Silicon Slopes Tech Summit 2019

Day 1 of the 2019 SSTS is in the books and my favorite session from the day was a panel discussion on The Future of AI Talent in Utah. Not because I know anything about AI, but because one can apply the points made by the panel across many disciplines.

When answering a question about talent in Utah, the panel consensus was something along the lines of “Most applicants look the same—1% of the applicant pool are getting all the offers.”

I suspect this is somewhat exaggerated, but it begs the question: What makes that 1% special? How do people differentiate themselves?

What did the panelist say to the young crowd looking at AI as a career path?

  • Don’t rely on “cookie-cutter” (or in software terms “hello world”) projects to demonstrate competency.
  • Show a passion for solving problems.
  • Demonstrate your capabilities by publicly sharing your work—in the area of software development, maintaining a public Github repository for one or more projects. For those of us not in the software space, publishing in a reviewed, online journal would be an option.
  • And while we’ve all heard the college dropout success stories, having a strong educational foundation and simultaneously learning how to solve NEW problems—the ones not in the textbook today—is needed to stay competitive.

These recommendations sound like good advice for everyone looking to differentiate from the crowd.

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