seek to determine best ways to regulate AI with New York City being the first to pass a law in 2021 with rules enforced this July. Thoughtful design and smart governance frameworks are required to ensure that AI doesn’t perpetuate societal problems. Companies and governments deploying AI must audit for biases, ensure transparency, evaluate use cases carefully, and institute human oversight measures.

In a “New Regulatory Approach to Facial Recognition,” Jason Schultz, a professor at the New York University School of Law, believes that facial recognition companies must consider new, consent-based approaches to their image gathering as right-of-publicity claims gain momentum. As technology advances so too must the guiding principles and frameworks to protect privacy, avoid bias, and disrupt irresponsibility.

AI Data Voodoo: Protecting User Data While Leveraging AI

Data breaches are scary, and bad actors are discovering new ways to use AI technologies to access user information, such as the AI-controlled botnet data breach with TaskRabbit in 2018 or the more recent and accidental Microsoft AI researchers data leak. Protecting private information alongside the use of AI is important.

Three possible solutions to protecting user data include federated learning, differential privacy, and encrypted data. Federated learning trains AI models with decentralized data stored on user devices while differential privacy anonymizes data by adding controlled noise. End-to-end encryption also helps keep information secure. 

Let’s not forget that AI and automation are powerful tools in cybersecurity, and they have demonstrated accelerated data breach identification and containment, saving companies as much as USD 1.8 million in data breach costs according to the Cost of a Data Breach 2023 global survey.

With deliberate effort, companies can find ways to benefit from AI while also earning user trust through robust privacy protections. Establishing oversight groups and following frameworks like the EU’s GDPR can guide policies that give users more control over their data. Being transparent, providing opt-out options, and restricting data usage are key principles.

Bewitching: AI Dependence vs. AI Assistance

Artificial Intelligence can be scary because some view it as a complete replacement of humans across the board; however, that skips the fact that humans have a unique ability to make decisions based on data as well as external factors. AI technologies can be a great tool, but they work best with a human manager. The goal of AI should be to augment, not replace, human intelligence.

One article observes that “the fear of AI often boils down to the fear of loss – loss of control, loss of privacy, and loss of human value.”

Some solutions for preventing overreliance include having humans remain “in the loop” for consequential decisions rather than fully automating them. Companies and governments deploying AI should also conduct impact assessments to anticipate risks. Additionally, requiring transparency and explanation from AI systems can build understanding and trust in their capabilities.

AI can be viewed as a powerful collaborative tool rather than a decision-making authority. While AI dependence is a valid concern, keeping humans ultimately in control can allow society to reap the benefits of AI assistance without surrendering our agency or discernment. The ideal future combines the strengths of human and artificial intelligence.

The key is shaping policies, education, incentives, and labor models to focus AI on enhancing humans rather than replacing them. With forethought, humans and AI can positively co-evolve. Truth is that AI is not even ready or able to completely replace humans.

 

Interested in learning about how AI can cut business costs and boost company productivity? Reach out to MAXXpotential.com about your interest in optimizing your back office capabilities.

From Hobby to Innovation: Exploring AI Passion Projects

Building AI Tech Skills with Projects

By MAXX Potential

“I think we’re all eager to see how AI will shape technology in the coming years,” says Peter Ahn, MAXX Apprentice. “It’s exciting because it has so many use cases we’ve yet to discover.”

Back in March when OpenAI released the API for the GPT-3.5-Turbo, technologists across the world raced to explore the capabilities of this new technology, including our very own Talent Director Tucker Mahan in “The First 48 Hours of OpenAI’s API.” Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation have been widely used in a number of capacities for years, but this was the smartest large language model (LLM) we had yet to see. 

It’s been six months since the GPT-3.5-Turbo released, and AI has continued to advance and be explored by curious technologists. We wanted to take a moment to chat with AI-interested MAXX Apprentices, Peter Ahn and James Stanley.

How Curiosity Inspires Innovation and Learning

“I found myself wanting curated outlines for my coding projects to keep track of my progress. Too often, I write code without a clear plan in mind.” Peter Ahn shares. Faced with this problem, he wondered if he could create something that would track this for him.

Peter’s interest in tech and interactive chatbots started at a young age, and he recalls, “When I was little, my sisters helped me create an AIM account so I could try chatting with ‘smarterchild’. It was an early chatbot that could engage in somewhat intelligent conversations… And it was mind blowing. ChatGPT definitely renewed that feeling of amazement in me.”

As Peter explored the OpenAI API capabilities, he recognized that playing with the technology could be fun and informative. He wanted to see where his exploration would lead.

“After learning about the OpenAI API, I saw an opportunity to build a reusable web template with the API methods, which are more customizable compared to ChatGPT.” Peter points out. “For example, I can adjust the temperature, which affects the “randomness” in GPT’s responses. A higher temperature encourages unique and imaginative responses, while a lower temperature promotes greater consistency.”

Peter developed a basic tech stack with options where he can select coding languages he wants to use when he’s gearing up to brainstorm project ideas.

With the help of ChatGPT, a few project ideas are generated.

Once an idea is selected, an outline for the project populates in a rough format of the Software Development Lifecycle. This can help direct the next steps of your project development.

“The outlines aren’t super useful or aesthetically pleasing yet, but thankfully that’s probably my fault and not GPT’s!” Peter shares.

AI Integration Helps Clone Your Superhero

“After finding out that I could integrate ChatGPT into python I was excited to see what else I could do with it.” James Stanley, MAXX Apprentice, shares. 

As he dove into the possibilities, he scoped out what other people were doing. YouTube offered a number of tutorials demonstrating how to create your own bot who sounded like Jarvis from Iron Man, Elon Musk, Albert Einstein, and Eminem.

“Since I am also learning how to code, I am constantly practicing to get better at python and recently javascript,” says James. “I thought it would be cool to make a tutor with your choice of celebrities that would then help you with code or anything else you needed help with. Using ChatGPT and machine learning to build this.”

For James, this technology is exciting because it’s existed in Sci-fi novels and movies for years. Suddenly the premises of movies like Iron Man, The Terminator, and I Robot seem more realistic and, for some, scary.

“I can already see glimpses of self-driving cars, human looking robots that function properly, and an AI that can eventually think for itself.” James shares.

The possibilities seem endless in light of AI advancements and technologists’ discoveries. Seeing the rapid changes in automation, AI, and LLMs spurs innovation and more. 

“When I started learning python I was already interested in machine learning, where data and algorithms can imitate the way humans learn by giving it a set of data to learn from.” James points out. “I am interested to see how far AI will go, will I ever see a terminator version of AI in my lifetime or Jarvis from Ironman.”

AI is Here to Stay

Artificial intelligence, automation, and language learning models are here to stay, and our world is in the process of being changed wholly by these advancements. Concerns and AI innovations occur simultaneously.

Some view AI as a new tool for productivity while others raise objections. It’s true that with great power comes great responsibility.

“I think their fears are valid but not for the same reasons that they may believe,” says James. “While I do believe that years later AI will take away some jobs I do believe that it will open many other types of job opportunities that could be more technical or something that we never would have thought of before.” 

In light of the fear of being replaced by AI, Peter observes, “Innovation is great, but not at the expense of everyone else. We should stay informed on this topic since it could drastically change the way we live.”

One way to learn about AI is to dive into using it yourself. 

“Try asking ChatGPT or Google Bard how they work!” Peter encourages. “You can learn a lot about their features and limitations. I wouldn’t say the information is completely up-to-date, but they’re great as stepping stones into deeper research.”

Interested in learning about how AI can cut business costs and boost company productivity? Reach out to MAXXpotential.com about your interest in optimizing your back office capabilities.

MORE POSTS

From Hobby to Innovation: Exploring AI Passion Projects

Building AI Tech Skills with Projects

By MAXX Potential

“I think we’re all eager to see how AI will shape technology in the coming years,” says Peter Ahn, MAXX Apprentice. “It’s exciting because it has so many use cases we’ve yet to discover.”

Back in March when OpenAI released the API for the GPT-3.5-Turbo, technologists across the world raced to explore the capabilities of this new technology, including our very own Talent Director Tucker Mahan in “The First 48 Hours of OpenAI’s API.” Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation have been widely used in a number of capacities for years, but this was the smartest large language model (LLM) we had yet to see. 

It’s been six months since the GPT-3.5-Turbo released, and AI has continued to advance and be explored by curious technologists. We wanted to take a moment to chat with AI-interested MAXX Apprentices, Peter Ahn and James Stanley.

How Curiosity Inspires Innovation and Learning

“I found myself wanting curated outlines for my coding projects to keep track of my progress. Too often, I write code without a clear plan in mind.” Peter Ahn shares. Faced with this problem, he wondered if he could create something that would track this for him.

Peter’s interest in tech and interactive chatbots started at a young age, and he recalls, “When I was little, my sisters helped me create an AIM account so I could try chatting with ‘smarterchild’. It was an early chatbot that could engage in somewhat intelligent conversations… And it was mind blowing. ChatGPT definitely renewed that feeling of amazement in me.”

As Peter explored the OpenAI API capabilities, he recognized that playing with the technology could be fun and informative. He wanted to see where his exploration would lead.

“After learning about the OpenAI API, I saw an opportunity to build a reusable web template with the API methods, which are more customizable compared to ChatGPT.” Peter points out. “For example, I can adjust the temperature, which affects the “randomness” in GPT’s responses. A higher temperature encourages unique and imaginative responses, while a lower temperature promotes greater consistency.”

Peter developed a basic tech stack with options where he can select coding languages he wants to use when he’s gearing up to brainstorm project ideas.

With the help of ChatGPT, a few project ideas are generated.

Once an idea is selected, an outline for the project populates in a rough format of the Software Development Lifecycle. This can help direct the next steps of your project development.

“The outlines aren’t super useful or aesthetically pleasing yet, but thankfully that’s probably my fault and not GPT’s!” Peter shares.

AI Integration Helps Clone Your Superhero

“After finding out that I could integrate ChatGPT into python I was excited to see what else I could do with it.” James Stanley, MAXX Apprentice, shares. 

As he dove into the possibilities, he scoped out what other people were doing. YouTube offered a number of tutorials demonstrating how to create your own bot who sounded like Jarvis from Iron Man, Elon Musk, Albert Einstein, and Eminem.

“Since I am also learning how to code, I am constantly practicing to get better at python and recently javascript,” says James. “I thought it would be cool to make a tutor with your choice of celebrities that would then help you with code or anything else you needed help with. Using ChatGPT and machine learning to build this.”

For James, this technology is exciting because it’s existed in Sci-fi novels and movies for years. Suddenly the premises of movies like Iron Man, The Terminator, and I Robot seem more realistic and, for some, scary.

“I can already see glimpses of self-driving cars, human looking robots that function properly, and an AI that can eventually think for itself.” James shares.

The possibilities seem endless in light of AI advancements and technologists’ discoveries. Seeing the rapid changes in automation, AI, and LLMs spurs innovation and more. 

“When I started learning python I was already interested in machine learning, where data and algorithms can imitate the way humans learn by giving it a set of data to learn from.” James points out. “I am interested to see how far AI will go, will I ever see a terminator version of AI in my lifetime or Jarvis from Ironman.”

AI is Here to Stay

Artificial intelligence, automation, and language learning models are here to stay, and our world is in the process of being changed wholly by these advancements. Concerns and AI innovations occur simultaneously.

Some view AI as a new tool for productivity while others raise objections. It’s true that with great power comes great responsibility.

“I think their fears are valid but not for the same reasons that they may believe,” says James. “While I do believe that years later AI will take away some jobs I do believe that it will open many other types of job opportunities that could be more technical or something that we never would have thought of before.” 

In light of the fear of being replaced by AI, Peter observes, “Innovation is great, but not at the expense of everyone else. We should stay informed on this topic since it could drastically change the way we live.”

One way to learn about AI is to dive into using it yourself. 

“Try asking ChatGPT or Google Bard how they work!” Peter encourages. “You can learn a lot about their features and limitations. I wouldn’t say the information is completely up-to-date, but they’re great as stepping stones into deeper research.”

Interested in learning about how AI can cut business costs and boost company productivity? Reach out to MAXXpotential.com about your interest in optimizing your back office capabilities.

Choosing Your Tech Career Future

Exploring Diverse Career Options in the Tech Field

By MAXX Potential

Professional black man sitting in front of two computer screens with code

“I want to be a full-stack developer.” An aspiring technologist declares, and in the same breath, they share they have no idea of where to begin to get that tech job. In a sea of resources, where do you start? How do you turn your tech career dream into reality? 

The tech industry provides a number of early career paths such as the following:

  • Information Security Analyst
  • Network Administrator
  • System Administrator
  • Security Incident Response Specialist
  • Quality Assurance Specialist
  • Data Governance Specialist
  • Business Intel Analyst
  • Junior Software Developer

Knowing which is the right fit for you is hard. At MAXX Potential, we do our best to allow tech-interested folks the opportunity to explore the diverse career options in the tech field so you can make a more informed decision about your tech career trajectory.

So, if you want to discover the best tech jobs without a degree, and explore fun jobs that pay well, keep reading!

Exploring Diverse Career Options in the Tech Field

When it comes to deciding on a tech career path, it’s important to consider your interests and passions: do you enjoy precision and organization? Do you love problem solving? Do you like being behind the scenes or interfacing with people?

The tech industry opens up a world of possibilities because there are plenty of career options for individuals with and without a degree. You don’t necessarily need a formal education to pursue the best tech jobs. This means that even if you don’t have a degree, you can still find fulfilling and well-paying roles that suit your interests.

Information Security Analyst

Information Security Analysts play a crucial role in safeguarding data and preventing unauthorized access or breaches of a company’s computer ecosystem. They also develop and implement security policies and protocols to ensure compliance with industry regulations. If this seems like something you’d be interested in, it’s important to explore opportunities to learn more about information security.

Network Administrator

As a Network Administrator, your day-to-day tasks look like monitoring network performance, troubleshooting network issues, implementing security measures, and managing network configurations. If you like equal parts administrative work as well as technical sleuthing, this might be a role to explore.

System Administrator

System Administrators are the gatekeeper of company systems, often providing employee access as needed. They ensure the smooth operation of servers, networks, and databases. You will be in charge of tasks such as installing and configuring software and hardware, troubleshooting technical issues, and monitoring system performance. This role requires strong problem-solving and analytical skills, as well as a deep understanding of various operating systems and network protocols.

Security Incident Response Specialist

As a Security Incident Response Specialist, you will be responsible for detecting and analyzing security breaches, implementing incident response measures, and developing and improving cybersecurity protocols. This role is crucial for protecting sensitive information and maintaining the smooth operation of network systems. MAXX Apprentices have the opportunity to explore roles like this one with hands-on learning and mentorship.

Quality Assurance Specialist

As a Quality Assurance Specialist, you test and evaluate software applications or IT systems to identify any defects or issues. You will be responsible for executing testing methodologies, documenting test plans and procedures, and collaborating with developers to resolve any identified issues. This role requires strong attention to detail, analytical skills, and the ability to think critically.

Data Governance Specialist

A Data Governance Specialist develops and implements data strategies, policies, and procedures. You will collaborate with various teams to define data standards, establish data quality controls, and manage data access and security protocols. Your strong analytical skills and good communication skills will be crucial in identifying data issues and recommending solutions.

Business Intel Analyst

As a Business Intel Analyst, you will gather, analyze, and interpret vast amounts of data to help businesses make informed decisions and identify trends and patterns. By utilizing various tools and techniques, you will transform raw data into actionable insights that drive growth and efficiency. Your ability to think critically, attention to detail, and strong problem-solving skills will be paramount in this role.

Junior Software Developer

A Junior Software Developer is an integral part of a dynamic tech team, contributing to the creation and enhancement of cutting-edge software solutions. You’ll collaborate closely with senior developers to design and implement code, troubleshoot issues, and optimize application performance. Your passion for problem-solving, quick learning, and effective teamwork will play a pivotal role in crafting innovative solutions that drive a company’s technological advancement.

Emerging Tech Careers

The future is bright with technological advancements and emerging tech career opportunities. As technology advances, you can be on the forefront by using the resources at your fingertips on the internet to learn through passion projects or programs. Some emerging tech careers include Virtual Reality (VR) Developer, Cybersecurity Analyst, and AI Specialist. 

At MAXX Potential, we provide a pathway for aspiring technologists to explore dream tech jobs with hands-on experience, mentorship, and more resources. We help you step into the tech industry and determine the career trajectory that best fits your passions, interests, and skills.

If you’re interested in choosing a career in tech, contact MAXX Potential to learn more about the MAXX Apprenticeship. 

MORE POSTS

Choosing Your Tech Career Future

Exploring Diverse Career Options in the Tech Field

By MAXX Potential

Professional black man sitting in front of two computer screens with code

“I want to be a full-stack developer.” An aspiring technologist declares, and in the same breath, they share they have no idea of where to begin to get that tech job. In a sea of resources, where do you start? How do you turn your tech career dream into reality? 

The tech industry provides a number of early career paths such as the following:

  • Information Security Analyst
  • Network Administrator
  • System Administrator
  • Security Incident Response Specialist
  • Quality Assurance Specialist
  • Data Governance Specialist
  • Business Intel Analyst
  • Junior Software Developer

Knowing which is the right fit for you is hard. At MAXX Potential, we do our best to allow tech-interested folks the opportunity to explore the diverse career options in the tech field so you can make a more informed decision about your tech career trajectory.

So, if you want to discover the best tech jobs without a degree, and explore fun jobs that pay well, keep reading!

Exploring Diverse Career Options in the Tech Field

When it comes to deciding on a tech career path, it’s important to consider your interests and passions: do you enjoy precision and organization? Do you love problem solving? Do you like being behind the scenes or interfacing with people?

The tech industry opens up a world of possibilities because there are plenty of career options for individuals with and without a degree. You don’t necessarily need a formal education to pursue the best tech jobs. This means that even if you don’t have a degree, you can still find fulfilling and well-paying roles that suit your interests.

Information Security Analyst

Information Security Analysts play a crucial role in safeguarding data and preventing unauthorized access or breaches of a company’s computer ecosystem. They also develop and implement security policies and protocols to ensure compliance with industry regulations. If this seems like something you’d be interested in, it’s important to explore opportunities to learn more about information security.

Network Administrator

As a Network Administrator, your day-to-day tasks look like monitoring network performance, troubleshooting network issues, implementing security measures, and managing network configurations. If you like equal parts administrative work as well as technical sleuthing, this might be a role to explore.

System Administrator

System Administrators are the gatekeeper of company systems, often providing employee access as needed. They ensure the smooth operation of servers, networks, and databases. You will be in charge of tasks such as installing and configuring software and hardware, troubleshooting technical issues, and monitoring system performance. This role requires strong problem-solving and analytical skills, as well as a deep understanding of various operating systems and network protocols.

Security Incident Response Specialist

As a Security Incident Response Specialist, you will be responsible for detecting and analyzing security breaches, implementing incident response measures, and developing and improving cybersecurity protocols. This role is crucial for protecting sensitive information and maintaining the smooth operation of network systems. MAXX Apprentices have the opportunity to explore roles like this one with hands-on learning and mentorship.

Quality Assurance Specialist

As a Quality Assurance Specialist, you test and evaluate software applications or IT systems to identify any defects or issues. You will be responsible for executing testing methodologies, documenting test plans and procedures, and collaborating with developers to resolve any identified issues. This role requires strong attention to detail, analytical skills, and the ability to think critically.

Data Governance Specialist

A Data Governance Specialist develops and implements data strategies, policies, and procedures. You will collaborate with various teams to define data standards, establish data quality controls, and manage data access and security protocols. Your strong analytical skills and good communication skills will be crucial in identifying data issues and recommending solutions.

Business Intel Analyst

As a Business Intel Analyst, you will gather, analyze, and interpret vast amounts of data to help businesses make informed decisions and identify trends and patterns. By utilizing various tools and techniques, you will transform raw data into actionable insights that drive growth and efficiency. Your ability to think critically, attention to detail, and strong problem-solving skills will be paramount in this role.

Junior Software Developer

A Junior Software Developer is an integral part of a dynamic tech team, contributing to the creation and enhancement of cutting-edge software solutions. You’ll collaborate closely with senior developers to design and implement code, troubleshoot issues, and optimize application performance. Your passion for problem-solving, quick learning, and effective teamwork will play a pivotal role in crafting innovative solutions that drive a company’s technological advancement.

Emerging Tech Careers

The future is bright with technological advancements and emerging tech career opportunities. As technology advances, you can be on the forefront by using the resources at your fingertips on the internet to learn through passion projects or programs. Some emerging tech careers include Virtual Reality (VR) Developer, Cybersecurity Analyst, and AI Specialist. 

At MAXX Potential, we provide a pathway for aspiring technologists to explore dream tech jobs with hands-on experience, mentorship, and more resources. We help you step into the tech industry and determine the career trajectory that best fits your passions, interests, and skills.

If you’re interested in choosing a career in tech, contact MAXX Potential to learn more about the MAXX Apprenticeship. 

Fast-Track to Success: Leveraging Apprenticeships as a Talent Pipeline Accelerator

Unlocking Potential for Future Technologist Careers

By MAXX Potential

Fast-Track to Success: Leveraging Apprenticeships as a Talent Pipeline Accelerator

What if you could stop posting entry-level roles and build out a robust talent strategy to find and equip the workers you want for your team? Rather than hoping someone would apply to your company who would be the right fit, you knew you had a go-to group of skilled individuals who met your hiring criteria. 

Welcome to the idea of Apprenticeship as a Talent Pipeline Accelerator.

Tech Apprenticeship: The Talent Pipeline Accelerator

Hiring and attrition is costly. Companies spend two times the new hire’s salary to make one new hire, and this doesn’t have to be your company. This is where tech apprenticeship becomes an impactful solution. 

Apprenticeship allows your company to invest in future tech talent or upskill a current team for the evolving technology environment, developing a type of internal talent pipeline. This can be a great addition to the company’s current recruitment pipeline process. 

At MAXX Potential, we use Career Lab as a starting point for people who are interested in advancing or starting a career in technology. Through a multi-session, hands-on workshop series, tech-interested individuals explore different areas of technology.

Clients have used the MAXX Potential Career Lab as part upskill and part testing ground for current team members to learn and apply for IT roles within their company. Upskilling their team means that the company isn’t taking a chance on someone new.

Tech Apprenticeship Increases Employee Retention and Loyalty

In a report on apprenticeship, the Department of Labor noted that 94% of workers who completed an apprenticeship program were hired, and their 3-year retention rate is 89%. At MAXX Potential, Apprentices solve Customer problems, fill in the gaps, and pave the way for continued Customer success.

The payoff is amazing for apprenticeship program participants and employers. Research shows that apprentices triple their income and transform their lives while organizations gain workers who remain on the team for longer than the average hire. 

Gone are the days where workers stayed with companies for their entire careers; however, studies have revealed that workers stay when they feel that their companies invest in them.

Tech Apprenticeship is a Win for Apprentices, Employers, and Cities

Apprenticeship is an amazing opportunity for cities and communities of people because it offers an alternate route to gaining skill and experience in specific industries. Earn-while-you-learn work empowers individuals to pursue a career pathway and lifestyle that may have been out of reach via traditional education.

People from all walks of life and background can pursue an apprenticeship and corresponding career pathway. Apprenticeship becomes a talent pipeline as a service that can serve individuals, companies, and communities. Meanwhile, employers achieve more diversity and the corresponding higher-than-average financial performance.

As each person learns on the job, they strengthen their skill set for the specific role, filling talent gaps and tailoring their skills to the specific organization. Apprenticeship as a talent pipeline accelerator means your company taps all potential candidates alongside more traditional hiring tools.

The Future of Tech Talent is Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship keeps up with the rapidly evolving technology industry. Employers who use the apprenticeship model ensure that new workers are up to date in their technical skills. Apprentices get on-the-job experience, know the work culture, and understand technical work.

At MAXX Potential, we’re always iterating on our Apprenticeship program as a Talent Pipeline Accelerator so we can provide our Customers with smart and eager workers who will get the job done. Interested in hearing more about how we can transform your talent strategy with apprenticeship and building a strong candidate pipeline? Reach out MAXXpotential.com/contact.

MORE POSTS

Fast-Track to Success: Leveraging Apprenticeships as a Talent Pipeline Accelerator

Unlocking Potential for Future Technologist Careers

By MAXX Potential

Fast-Track to Success: Leveraging Apprenticeships as a Talent Pipeline Accelerator

What if you could stop posting entry-level roles and build out a robust talent strategy to find and equip the workers you want for your team? Rather than hoping someone would apply to your company who would be the right fit, you knew you had a go-to group of skilled individuals who met your hiring criteria. 

Welcome to the idea of Apprenticeship as a Talent Pipeline Accelerator.

Tech Apprenticeship: The Talent Pipeline Accelerator

Hiring and attrition is costly. Companies spend two times the new hire’s salary to make one new hire, and this doesn’t have to be your company. This is where tech apprenticeship becomes an impactful solution. 

Apprenticeship allows your company to invest in future tech talent or upskill a current team for the evolving technology environment, developing a type of internal talent pipeline. This can be a great addition to the company’s current recruitment pipeline process. 

At MAXX Potential, we use Career Lab as a starting point for people who are interested in advancing or starting a career in technology. Through a multi-session, hands-on workshop series, tech-interested individuals explore different areas of technology.

Clients have used the MAXX Potential Career Lab as part upskill and part testing ground for current team members to learn and apply for IT roles within their company. Upskilling their team means that the company isn’t taking a chance on someone new.

Tech Apprenticeship Increases Employee Retention and Loyalty

In a report on apprenticeship, the Department of Labor noted that 94% of workers who completed an apprenticeship program were hired, and their 3-year retention rate is 89%. At MAXX Potential, Apprentices solve Customer problems, fill in the gaps, and pave the way for continued Customer success.

The payoff is amazing for apprenticeship program participants and employers. Research shows that apprentices triple their income and transform their lives while organizations gain workers who remain on the team for longer than the average hire. 

Gone are the days where workers stayed with companies for their entire careers; however, studies have revealed that workers stay when they feel that their companies invest in them.

Tech Apprenticeship is a Win for Apprentices, Employers, and Cities

Apprenticeship is an amazing opportunity for cities and communities of people because it offers an alternate route to gaining skill and experience in specific industries. Earn-while-you-learn work empowers individuals to pursue a career pathway and lifestyle that may have been out of reach via traditional education.

People from all walks of life and background can pursue an apprenticeship and corresponding career pathway. Apprenticeship becomes a talent pipeline as a service that can serve individuals, companies, and communities. Meanwhile, employers achieve more diversity and the corresponding higher-than-average financial performance.

As each person learns on the job, they strengthen their skill set for the specific role, filling talent gaps and tailoring their skills to the specific organization. Apprenticeship as a talent pipeline accelerator means your company taps all potential candidates alongside more traditional hiring tools.

The Future of Tech Talent is Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship keeps up with the rapidly evolving technology industry. Employers who use the apprenticeship model ensure that new workers are up to date in their technical skills. Apprentices get on-the-job experience, know the work culture, and understand technical work.

At MAXX Potential, we’re always iterating on our Apprenticeship program as a Talent Pipeline Accelerator so we can provide our Customers with smart and eager workers who will get the job done. Interested in hearing more about how we can transform your talent strategy with apprenticeship and building a strong candidate pipeline? Reach out MAXXpotential.com/contact.

5 Timeless Talents for a Shifting Tech Landscape

By MAXX Potential

A shifting tech landscape demands that technologists center themselves in strong mental models while growing their timeless talents to ensure their career longevity. One of the constants in technology is change. 

This resiliency in thinking and skills will help technologists to excel in their tech careers no matter how the tech industry changes, grows, or pivots.

How Mental Models Make You A Stronger Thinker

“For me, it’s like, how do you picture and put things in your brain?” Rahim Islam, MAXX Potential Solution Delivery Manager, shared. “That’s how I think of mental models.”

Farnham Street explains that, “A mental model is simply a representation of how something works. We cannot keep all of the details of the world in our brains, so we use models to simplify the complex into understandable and organizable chunks.”

What we can learn from this is that as we each continue in our careers we can build on our mental models for analyzing problems.

first principles image

A Popular Mental Model: The Concept of First Principles

According to Farnham Street, First Principles is one of the core mental models because, “First-principles thinking is one of the best ways to reverse-engineer complicated problems and unleash creative possibility.”

“It really comes from philosophy.” John Dlugokecki, MAXX Potential Partner, shared. “So breaking things down into indivisible axioms is the very academic explanation, and then using those axioms to create foundational truths for building your solution.”

This way of thinking is not how many adults choose to think. In fact, most people lean into the established “this is how it’s always been done.”

Believe it or not, the humans that think best in the concept of first principles are children.

Children rely on the question “why” to understand the world around them. Their constant litany of “why” often annoys their parents, babysitters, teachers, and nearby adults. Yet, this technique of exploring the world helps children make connections.

Bringing the concept of “why” into the boardroom can frustrate coworkers, and it can get to the root of a problem. When a team of people are willing to follow the “why” to its root, great things happen.

5 Timeless Talents for a Shifting Tech Landscape

Beyond mental models, we’ve determined five timeless talents to help technologists in an ever changing tech industry. We believe that strengthening the following talents can help you ride the changes in tech: communication, adaptability, problem solving, lifelong learning, and collaboration.

Communication

Being able to explain an idea through words, whether spoken or written, is an essential skill for technologists who plan to make tech their long-time career. The key component clarifies confusing information and streamlines project collaboration.

Adaptability

Technology is known for its rapid change, and with that knowledge, technologists must exercise their adaptability. How quickly do you pivot to new ideas? Are you willing to try different styles and systems of doing things? What do you do to stay relevant in an ever-changing environment?

“As long as you’re comfortable being in a state of not having everything mastered and you’re comfortable with that, you tend to open up a lot more to learning more, to feedback, to new ideas.” Rahim observed.

Problem Solving

When it comes to problem solving, John pointed out that, “Using the right tool for the right job may sometimes mean using older, more established tools. If you’re just upgrading or replacing for the sake of replacing, that’s not necessarily good problem solving.”

Lifelong Learning

Part of technology is constantly learning new ideas, systems, and possibilities. The more tools you understand and are exposed to, the better for knowing what tool works best in different situations. When you’re a technologist, you’re committing to a career filled with unending learning.

Collaboration

Engineers and technologists need to consider the people aspect of their projects and solutions. When you’re working with a team or a client, technologists prioritize how the end users will interact with the final product. The newest trends and technologies are exciting, but if no one can use it, what’s the point?

Partner with MAXX to invest in the future

Are you ready to work with eager and talented MAXX Apprentices who exhibit these five timeless talents? Partner with MAXX Potential today at MaxxPotential.com/Business-Solutions.

MORE POSTS

5 Timeless Talents for a Shifting Tech Landscape

By MAXX Potential

A shifting tech landscape demands that technologists center themselves in strong mental models while growing their timeless talents to ensure their career longevity. One of the constants in technology is change. 

This resiliency in thinking and skills will help technologists to excel in their tech careers no matter how the tech industry changes, grows, or pivots.

How Mental Models Make You A Stronger Thinker

“For me, it’s like, how do you picture and put things in your brain?” Rahim Islam, MAXX Potential Solution Delivery Manager, shared. “That’s how I think of mental models.”

Farnham Street explains that, “A mental model is simply a representation of how something works. We cannot keep all of the details of the world in our brains, so we use models to simplify the complex into understandable and organizable chunks.”

What we can learn from this is that as we each continue in our careers we can build on our mental models for analyzing problems.

first principles image

A Popular Mental Model: The Concept of First Principles

According to Farnham Street, First Principles is one of the core mental models because, “First-principles thinking is one of the best ways to reverse-engineer complicated problems and unleash creative possibility.”

“It really comes from philosophy.” John Dlugokecki, MAXX Potential Partner, shared. “So breaking things down into indivisible axioms is the very academic explanation, and then using those axioms to create foundational truths for building your solution.”

This way of thinking is not how many adults choose to think. In fact, most people lean into the established “this is how it’s always been done.”

Believe it or not, the humans that think best in the concept of first principles are children.

Children rely on the question “why” to understand the world around them. Their constant litany of “why” often annoys their parents, babysitters, teachers, and nearby adults. Yet, this technique of exploring the world helps children make connections.

Bringing the concept of “why” into the boardroom can frustrate coworkers, and it can get to the root of a problem. When a team of people are willing to follow the “why” to its root, great things happen.

5 Timeless Talents for a Shifting Tech Landscape

Beyond mental models, we’ve determined five timeless talents to help technologists in an ever changing tech industry. We believe that strengthening the following talents can help you ride the changes in tech: communication, adaptability, problem solving, lifelong learning, and collaboration.

Communication

Being able to explain an idea through words, whether spoken or written, is an essential skill for technologists who plan to make tech their long-time career. The key component clarifies confusing information and streamlines project collaboration.

Adaptability

Technology is known for its rapid change, and with that knowledge, technologists must exercise their adaptability. How quickly do you pivot to new ideas? Are you willing to try different styles and systems of doing things? What do you do to stay relevant in an ever-changing environment?

“As long as you’re comfortable being in a state of not having everything mastered and you’re comfortable with that, you tend to open up a lot more to learning more, to feedback, to new ideas.” Rahim observed.

Problem Solving

When it comes to problem solving, John pointed out that, “Using the right tool for the right job may sometimes mean using older, more established tools. If you’re just upgrading or replacing for the sake of replacing, that’s not necessarily good problem solving.”

Lifelong Learning

Part of technology is constantly learning new ideas, systems, and possibilities. The more tools you understand and are exposed to, the better for knowing what tool works best in different situations. When you’re a technologist, you’re committing to a career filled with unending learning.

Collaboration

Engineers and technologists need to consider the people aspect of their projects and solutions. When you’re working with a team or a client, technologists prioritize how the end users will interact with the final product. The newest trends and technologies are exciting, but if no one can use it, what’s the point?

Partner with MAXX to invest in the future

Are you ready to work with eager and talented MAXX Apprentices who exhibit these five timeless talents? Partner with MAXX Potential today at MaxxPotential.com/Business-Solutions.

The First 48 Hours of OpenAI’s API: An Interview with Tucker Mahan

By MAXX Potential

“There’s been a lot of comparisons of this tech to some of the bigger disruptors, such as the internet, Google search, and cloud computing.” Tucker Mahan, MAXX Potential Talent Director, is talking about ChatGPT and the OpenAI API. “There’s a lot of interesting dialogue happening – ethics, opinions, security, value versus investment, and predictions.”

As ChatGPT remains the main topic of conversation at board tables and in break rooms, it’s time to be playing with the possibilities, pushing limitations, and exercising curiosity. 

And that’s exactly what Tucker’s been doing. In the first 48 hours after the release, Tucker integrated the new model endpoints into his ongoing project.

How OpenAI API Integration Can Take Your Project to the Next Level

Hour 1: Exploring the Potential of OpenAI GPT-3.5-Turbo and Whisper APIs

With the release of the Whisper API, Tucker envisioned being able to upgrade his custom-built assistant, Dumbledore, to use their transcriptions and translations endpoints to improve the Speech-to-Text speed, add a Spanish practice bot, and implement a wake word solution.

“The Whisper API was super great.” Tucker explained that he’d worked with the open source project before the API was released, and he had considered building something that would do the job for his Dumbledore project. In the end, he’d opted to use an alternative Speech-to-Text solution up until the Whisper API released. “Being able to access their API to do Whisper translations in real time was super exciting.”

He shared his process for a good working session when he wants to be in the zone. “I just sit down. I put my headphones on. I forget to turn the music on, and I start chugging away.” 

He focused on Dumbledore for hours, coding several new features to make the assistant do what he wanted. It wasn’t until his wife showed up at his desk with a plate of Margherita pizza around 8:30 pm that he realized he’d forgotten to eat.

Hours 2-5: How ChatGPT Speeds Up Project Development

Throughout the entire project, Tucker kept ChatGPT open on part of his screen to write basic code, trouble shoot, and provide insight as needed. The tool proved its worth. Tucker reported, “ChatGPT helped me debug, frame, and structure a lot of the improved Dumbledore project.”

For Tucker, the idea is to use ChatGPT to speed up his process.

“So when I’m writing a lot of boilerplate, simple logic stuff, Python, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, I’m using it for that. It does get things wrong.” Tucker explains. “I adjust variables and make adjustments where I need to.”

But there’s a key to getting stronger and better code from ChatGPT. Tucker shared, “If I do a good job of feeding it parts of my code up front, or which libraries I’m using, it starts using the variable names and libraries I’ve already selected so that its output is a lot more custom to what you’re doing.”

Hour 6: Testing the Limits of AI Conversation

With ChatGPT by his side, Tucker created Dumbledore 3.5. His new iteration incorporated the Whisper API and GPT-3.5-Turbo models to enhance more in-depth conversation. Around midnight, Tucker tested Dumbledore 3.5.

“Hey, Dumbledore.” Tucker spoke the wake words.
“With whom would you like to speak?” His computer asked.
“Abuelo,” Tucker replied.
“Hola, ¿qué pasa?” was the immediate response from the AI assistant.

Tucker programmed Dumbledore 3.5 to have three different versions of his assistant. For basic functionality, Tucker can reply, “ChatGPT.” If Tucker responds with “Dumbledore,” he’ll be greeted by a voice that sounds uncannily like Dumbledore from the Harry Potter movie series, and if he responds with “Abuelo,” Dumbledore speaks in Spanish.

“I’m constantly working on my Spanish skills. My wife is fluent in Spanish and our son will be bilingual, so I want to make sure that I can keep up with them.” Tucker explains why his personal assistant is fluent in Spanish and English. “Having the ability to talk to a computer that will not judge me when I mispronounce things is front and center for me. This was possible because of the Whisper API and GPT 3.5.”

GPT-4 Is Here – What Are Your Thoughts?

“This is technology worth learning,” Tucker shared. “I believe that it has so many potential applications and will continue evolving rapidly, likely getting integrated into so many of the tools we already use. I tuned into the GPT-4 developer preview with 100k+ others, and the improvements with that model are great to see. My favorite moment was seeing GPT-4 summarize a blog post using only the letter Q and GPT-4 as a proper noun, ‘GPT-4 quintessentially quickens quality quantifications, quelling questionable quandaries.’”

ChatGPT is already being used by many, and Tucker suggests finding out if people on your teams are using the tool. “Odds are there’s at least a couple on your teams who are.”

“Education and training with this tech is a good next step. I think a lot of creative efforts are necessary to discover how to best utilize this tech, because there are so many time and cost savings involved if you do this well. It has certainly increased my productivity.”

At MAXX Potential, we encourage curiosity, initiative, and exploration. If you’re interested in talking with MAXX about how AI can help your company reach its goals, contact us!

MORE POSTS

The First 48 Hours of OpenAI’s API: An Interview with Tucker Mahan

By MAXX Potential

“There’s been a lot of comparisons of this tech to some of the bigger disruptors, such as the internet, Google search, and cloud computing.” Tucker Mahan, MAXX Potential Talent Director, is talking about ChatGPT and the OpenAI API. “There’s a lot of interesting dialogue happening – ethics, opinions, security, value versus investment, and predictions.”

As ChatGPT remains the main topic of conversation at board tables and in break rooms, it’s time to be playing with the possibilities, pushing limitations, and exercising curiosity. 

And that’s exactly what Tucker’s been doing. In the first 48 hours after the release, Tucker integrated the new model endpoints into his ongoing project.

How OpenAI API Integration Can Take Your Project to the Next Level

Hour 1: Exploring the Potential of OpenAI GPT-3.5-Turbo and Whisper APIs

With the release of the Whisper API, Tucker envisioned being able to upgrade his custom-built assistant, Dumbledore, to use their transcriptions and translations endpoints to improve the Speech-to-Text speed, add a Spanish practice bot, and implement a wake word solution.

“The Whisper API was super great.” Tucker explained that he’d worked with the open source project before the API was released, and he had considered building something that would do the job for his Dumbledore project. In the end, he’d opted to use an alternative Speech-to-Text solution up until the Whisper API released. “Being able to access their API to do Whisper translations in real time was super exciting.”

He shared his process for a good working session when he wants to be in the zone. “I just sit down. I put my headphones on. I forget to turn the music on, and I start chugging away.” 

He focused on Dumbledore for hours, coding several new features to make the assistant do what he wanted. It wasn’t until his wife showed up at his desk with a plate of Margherita pizza around 8:30 pm that he realized he’d forgotten to eat.

Hours 2-5: How ChatGPT Speeds Up Project Development

Throughout the entire project, Tucker kept ChatGPT open on part of his screen to write basic code, trouble shoot, and provide insight as needed. The tool proved its worth. Tucker reported, “ChatGPT helped me debug, frame, and structure a lot of the improved Dumbledore project.”

For Tucker, the idea is to use ChatGPT to speed up his process.

“So when I’m writing a lot of boilerplate, simple logic stuff, Python, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, I’m using it for that. It does get things wrong.” Tucker explains. “I adjust variables and make adjustments where I need to.”

But there’s a key to getting stronger and better code from ChatGPT. Tucker shared, “If I do a good job of feeding it parts of my code up front, or which libraries I’m using, it starts using the variable names and libraries I’ve already selected so that its output is a lot more custom to what you’re doing.”

Hour 6: Testing the Limits of AI Conversation

With ChatGPT by his side, Tucker created Dumbledore 3.5. His new iteration incorporated the Whisper API and GPT-3.5-Turbo models to enhance more in-depth conversation. Around midnight, Tucker tested Dumbledore 3.5.

“Hey, Dumbledore.” Tucker spoke the wake words.
“With whom would you like to speak?” His computer asked.
“Abuelo,” Tucker replied.
“Hola, ¿qué pasa?” was the immediate response from the AI assistant.

Tucker programmed Dumbledore 3.5 to have three different versions of his assistant. For basic functionality, Tucker can reply, “ChatGPT.” If Tucker responds with “Dumbledore,” he’ll be greeted by a voice that sounds uncannily like Dumbledore from the Harry Potter movie series, and if he responds with “Abuelo,” Dumbledore speaks in Spanish.

“I’m constantly working on my Spanish skills. My wife is fluent in Spanish and our son will be bilingual, so I want to make sure that I can keep up with them.” Tucker explains why his personal assistant is fluent in Spanish and English. “Having the ability to talk to a computer that will not judge me when I mispronounce things is front and center for me. This was possible because of the Whisper API and GPT 3.5.”

GPT-4 Is Here – What Are Your Thoughts?

“This is technology worth learning,” Tucker shared. “I believe that it has so many potential applications and will continue evolving rapidly, likely getting integrated into so many of the tools we already use. I tuned into the GPT-4 developer preview with 100k+ others, and the improvements with that model are great to see. My favorite moment was seeing GPT-4 summarize a blog post using only the letter Q and GPT-4 as a proper noun, ‘GPT-4 quintessentially quickens quality quantifications, quelling questionable quandaries.’”

ChatGPT is already being used by many, and Tucker suggests finding out if people on your teams are using the tool. “Odds are there’s at least a couple on your teams who are.”

“Education and training with this tech is a good next step. I think a lot of creative efforts are necessary to discover how to best utilize this tech, because there are so many time and cost savings involved if you do this well. It has certainly increased my productivity.”

At MAXX Potential, we encourage curiosity, initiative, and exploration. If you’re interested in talking with MAXX about how AI can help your company reach its goals, contact us!

How Do I Love Thee? Techies Wax Poetic About Passion Projects

By MAXX Potential

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” so they say, but how often do you think that passion and curiosity actually lead the way for tech problem solving, learning, and new creations? 

Innovation often blooms from a pain point, and as you’ll see below, each of the passion projects began with a question, curiosity, or necessity. But one thing that sets each of these stories apart is how each technologist took their idea and kept expanding on what their application could do.

At MAXX Potential, two of our core values are curiosity and initiative. We love to see our technologists step into their own interests and apply their tech skills to creating a project that solves their problem or explores some whimsy. 

Today, we’re going to look at three passion projects, coupling each with a bit of love poetry.

Love Notes to Our Favorite Passion Projects

Diamond Compare: How Do I Love Thee?

Diamond Compare (inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43 “How Do I Love Thee?”)

How do I love thee? Let me analyze
The cut, color, clarity, and carat
My code can reach, when scraping all the buys
For the diamond that matches your merit.
I love thee like I love coding daily
In the morning blush and the evening hush.
I love thee without err, to not fail thee
In search of the best diamond without rush.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In Python library and web scrapers
To find thee a rock to seal this love ruse.
I love thee so, to search even vapors,
Only to find the ideal ring, storefront.
I love thee, not because of that code stunt.

The Story Behind Diamond Compare

“When Gillian and I started talking about marriage, we looked at engagement rings online and in-store, but I wanted to find the sweet spot – the best diamond for the best price.” John Dlugokecki, MAXX Potential Partner, shared.

After that realization, John sat down at his computer to figure out how to find that sweet spot. He used a Python library called Scrapy and Metabase, his go-to analytics tool.

“I definitely had sticker shock at the price of diamonds,” he said. “But when we compared a real diamond alongside other rocks, there was no comparison.”

To find out everything he needed to know about diamonds, John leaned into web scraping to capture all the data he could from large diamond stores. He had to work backwards because he needed to understand what data he wanted for his comparison. Once he knew which details to track, he could build the next part.

Each website he wanted to crawl was slightly different, and that presented a puzzle. He needed a system that would programmatically click through web pages and grab the information. Additionally, the web scraping bots had to move quickly but not too quickly as to not alert website blockers.

“Websites want traffic, but when they recognize too many hits at once from a certain IP, they’ll start working to block you.” John explained. “It was fun engineering ways to get around blockers, and at what point do they start throttling you?”

 

To keep his own computer from being blacklisted, he opted to send his web crawlers through other servers. So if you’re in New York City or Austin, Texas, and you can’t visit a diamond jewelry website, you can blame John (just kidding, it doesn’t work like that).

The web crawlers worked smoother than 120fps, and data flowed into the database. From there, John reorganized the data to find that sweet spot in diamonds, analyzing the information.

“It turned out to be a great learning opportunity, and I enjoyed the process of using the web scrapers to funnel information to the database.” John said. And when asked if he found that sweet spot diamond through his passion project, he chuckled. “We ended up finding the diamond in-store.”

Tea Party: Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds

Tea Party (inspired by Shakespeare’s “Sonnet CXVI”)

Let me not to the passion of projects
Admit impediments. Coding is love
Which alters when exceptions err and wreck,
Wanting attention and all the above.
O, no! it is a true love that consumes,
That asks how to solve or make learning fun.
It’s the whistle to the tea party’s fumes
Signaling the conversation’s just begun
Problem solving ideas to make CVs
Interactive with Javascript, Three.js,
and Blender – tools of fun work and hobbies.
What if I added some random bluejays?
   If this passion be error, upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no one ever loved.

The Story Behind Tea Party

“I wanted to foster a sense of playfulness during a conversation around my professional information and portfolio while serving tea at the same time.” Shawn Yu, MAXX Potential Apprentice Level 3, said.

For most industries, job searches and applications fall into the monotonous category, where hiring managers and job applicants do the dance of paperwork shuffling. Some industries require a portfolio of projects in addition to the resume or CV, and tech is one of those spaces.

Shawn created the digital tea party with Javascript and the Three.js library, and he brought three-dimensional life and movement to the teapot, teacup, and saucers with Blender.

“In one way, it symbolizes a civilized environment, but on the other hand, I really just liked the Mad Hatter scene from Alice in Wonderland.” Shawn shared some of his inspiration for the whimsical project.

Upon exploring the application in real time, the digital tea party starts out with propriety in mind, and users can set the table while checking out other projects created by Shawn. Things go awry though when you click around a bit more. Teacups fall from the sky, and saucers fling other recently-set items off the table.

Has Shawn used this application in a job interview? We’ll have to get back to you.

Has Shawn used this application in a job interview? We’ll have to get back to you.

Plants Worth Plantin’: Roses Are Red

Plants Worth Plantin’ (inspired by “The Rose is Red”)

Roses are red;
Violets are blue.
Plants worth plantin’
Are chosen by you.

What plants go in
My yard? I ask.
Think land, sun, shade,
– flowering damask.

To organize,
I built a site
With web hosting
And data might.

It started small
– Basic info,
But I wanted
More green inspo.

I set up fields
In database
But it was slow
To my own gaze.

I made a form,
Checking each box
To add info:
Dirt, wet, light, rocks.

Then I wanted
Pristine display
And easy sort
Of plant array.

The plant site grew
With security,
Web responsive,
And utility.

What started as
A yard subject
Became backend
Coding project.

I keep thinking
Of more to do
On my website.
It’s much ado!

My plant list grows.
The site to-do
Plan just expands.
Yard remains askew.

The Story Behind Plants Worth Plantin’

“I took a landscaping class this summer and learned that it was a good idea to plan out everything I wanted to put in my yard before putting anything in the ground.” Brandon Phillips, MAXX Potential Apprentice Level 2 said.

Doing what technologists do best, Brandon turned to his tech skills to help him organize the plants he wanted in his yard. He started a list of plants, gathered basic information, and tried to coordinate what would work best in his yard.

“I already had a web hosting account, so I created a database with all of the fields to track, and I started entering each plant’s info through the backend.” Brandon explained. This became tedious, and so he decided to create a form that had check boxes so he could add information quickly without a lot of typing.

As Brandon’s database of information took shape, he found more and more ideas of how to streamline his user experience, organize the information, and sort the plant data. He added device responsiveness to the project and then added security features.

“The project definitely helped me get organized, but now I just keep thinking of new features I want to add and better ways to display the data.” Brandon said.

Has Brandon used his database to choose plants for his yard? He shared the following, “I bought a few plants and put them in this fall but will hopefully be putting in a lot more this spring and summer!”

Ready to Express Your Love for Tech?

A career in technology requires a certain level of love, curiosity, and passion! Are you interested in pursuing a career in technology? Then we’d love to have you join our Career Lab! Find out more at maxxpotential.com/career-lab.

MORE POSTS

How Do I Love Thee? Techies Wax Poetic About Passion Projects

By MAXX Potential

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” so they say, but how often do you think that passion and curiosity actually lead the way for tech problem solving, learning, and new creations? 

Innovation often blooms from a pain point, and as you’ll see below, each of the passion projects began with a question, curiosity, or necessity. But one thing that sets each of these stories apart is how each technologist took their idea and kept expanding on what their application could do.

At MAXX Potential, two of our core values are curiosity and initiative. We love to see our technologists step into their own interests and apply their tech skills to creating a project that solves their problem or explores some whimsy. 

Today, we’re going to look at three passion projects, coupling each with a bit of love poetry.

Love Notes to Our Favorite Passion Projects

Diamond Compare: How Do I Love Thee?

Diamond Compare (inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43 “How Do I Love Thee?”)

How do I love thee? Let me analyze
The cut, color, clarity, and carat
My code can reach, when scraping all the buys
For the diamond that matches your merit.
I love thee like I love coding daily
In the morning blush and the evening hush.
I love thee without err, to not fail thee
In search of the best diamond without rush.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In Python library and web scrapers
To find thee a rock to seal this love ruse.
I love thee so, to search even vapors,
Only to find the ideal ring, storefront.
I love thee, not because of that code stunt.

The Story Behind Diamond Compare

“When Gillian and I started talking about marriage, we looked at engagement rings online and in-store, but I wanted to find the sweet spot – the best diamond for the best price.” John Dlugokecki, MAXX Potential Partner, shared.

After that realization, John sat down at his computer to figure out how to find that sweet spot. He used a Python library called Scrapy and Metabase, his go-to analytics tool.

“I definitely had sticker shock at the price of diamonds,” he said. “But when we compared a real diamond alongside other rocks, there was no comparison.”

To find out everything he needed to know about diamonds, John leaned into web scraping to capture all the data he could from large diamond stores. He had to work backwards because he needed to understand what data he wanted for his comparison. Once he knew which details to track, he could build the next part.

Each website he wanted to crawl was slightly different, and that presented a puzzle. He needed a system that would programmatically click through web pages and grab the information. Additionally, the web scraping bots had to move quickly but not too quickly as to not alert website blockers.

“Websites want traffic, but when they recognize too many hits at once from a certain IP, they’ll start working to block you.” John explained. “It was fun engineering ways to get around blockers, and at what point do they start throttling you?”

 

To keep his own computer from being blacklisted, he opted to send his web crawlers through other servers. So if you’re in New York City or Austin, Texas, and you can’t visit a diamond jewelry website, you can blame John (just kidding, it doesn’t work like that).

The web crawlers worked smoother than 120fps, and data flowed into the database. From there, John reorganized the data to find that sweet spot in diamonds, analyzing the information.

“It turned out to be a great learning opportunity, and I enjoyed the process of using the web scrapers to funnel information to the database.” John said. And when asked if he found that sweet spot diamond through his passion project, he chuckled. “We ended up finding the diamond in-store.”

Tea Party: Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds

Tea Party (inspired by Shakespeare’s “Sonnet CXVI”)

Let me not to the passion of projects
Admit impediments. Coding is love
Which alters when exceptions err and wreck,
Wanting attention and all the above.
O, no! it is a true love that consumes,
That asks how to solve or make learning fun.
It’s the whistle to the tea party’s fumes
Signaling the conversation’s just begun
Problem solving ideas to make CVs
Interactive with Javascript, Three.js,
and Blender – tools of fun work and hobbies.
What if I added some random bluejays?
   If this passion be error, upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no one ever loved.

The Story Behind Tea Party

“I wanted to foster a sense of playfulness during a conversation around my professional information and portfolio while serving tea at the same time.” Shawn Yu, MAXX Potential Apprentice Level 3, said.

For most industries, job searches and applications fall into the monotonous category, where hiring managers and job applicants do the dance of paperwork shuffling. Some industries require a portfolio of projects in addition to the resume or CV, and tech is one of those spaces.

Shawn created the digital tea party with Javascript and the Three.js library, and he brought three-dimensional life and movement to the teapot, teacup, and saucers with Blender.

“In one way, it symbolizes a civilized environment, but on the other hand, I really just liked the Mad Hatter scene from Alice in Wonderland.” Shawn shared some of his inspiration for the whimsical project.

Upon exploring the application in real time, the digital tea party starts out with propriety in mind, and users can set the table while checking out other projects created by Shawn. Things go awry though when you click around a bit more. Teacups fall from the sky, and saucers fling other recently-set items off the table.

Has Shawn used this application in a job interview? We’ll have to get back to you.

Has Shawn used this application in a job interview? We’ll have to get back to you.

Plants Worth Plantin’: Roses Are Red

Plants Worth Plantin’ (inspired by “The Rose is Red”)

Roses are red;
Violets are blue.
Plants worth plantin’
Are chosen by you.

What plants go in
My yard? I ask.
Think land, sun, shade,
– flowering damask.

To organize,
I built a site
With web hosting
And data might.

It started small
– Basic info,
But I wanted
More green inspo.

I set up fields
In database
But it was slow
To my own gaze.

I made a form,
Checking each box
To add info:
Dirt, wet, light, rocks.

Then I wanted
Pristine display
And easy sort
Of plant array.

The plant site grew
With security,
Web responsive,
And utility.

What started as
A yard subject
Became backend
Coding project.

I keep thinking
Of more to do
On my website.
It’s much ado!

My plant list grows.
The site to-do
Plan just expands.
Yard remains askew.

The Story Behind Plants Worth Plantin’

“I took a landscaping class this summer and learned that it was a good idea to plan out everything I wanted to put in my yard before putting anything in the ground.” Brandon Phillips, MAXX Potential Apprentice Level 2 said.

Doing what technologists do best, Brandon turned to his tech skills to help him organize the plants he wanted in his yard. He started a list of plants, gathered basic information, and tried to coordinate what would work best in his yard.

“I already had a web hosting account, so I created a database with all of the fields to track, and I started entering each plant’s info through the backend.” Brandon explained. This became tedious, and so he decided to create a form that had check boxes so he could add information quickly without a lot of typing.

As Brandon’s database of information took shape, he found more and more ideas of how to streamline his user experience, organize the information, and sort the plant data. He added device responsiveness to the project and then added security features.

“The project definitely helped me get organized, but now I just keep thinking of new features I want to add and better ways to display the data.” Brandon said.

Has Brandon used his database to choose plants for his yard? He shared the following, “I bought a few plants and put them in this fall but will hopefully be putting in a lot more this spring and summer!”

Ready to Express Your Love for Tech?

A career in technology requires a certain level of love, curiosity, and passion! Are you interested in pursuing a career in technology? Then we’d love to have you join our Career Lab! Find out more at maxxpotential.com/career-lab.

Commit to Building Your GitHub Presence in the New Year

By MAXX Potential

git commit -m 'growing and showing your skills'

“I’m delighted every time I discover a GitHub profile linked to a resume.” John Spauls, MAXX Potential Operations Director, said. “It’s a window into a technologist’s hard skills and interests.”

Whether you’re happy with your current role or you’re advancing your tech career, committing to building your GitHub presence throughout the new year ensures that you continue to grow and show your skills.

At MAXX Potential, we love to see projects linked to a resume or LinkedIn. The tech industry changes so much that seeing other technologists commit to their own growth through projects drives the passion of our team.

So what does it take to commit to building your GitHub presence?

We hoped you’d ask, and we’re ready to discuss ways to determine your project ideas, set a goal, create a task list, track your progress, and decide where to share the repositories.

Determine Programming Project Ideas

The projects you work on are entirely up to you. That can feel overwhelming, and if you feel that way, you’re not the first. How do you decide?

One of the best ways to figure out what to work on is to follow your curiosity.

Open up a new document or note and spend a few minutes considering the questions below. Type out your answers so you have them as a touchstone later on in your process.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What am I excited to work on?
  • What system would I like to figure out?
  • Do I have a specific area that I want to gain experience in?
  • What are my career goals and what project helps with those goals?
  • Are there any existing public GitHub repositories I’d like to build out?

Sometimes your project idea might present itself to you. For one of the MAXX Potential Apprentices, the project idea came from a social media connection. Let’s hear it in his own words.

“My favorite author posted on his Facebook page,” Robert Clemo, MAXX Potential Apprentice shared, “He had a project that had been on the back burner for years, and he wanted to know if anyone who followed him had any cloud, web, and database knowledge.”

Clemo and others responded to the post, listed their capabilities, and specified their time availability for the project. From there, Clemo explained, “Together, we collaborated on the project to bring it to reality.”

Your project ideas can come from anywhere, and some project ideas can become a collaborative project. Let’s explore project collaboration more!

Collaborate on a Software Development Project

One of the best ways to develop a larger project is to work on a team. While we all may have bad memories of school projects, your project alliance can skip some of those cringe moments.

GitHub makes it easy to partner on projects with their “git clone” and “git fork” commands, and you can even build off of someone else’s project, rather than do a strict collaboration.

Landing on an interesting project with great team members can take time, and MAXX Apprentices have different experiences of how to find project collaborators.

“I’ve done a few freelance projects for friends, and those conversations went like, ‘I saw these projects you made and I need something like it.’” Parker Benbow, MAXX Potential Apprentice discussed his collaboration on projects. He continued, “basically, they’d have an idea and then say, ‘could Parker build that?’”

Meanwhile, Heidi Jay, MAXX Potential Apprentice, has had a hand in gathering a team of people together to work on a project. She shared, “I find project success happens when you have a designated leader who helps organize the team and can guide the process a bit. Collaborative projects can be really rewarding and fun.”

Teamwork on projects can be exhilarating because you don’t face the project problems alone, but it can have its own set of additional problems because you’re working with other people you may not always agree with throughout the timeline. However, from an employer standpoint, project collaboration can demonstrate the hard and soft skills they seek in a future employee.

Set a Goal for Growing Your GitHub Presence

Since you balance life responsibilities alongside your goals, it’s important to come up with a plan for your GitHub presence. It might not make sense to have the goal of finishing a new project every month, but you may want to shoot for a total of six projects for the year. Set attainable goals and maybe some stretch goals too.

For example, a common new year resolution is setting extreme fitness goals such as losing 50 pounds or getting a 6-pack. Resolution-setters quickly discard the goal because they didn’t make a plan with steps. A more attainable, smarter goal is saying, “I will go on three 20-minute walks each week.”

When you’re deciding on your goals for growing your GitHub presence, consider what it takes to reach each goal.

Create a Detail-Oriented Task List

For growing your GitHub presence, consider outlining what it will take to finish a new repository every other month, and then from there, create an individualized task list for the project. The more detailed you can write your task list, the better you can stay on top of it.

Just as Heidi shared above, it’s important to have a designated leader who will guide the team, and even if you’re doing a project solo, you want to create that same level of guidance for yourself even when it’s self-directed.

Your task list gives you the overarching vision for each project so you can start and stop as you need when life gets in the way.


Track Your Progress

Keeping track of your task list completion becomes the next component. While GitHub provides a progress bar, it can’t keep track of the details of your project.

You need to stay plugged into your project vision.

Whether you opt for a notebook or you prefer other platforms, some good tools include Asana, ClickUp, MindMeister, Trello, or AirTable. Each platform allows you to customize your task list in as much detail as you want. You’ll know exactly where you’re headed, where you stopped, and what’s next.

“AirTable is my go-to tool for organization because it provides multiple views of the information I’m working with, and it’s highly customizable.” Tucker Mahan, MAXX Potential Talent Director, shared.

Tracking your progress throughout the project provides you with a roadmap to finish the project as well as the reward of seeing your project come together.

Set Project Time in Daily Life

What does it take for you to actually do the work for your project? Most of us have big ideas but implementing them is a whole other battle. If you struggle to focus on your project, even though you want to do the work, you’re not alone.

For example, a common problem many novel writers experience is bookmarking time for writing and then not writing a single word. This is where routine can help. Some writers swear by their routine of preparing a cup of tea, lighting a candle, and tuning into a music playlist. This routine smooths the way for an hour of productivity.

You may find that starting some type of routine before you work on a project can get you into the right headspace for the work ahead.

Publish Your GitHub Repository Publicly

To publish from the start or to publish upon project completion can be a point of discussion.

The answer goes back to your own goal: do you plan to use your GitHub as a portfolio or do you hope publishing will keep you accountable to finishing?

A finished GitHub repository becomes a part of your online portfolio, and an unfinished project that’s published will be viewable by all. So commit to completing your GitHub repositories!

At MAXX Potential, we seek individuals who create their own learning opportunities and dive into projects to expand their knowledge. Do you want to start or advance your tech career? Join our next Career Lab!

MORE POSTS

Commit to Building Your GitHub Presence in the New Year

By MAXX Potential

git commit -m 'growing and showing your skills'

“I’m delighted every time I discover a GitHub profile linked to a resume.” John Spauls, MAXX Potential Operations Director, said. “It’s a window into a technologist’s hard skills and interests.”

Whether you’re happy with your current role or you’re advancing your tech career, committing to building your GitHub presence throughout the new year ensures that you continue to grow and show your skills.

At MAXX Potential, we love to see projects linked to a resume or LinkedIn. The tech industry changes so much that seeing other technologists commit to their own growth through projects drives the passion of our team.

So what does it take to commit to building your GitHub presence?

We hoped you’d ask, and we’re ready to discuss ways to determine your project ideas, set a goal, create a task list, track your progress, and decide where to share the repositories.

Determine Programming Project Ideas

The projects you work on are entirely up to you. That can feel overwhelming, and if you feel that way, you’re not the first. How do you decide?

One of the best ways to figure out what to work on is to follow your curiosity.

Open up a new document or note and spend a few minutes considering the questions below. Type out your answers so you have them as a touchstone later on in your process.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What am I excited to work on?
  • What system would I like to figure out?
  • Do I have a specific area that I want to gain experience in?
  • What are my career goals and what project helps with those goals?
  • Are there any existing public GitHub repositories I’d like to build out?

Sometimes your project idea might present itself to you. For one of the MAXX Potential Apprentices, the project idea came from a social media connection. Let’s hear it in his own words.

“My favorite author posted on his Facebook page,” Robert Clemo, MAXX Potential Apprentice shared, “He had a project that had been on the back burner for years, and he wanted to know if anyone who followed him had any cloud, web, and database knowledge.”

Clemo and others responded to the post, listed their capabilities, and specified their time availability for the project. From there, Clemo explained, “Together, we collaborated on the project to bring it to reality.”

Your project ideas can come from anywhere, and some project ideas can become a collaborative project. Let’s explore project collaboration more!

Collaborate on a Software Development Project

One of the best ways to develop a larger project is to work on a team. While we all may have bad memories of school projects, your project alliance can skip some of those cringe moments.

GitHub makes it easy to partner on projects with their “git clone” and “git fork” commands, and you can even build off of someone else’s project, rather than do a strict collaboration.

Landing on an interesting project with great team members can take time, and MAXX Apprentices have different experiences of how to find project collaborators.

“I’ve done a few freelance projects for friends, and those conversations went like, ‘I saw these projects you made and I need something like it.’” Parker Benbow, MAXX Potential Apprentice discussed his collaboration on projects. He continued, “basically, they’d have an idea and then say, ‘could Parker build that?’”

Meanwhile, Heidi Jay, MAXX Potential Apprentice, has had a hand in gathering a team of people together to work on a project. She shared, “I find project success happens when you have a designated leader who helps organize the team and can guide the process a bit. Collaborative projects can be really rewarding and fun.”

Teamwork on projects can be exhilarating because you don’t face the project problems alone, but it can have its own set of additional problems because you’re working with other people you may not always agree with throughout the timeline. However, from an employer standpoint, project collaboration can demonstrate the hard and soft skills they seek in a future employee.

Set a Goal for Growing Your GitHub Presence

Since you balance life responsibilities alongside your goals, it’s important to come up with a plan for your GitHub presence. It might not make sense to have the goal of finishing a new project every month, but you may want to shoot for a total of six projects for the year. Set attainable goals and maybe some stretch goals too.

For example, a common new year resolution is setting extreme fitness goals such as losing 50 pounds or getting a 6-pack. Resolution-setters quickly discard the goal because they didn’t make a plan with steps. A more attainable, smarter goal is saying, “I will go on three 20-minute walks each week.”

When you’re deciding on your goals for growing your GitHub presence, consider what it takes to reach each goal.

Create a Detail-Oriented Task List

For growing your GitHub presence, consider outlining what it will take to finish a new repository every other month, and then from there, create an individualized task list for the project. The more detailed you can write your task list, the better you can stay on top of it.

Just as Heidi shared above, it’s important to have a designated leader who will guide the team, and even if you’re doing a project solo, you want to create that same level of guidance for yourself even when it’s self-directed.

Your task list gives you the overarching vision for each project so you can start and stop as you need when life gets in the way.


Track Your Progress

Keeping track of your task list completion becomes the next component. While GitHub provides a progress bar, it can’t keep track of the details of your project.

You need to stay plugged into your project vision.

Whether you opt for a notebook or you prefer other platforms, some good tools include Asana, ClickUp, MindMeister, Trello, or AirTable. Each platform allows you to customize your task list in as much detail as you want. You’ll know exactly where you’re headed, where you stopped, and what’s next.

“AirTable is my go-to tool for organization because it provides multiple views of the information I’m working with, and it’s highly customizable.” Tucker Mahan, MAXX Potential Talent Director, shared.

Tracking your progress throughout the project provides you with a roadmap to finish the project as well as the reward of seeing your project come together.

Set Project Time in Daily Life

What does it take for you to actually do the work for your project? Most of us have big ideas but implementing them is a whole other battle. If you struggle to focus on your project, even though you want to do the work, you’re not alone.

For example, a common problem many novel writers experience is bookmarking time for writing and then not writing a single word. This is where routine can help. Some writers swear by their routine of preparing a cup of tea, lighting a candle, and tuning into a music playlist. This routine smooths the way for an hour of productivity.

You may find that starting some type of routine before you work on a project can get you into the right headspace for the work ahead.

Publish Your GitHub Repository Publicly

To publish from the start or to publish upon project completion can be a point of discussion.

The answer goes back to your own goal: do you plan to use your GitHub as a portfolio or do you hope publishing will keep you accountable to finishing?

A finished GitHub repository becomes a part of your online portfolio, and an unfinished project that’s published will be viewable by all. So commit to completing your GitHub repositories!

At MAXX Potential, we seek individuals who create their own learning opportunities and dive into projects to expand their knowledge. Do you want to start or advance your tech career? Join our next Career Lab!

AI Is Taking Over Resume Assessment. Is That A Good Thing?

By Barbara Brutt

Men At Interview With AI Robot Machine

The benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology are here to stay, and it’s already automating many processes, including hiring. Charged with automation of repetitive tasks, AI frees humans for other creative problem-solving challenges—specifically, the ability to produce new ways to do things. When it comes to resume assessment, AI handles collection and resume analysis while managers run the interview process.

The purpose of the resume is to get a candidate’s foot in the door for the hiring process. When a hiring manager or an AI software program looks at a resume, they’re seeking specific skills and experience. So what does it take to assess a resume and the corresponding candidate?

What It Takes to Assess a Resume

Most industries require a resume for an initial job application, and these documents are basically a sparknotes version of a candidate’s work history and experience. When looking at a resume, it’s important to compare the job description to the work experience. If the role requires interpersonal skills or daily writing responsibilities, it’s ideal to look for customer service experience and clean writing throughout the resume.

A Human Assesses a Resume

When a Human Resources hiring manager handles job applications and assesses resumes, they compare job experience to the role description. They look at job history, projects, and results. Hit the right style points, and some managers will likely be swayed to interview. Hide your contact information in an excessive design, and you may never hear back.

The human element of resume assessment may include unconscious biases, gut instincts, and certain familiarities. This can make some resumes move to the top of the pile while other candidates who might be great for the role are overlooked.

While a resume presents job facts, it also shares a story of personal and professional growth. A hiring manager can see the candidate’s career passion, sense of authenticity, and personal pride. These clues converge to represent a candidate’s potential.

AI Assesses a Resume

AI replacing humans has made the resume assessment process more efficient. Collecting resumes through an automated application system allows for notifications of resume receipt to be sent to employer and candidate alike. These are welcome benefits.

When an AI program assesses a resume, its algorithms follow exact rules. AI searches for keywords from the job description in the resume, and it assesses whether or not the appropriate certifications, education levels, and work timelines are present. For AI, the process is a simple yes or no. If a resume meets the criteria, then the corresponding candidate moves forward in the hiring process.

As AI becomes more pervasive, many people fear being replaced by artificial intelligence. However, according to census data studies collected over the last 140 years, automation technology has actually created more jobs.

The Problem with AI Resume Assessment

Where AI falls short in recruiting is how it evaluates candidates based on historical data as opposed to their current potential. AI vetoes resumes of candidates who may have the necessary skills and aptitude for a role, but they lack the education levels or general certifications.

AI was not designed to increase the diversity in hiring. It was designed to make administrative processes more efficient for employers. It did one job, but it cannot do the other. There are many people capable of filling the positions that cause recruiting headaches for tech employers, but they won’t all shine in historical evaluation systems. 

In the United States, there are an estimated 27 million “hidden workers,” people who want to work but are failing the initial resume assessment because they’re lacking credentials. AI resume assessment misses the candidate’s potential and value beyond credentials.

According to the Harvard Business School, hidden workers cited the following criteria that disqualified them from securing work:

  • 36% – years of experience
  • 30% – employment gaps in resume
  • 29% – academic performance
  • 29% – professional credentials
  • 26% – career progression (previous job titles and employers)
  • 22% – skills

A large majority (88%) of employers agree that qualified high-skill candidates are vetted out of the process because they do not match the exact criteria established by the job description. That number rose to 94% in the case of middle-skill workers.

AI algorithms are designed to isolate criteria on an applicant’s resume and sort resumes by that information, but the algorithms may skip a creatively-skilled applicant’s resume who may become an impactful employee.

Knowing how to spot potential is crucial and it’s what MAXX Potential does.

Assessing Potential Beyond the Resume

Recognizing potential in a resume starts with reading between the lines of the project accomplishments, interpersonal achievements, and passion presentation. While AI checkmarks credentials, industry keywords, and education, hiring managers unearth a candidate’s attitude, drive, and eagerness.

At MAXX Potential, we look for the people who light up—who revel in the journey of solving a problem.

We find talented individuals because they are interested in joining the tech industry and sign up for the free multi-session Career Lab. Participants interact with hands-on activities, demonstrating problem-solving abilities alongside their tech experience. After Career Lab, some participants apply to the paid apprenticeship program where they gain on-the-job experience and professional development mentorship.

There is no shortage of high potential people—the key is finding them and equipping them to succeed in the tech industry.

Ready to learn more about the tech industry or ready to find a unique way to invest in future tech talent? Register for our next Career Lab as a participant or partner with MAXX Potential to access a diverse talent pipeline.

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AI Is Taking Over Resume Assessment. Is That A Good Thing?

By Barbara Brutt

Men At Interview With AI Robot Machine

The benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology are here to stay, and it’s already automating many processes, including hiring. Charged with automation of repetitive tasks, AI frees humans for other creative problem-solving challenges—specifically, the ability to produce new ways to do things. When it comes to resume assessment, AI handles collection and resume analysis while managers run the interview process.

The purpose of the resume is to get a candidate’s foot in the door for the hiring process. When a hiring manager or an AI software program looks at a resume, they’re seeking specific skills and experience. So what does it take to assess a resume and the corresponding candidate?

What It Takes to Assess a Resume

Most industries require a resume for an initial job application, and these documents are basically a sparknotes version of a candidate’s work history and experience. When looking at a resume, it’s important to compare the job description to the work experience. If the role requires interpersonal skills or daily writing responsibilities, it’s ideal to look for customer service experience and clean writing throughout the resume.

A Human Assesses a Resume

When a Human Resources hiring manager handles job applications and assesses resumes, they compare job experience to the role description. They look at job history, projects, and results. Hit the right style points, and some managers will likely be swayed to interview. Hide your contact information in an excessive design, and you may never hear back.

The human element of resume assessment may include unconscious biases, gut instincts, and certain familiarities. This can make some resumes move to the top of the pile while other candidates who might be great for the role are overlooked.

While a resume presents job facts, it also shares a story of personal and professional growth. A hiring manager can see the candidate’s career passion, sense of authenticity, and personal pride. These clues converge to represent a candidate’s potential.

AI Assesses a Resume

AI replacing humans has made the resume assessment process more efficient. Collecting resumes through an automated application system allows for notifications of resume receipt to be sent to employer and candidate alike. These are welcome benefits.

When an AI program assesses a resume, its algorithms follow exact rules. AI searches for keywords from the job description in the resume, and it assesses whether or not the appropriate certifications, education levels, and work timelines are present. For AI, the process is a simple yes or no. If a resume meets the criteria, then the corresponding candidate moves forward in the hiring process.

As AI becomes more pervasive, many people fear being replaced by artificial intelligence. However, according to census data studies collected over the last 140 years, automation technology has actually created more jobs.

The Problem with AI Resume Assessment

Where AI falls short in recruiting is how it evaluates candidates based on historical data as opposed to their current potential. AI vetoes resumes of candidates who may have the necessary skills and aptitude for a role, but they lack the education levels or general certifications.

AI was not designed to increase the diversity in hiring. It was designed to make administrative processes more efficient for employers. It did one job, but it cannot do the other. There are many people capable of filling the positions that cause recruiting headaches for tech employers, but they won’t all shine in historical evaluation systems. 

In the United States, there are an estimated 27 million “hidden workers,” people who want to work but are failing the initial resume assessment because they’re lacking credentials. AI resume assessment misses the candidate’s potential and value beyond credentials.

According to the Harvard Business School, hidden workers cited the following criteria that disqualified them from securing work:

  • 36% – years of experience
  • 30% – employment gaps in resume
  • 29% – academic performance
  • 29% – professional credentials
  • 26% – career progression (previous job titles and employers)
  • 22% – skills

A large majority (88%) of employers agree that qualified high-skill candidates are vetted out of the process because they do not match the exact criteria established by the job description. That number rose to 94% in the case of middle-skill workers.

AI algorithms are designed to isolate criteria on an applicant’s resume and sort resumes by that information, but the algorithms may skip a creatively-skilled applicant’s resume who may become an impactful employee.

Knowing how to spot potential is crucial and it’s what MAXX Potential does.

Assessing Potential Beyond the Resume

Recognizing potential in a resume starts with reading between the lines of the project accomplishments, interpersonal achievements, and passion presentation. While AI checkmarks credentials, industry keywords, and education, hiring managers unearth a candidate’s attitude, drive, and eagerness.

At MAXX Potential, we look for the people who light up—who revel in the journey of solving a problem.

We find talented individuals because they are interested in joining the tech industry and sign up for the free multi-session Career Lab. Participants interact with hands-on activities, demonstrating problem-solving abilities alongside their tech experience. After Career Lab, some participants apply to the paid apprenticeship program where they gain on-the-job experience and professional development mentorship.

There is no shortage of high potential people—the key is finding them and equipping them to succeed in the tech industry.

Ready to learn more about the tech industry or ready to find a unique way to invest in future tech talent? Register for our next Career Lab as a participant or partner with MAXX Potential to access a diverse talent pipeline.