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IT careers: How to get a job as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) developer

Editor’s note: In this ongoing series for IT job hunters, we’ll explore in-demand roles, necessary skills, and how to stand out in an interview. Here, Ashwin Bharath, co-founder and CEO of Revature, shares insights on getting a job as an AI developer.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) developer salary range:

$85,662 – $102,435 per year. Source: Salary.com.

In a nutshell: What is an AI developer?

Artificial intelligence developers build AI functionality into software applications. The role is generally focused on integrating and implementing AI algorithms and logic into the deliverables of an IT project.

Typically a full-stack developer position, this role requires creating, testing, and deploying code. These developers also assist in converting machine learning APIs so that other applications can use them. 

[ Want to learn to speak AI? Download our cheat sheet: AI glossary ]

What skills are needed?

Successful AI developers tend to be natural programmers, and job seekers should be prepared to showcase their knowledge of Java, Python, and R. However, applicants often mistake complex programming logic as AI – which it is not.

Developers need to be able to teach the machine to solve problems the way a human would through the use of programming. This position requires soft skills too – problem-solving (both autonomously and as part of a team), logic, and the ability to successfully collaborate are a few qualities that are critical to success in this role.

Finally, it’s also important to demonstrate cloud experience. Many companies rely on this infrastructure, and it shows a well-rounded skill set. 

How to stand out in an AI developer interview

Prospective candidates can stand out by proving that they can do more than write code. While it is a highly technical role, real success requires creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and in-depth problem solving.

Share examples of previous work experience or projects that focused on a challenge where AI was used or could have been used. Additionally, candidates should remain informed on current trends within the industry, know how AI is being applied, and be ready to discuss case studies and solutions with the interviewer. 

Bonus: Sample AI developer interview question

Question: How would you describe artificial intelligence in a way that would make sense to a non-technical person?

Answer: Artificial intelligence is training a computer to simulate human intelligence. A common example of AI that you may have already interacted with is a chatbot; they typically can be found on the front pages of websites that people visit every day. The bot can respond to a user’s questions because it was programmed with answers to commonly asked questions that a developer programmed into it initially, along with previous interactions that it has had with prior users.

[ How is AI like learning to ride a bicycle? Read How to explain AI in plain English. ]

As the bot continues to respond to more questions, it becomes better at interpreting questions and can provide more accurate answers. The goal is for the AI to take the place of what traditionally would be a human, at scale and with perfect accuracy.

[ What’s next? Read also: 10 AI trends to watch in 2020 and How big data and AI work together. ]

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As organizations move quickly to adopt AI, they want candidates who bring creative thinking along with technical know-how. Consider this advice on landing an artificial intelligence developer job

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