Professional Development
AI / Internet / Jobs / Social media

Can ChatGPT help Baltimore’s job seekers develop their technical skills?

The demand for tech-savvy employees continues to grow. Here are some tips from ChatGPT itself and an industry expert to help you stay or get current with the latest trends and technologies.

A composite of several images in (clockwise from left) Renaissance, oil and expressionist styles. (Images created by DALL-E, prompts and composite by Technical.ly)

This editorial article is a part of How to Get a Tech Job Month of Technical.ly’s editorial calendar.

Perhaps you’re unhappy with your current career and yearning for the comfort of working from home, sitting in an ergonomic chair and sharing your favorite songs or GIFs while sipping on some emotional support beverages.

Or maybe you’re a seasoned tech professional who hasn’t updated your technical skills in a while. Either way, ChatGPT has your back.

The constantly evolving technology landscape makes it important to stay ahead of the game and keep your technical skills up to date — even if the last time you coded was on MySpace in 2008. Many software engineers got their start on or were inspired by MySpace. Alongside other do’s and don’ts, this article will aim to improve your chances of landing that ideal tech job.

Who knows? Maybe Netflix is hiring after that faux pas with its “Love Is Blind” livestream.

With ChatGPT’s expertise and our prompting, we took a closer look at how job seekers in Baltimore can leverage local programs and organizations to develop their technical skills and succeed in the tech industry. Just like when we tried to find Wi-Fi in Baltimore, the prompt was simple:

“Hey ChatGPT! I’m curious if you know any programs local to Baltimore that might prepare job seekers with resources and advice to help them develop their technical skills and prepare for tech jobs?”

Here’s what ChatGPT had to say (links added by Technical.ly):

“Certainly! There are several programs and organizations in Baltimore that provide resources and support for individuals looking to develop their technical skills and pursue careers in the tech industry. Here are a few examples:

The Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) offers a range of programs and courses in information technology, including a degree in Computer Science, as well as various certificates in areas such as network administration and cybersecurity.

The Baltimore chapter of Girl Develop It provides affordable and accessible technology classes and workshops for women, with a focus on web and software development.

Digital Harbor Foundation offers a range of programs and workshops for youth and adults, including coding bootcamps, tech clubs, and professional development courses.

Code in the Schools is a nonprofit organization that provides free computer science education to students in Baltimore City public schools, as well as teacher training and support.

The Baltimore Techies for Good Meetup group brings together individuals who work in technology and want to use their skills to make a positive impact in the community.

These are just a few examples of the many resources available in Baltimore for individuals looking to develop their technical skills and pursue careers in the tech industry. I would recommend researching and reaching out to these organizations to learn more about their programs and how they can help support your career goals.”

Technical.ly then followed ChatGPT’s recommendation to reach out

“Oh wow, that’s so wonderful ChatGPT brought up Techies for Good!” said Erica Woods, cofounder of Baltimore Techies for Good and current director of contractor and philanthropy programs for tech consultancy Apex Systems. “Our group has been around for about nine years now and brings together current and aspiring techies to help nonprofits pro bono with technology education, troubleshooting and small projects.” 

Woods recommends individuals interested in a tech career without a traditional technical background use online resources to train and obtain relevant certifications. 

“My biggest advice for folks looking to break into tech is to first upskill using sites like LinkedIn Learning, Pluralsight, Udemy, Cybrary, etc. to learn the basics and get a relevant certification like an A+, Network+, etc.,” she said.

She also advises getting involved in tech meetups and civic tech initiatives that can offer a mix of benefits, including learning, networking and confidence-building. 

“There are a number of civic tech-focused groups and initiatives out there, so do some research to find them, look over their overview and social media posts to learn more about what they’re all about, and then register for a meeting to learn more and start to get involved,” she said.

One of the groups she recommends is Code for Baltimore, “especially for aspiring data and programming professionals.” 

For further guidance, Woods recently hosted a panel discussion on breaking into tech, which is available on-demand for free through Apex Systems. The Richmond, Virginia area company also has a guide specifically for breaking into cybersecurity called “Information Security: A Technical Guide for the Aspiring Information Security Professional.”

“It’s part of my job at Apex to ensure tech folks are set up for success,” Woods added.

Is the coding language you remember outdated? Maybe not.

It’s natural to wonder what might become of the old coding languages we learned in the past. So, we asked ChatGPT if there could be any residual use for the MySpace codes that are buried deep in our memories. Another simple prompt: 

“What were some of the most popular MySpace codes and how might I use them in the ever-evolving tech world?”

Here’s what ChatGPT had to say:

“MySpace was one of the earliest and most popular social networking sites, and at its peak, users would often customize their profiles with various HTML codes to add personalization and style. Here are a few examples of some of the most popular MySpace codes and how they might be relevant in today’s tech world:

Background images: MySpace allowed users to customize the background of their profile with an image of their choice. Today, many websites and apps still allow for custom backgrounds or themes, such as Twitter Slack, which can help users express their personalities or brand.

Music players: One of the signature features of MySpace was the ability to add a music player to your profile, which would autoplay a song or playlist when someone visited your page. Today, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music allow users to create and share playlists, which can be embedded on websites or shared on social media.

Animated GIFs: MySpace users often used animated GIFs to add movement and visual interest to their profiles. Today, GIFs are still a popular way to express emotions or add humor to social media posts or messages.

Font styles and colors: MySpace allowed users to customize the font styles and colors used on their profile, which could help convey their personality or mood. Today, many websites and apps still allow users to customize the font styles and colors of their content, such as blog posts or social media updates.

While some of the specific MySpace codes may no longer be relevant or in use, the broader themes of personalization, self-expression, and customization are still very relevant in today’s tech world. As technology continues to evolve and new platforms and features emerge, there will always be opportunities for users to personalize and customize their experiences in ways that reflect their unique identities and preferences.”

Have you figured out other ways to make ChatGPT help you find jobs or update your skills? Let us know at baltimore@technical.ly.

Companies: Code in the Schools / Baltimore City Community College / Girl Develop It
Series: How to Get a Tech Job Month 2023

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