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3 Oct 2023 • 10 min read • 1

A.I. - Solo, Not Siloed: Navigating the AI Frontier in Development

The world of coding often paints a picture of intense late-night debugging sessions, relentless coding marathons, and the unparalleled joy of a successful deployment. My journey began in the cocoon of solitude, where every line of code was a tango between imagination and logic, often with only my trusty rubber duck as a confidant. However, as I honed my craft, I seamlessly transitioned into larger, team-based roles. Taking on the mantle of a Software Engineering Lead, I found my stride, collaborating with a dynamic team of professionals.

This environment, abundant in collective brainstorming and diverse expertise, became my realm of comfort and inspiration…

Yet, life has a way of presenting unforeseen turns. A significant personal event required me to step into a caretaking role , necessitating a temporary departure from my leadership position and a pause from the bustling world of software development. This hiatus, while challenging, offered moments of profound reflection.

Emerging from this phase, I didn’t just return to the coding world; I came back with renewed vigor, fueled by newfound perspectives. Now, as I navigate the realm of contract consulting and development, I’m not alone. AI, my cutting-edge ally, stands by my side, amplifying my capabilities and insights. With AI’s assistance, I feel invincible, as if I’ve reclaimed my past strengths, and have also unlocked potentials I never knew existed. The fusion of my rich collaborative experiences and AI’s prowess marks the beginning of an exhilarating new chapter in my tech journey.

AI: The Game-Changer in My Tech Journey

Venturing into the realm of artificial intelligence wasn’t a mere attempt to stay updated with the latest tech advancements. It was a whole new experience, reshaping my approach to contract gigs and project deliverables. AI transcended its role as a mere tool, emerging as a collaborative partner, constantly guiding and assisting me.

Incorporating AI into my workflow was like unlocking a secret pathway. The synergy between my intuitive decision-making and AI’s unparalleled speed and precision opened up a world where traditional limitations dissolved, giving way to innovative solutions and possibilities.

This partnership was more than just efficiency. It was about co-creating, brainstorming, and pushing boundaries. The dynamic between me and AI wasn’t linear. It was a dialogue—where I fed ideas into the system, and in return, it presented perspectives that were novel and often unexpected. The thrill wasn’t just in the speed but in the diversity and creativity of the solutions.

Working hand-in-hand with AI wasn’t just about productivity. It became a journey of discovery, a dance of ideas, and an exploration of what was possible. With AI as my ally, the horizon of possibilities seemed boundless.

ChatGPT: A Deep Dive into the Digital Frontier

ChatGPT The evolving relationship between humans and AI is redefining the tech landscape. My journey with OpenAI’s ChatGPT wasn’t just enlightening; it felt like unlocking a treasure trove of knowledge.

Imagine conversing with an entity that’s seen the vast expanse of the digital universe, offering insights from a perspective that’s both vast and detailed. That’s ChatGPT for me. Each interaction was an exploration, a mutual learning experience. Turning to ChatGPT was less about finding quick fixes and more about understanding the intricate web of ‘whys’ and ‘hows’, dissecting challenges, and formulating smart, efficient solutions.

But the true allure of ChatGPT was its ability to provoke thought and challenge conventional wisdom. These interactions transcended typical Q&A formats, becoming profound discussions that expanded my vision of technology’s potential. Engaging with AI nurtured a mindset of perpetual learning, prompting me to push boundaries and think beyond the conventional.

To fellow tech enthusiasts: AI is more than a tool; it’s a partner. Engage, challenge, and collaborate with it. Dive deep, explore, and let it amplify not just your technical prowess but also your passion for discovery and innovation.

GitHub Copilot: My Coding Muse

GitHub CoPilot Initially, GitHub Copilot seemed like a nifty addition to my coding arsenal. But over time, it transformed into something more profound—a mentor guiding me with insights that felt as if they emanated from a seasoned developer sitting beside me.

Whether it was guiding me through the nuances of designing a powerful RESTful API or adeptly handling simpler tasks, Copilot showcased its versatility. Its strength wasn’t just in offering code snippets but in grasping the intricacies, preempting challenges, and enhancing the overall quality of my work.

Yet, it’s essential to acknowledge its limitations. While Copilot can supercharge productivity, it’s a supplement, not a substitute. It underscores the fact that while AI can elevate coding standards and reduce errors, the onus of final judgment remains with the developer.

Copilot stands as a testament to AI’s potential in coding. It’s not merely about aiding the coding process but about redefining benchmarks, accelerating projects, and ensuring unparalleled quality.

Taking AI Offline: Why I’m Loving Locally-Run Models

Locally Hosted AI Model Alright, let’s chat about something that’s been catching my eye lately: locally-run AI models. I’m talking about those super-smart algorithms that do their thing right on our devices, without always phoning home to some distant server. It’s like having a genius buddy right in your pocket, and I’m all for it.

So, why the buzz about these on-device wonders? For starters, they’re fast. I mean, imagine not waiting for your data to take a round trip to the cloud and back. Whether I’m tweaking a photo on my phone or trying to make a smart home gadget react in real-time, the responsiveness is just…chef’s kiss.

But hey, speed’s not the only star of the show. We’ve all heard those horror stories of data breaches, right? With locally-run models, my data stays with me. It’s like having a private conversation without a room full of eavesdroppers. I dig that kind of privacy.

And let’s not forget about the independence factor. These models let our gadgets think on their feet—or circuits, I guess? No need to rely on an internet connection, which is a lifesaver when I’m out in the boonies or during those pesky network outages.

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it; there are challenges. Keeping these models efficient and not battery-hungry? That’s a puzzle. But as tech keeps evolving, I’m betting we’ll crack it.

For all my fellow tech-heads out there, this is the next big thing. We’re not just looking at the future in some far-off data center; it’s right here, in the tech we use every day. And honestly? I’m stoked to see where it takes us.

AI as My Lighthouse: Navigating ADHD in the Entrepreneurial Seas

Marrying ADHD with the fiery passion of entrepreneurship often feels akin to steering a ship through a storm of boundless imagination. The waves of thoughts crash, each bringing a torrent of ideas, making it an uphill task to keep my course straight. Amidst this whirlwind, AI, with a special nod to ChatGPT, emerged as the lighthouse guiding me through.

Every flash of inspiration or fleeting thought had me turning to ChatGPT. It became more than a digital notebook. It was my haven—a place where my ideas could momentarily rest, allowing them to be acknowledged without immediately acting upon them. Engaging with ChatGPT meant that these bursts of creativity got the recognition they deserved, ensuring they were captured and stored for a day when the seas were calmer and I could delve deeper.

My ADHD Thought Process

The beauty of this AI-backed process is the peace of mind it brings. Knowing that each idea, no matter how brief or fleeting, was securely archived, ready for my return. This digital dialogue with AI changed the dynamics of how I work and also gave me a newfound appreciation for the raw energy of my ADHD. I learned to harness this fervor, intertwining it with my entrepreneurial endeavors, all the while maintaining a clear direction.

It’s a testament to the evolution of AI, signifying its growth from just being a tool for efficiency to becoming a genuine partner in mental well-being. It’s not just about doing more; it’s about understanding oneself better and achieving a harmonious work rhythm.

The Economic Symphony: Crafting a Harmonized Success Story

Integrating AI into my solo development journey went beyond just embracing cutting-edge tech. It set in motion a symphony of synchronicity, with each contract humming a tune of precision and potential. This wasn’t just a solo act; it was a grand ensemble where AI played a pivotal role, helping me strike the right chords, consistently.

These AI-enhanced tools didn’t just play a background tune; they were the lead instruments. Their timely and insightful suggestions acted as catalysts, propelling the development process forward at a pace I hadn’t experienced before. Take GitHub Copilot, for example. Its intuitive code suggestions often let me sidestep the tedious debugging stage, allowing me to channel that saved time into fresh ventures. The outcome was clear: not just an increase in my earnings, the quality of my work still remained top-tier.

Mastering Your Tools

But it didn’t end there. The efficiencies that AI introduced were game-changers. I wasn’t just handling more projects; I was in a position to cherry-pick those that offered both intellectual stimulation and optimal rewards. Each project I completed added a feather to my cap and set the stage for more to come.

However, this growth wasn’t just a personal victory. The ripples of positive client feedback and their continued trust signaled a broader trend of sustainable growth. It underscored the newly-found power AI could wield within the developer realm. This isn’t just my success story; it’s a tune that can resonate with developers everywhere. Embracing AI’s prowess means delivering standout work in record time and juggling multiple tasks without a dip in quality. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not just about the economic gains—it’s about crafting a new narrative for the future of development.

Charting AI’s Complex Terrain: A Personal Chronicle

Embarking on the path of AI-enhanced development was no walk in the park for me. It was a journey filled with intricate twists and turns. Ensuring the integrity of data input was pivotal, as any misstep could lead to skewed results. I also found that mastering the art of conversing with AI systems was equally essential; the difference between a hastily written prompt and a meticulously crafted one could be the difference between hours of tedious troubleshooting and swift, accurate feedback.

But a pivotal realization was this: integrating AI into workflows isn’t about expecting it to patch up flawed methodologies. It’s a grave mistake to view AI as a magic wand that can fix all woes. Instead, the true essence lies in leveraging AI as an amplifier of one’s skills — a tool that augments, not one that replaces human expertise.

Crafting a New Chapter with AI

My foray into AI-enhanced solo development wasn’t just about leveraging a new technology. It felt like a new world, where each project added vibrant threads of insight, challenges, and triumphs. This collaboration with AI didn’t just streamline my tasks; it reshaped my entire approach, unveiling a horizon brimming with untapped potential.

But as I look back, I realize it’s not just about the destinations reached or the milestones achieved. The real value lies in the journey itself — the hurdles faced, the lessons imbibed, and the vision of a future where human ingenuity seamlessly melds with machine prowess. This symbiotic relationship paints a picture of endless exploration, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. And in this narrative, there’s an open invitation to all developers: dive deep into the AI waters, soak in the knowledge, face the challenges head-on, and pen your unique story of growth, transformation, and triumph.

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1 comment
Jarred Mallette

Great article, Dillon! I appreciated your section on managing ADHD with AI’s assistance – it’s a unique angle I hadn’t considered before. Thanks for sharing your experiences; it’s given me a lot to think about as I navigate my own journey.
Reply to Jarred Mallette

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