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Stories from the Hackery

Stories from the Hackery

Author: Nashville Software School

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Find out what it takes to start a career in software development, data analytics, data science, or UI/UX design from those who made the leap. Hear from musicians, veterans, single-moms, teachers, bartenders, postdocs, warehouse workers, and more - all graduates of Nashville Software School (NSS) - as they discuss their transition to tech and their capstone projects presented at Demo Day. Founded in 2012, NSS is a flourishing community of over one thousand alumni, active students, and a team of dedicated instructors all working together to grow and learn their craft. As a non-profit, NSS is committed to growing diversity in tech by creating opportunities for under-represented groups in these fields. Learn more at nashvillesoftwareschool.com.
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In this episode of Stories from The Hackery we catch up with Data Science 3 alumni Dibran Rexhepi, a former biology graduate turned data engineer and now instructor for the Part-time Analytics program at Nashville Software School. From his humble beginnings in a chemistry lab to discovering the world of programming through a bioinformatics class, our guest shares how he found his passion for coding. Tune in as Dibran reflects on his experience at Nashville Software School, the challenges he faced, the lessons learned, and how he now gives back by teaching others. Are you or someone you know ready to begin your NSS Journey? Visit our website to learn more about our upcoming programs and apply today! https://nashvillesoftwareschool.com/calendar/upcoming-programs/ Chapters: 00:00 - Introduction 01:54 - Transition to Tech 03:30 - Discovering Nashville Software School 05:03 - Embracing Challenges 06:46 - Teaching and Giving Back 07:45 - Thriving Amidst Challenges 09:05 - Mentoring and Growth 11:24 - Advice for Aspiring Developers 12:34 - Insights from Industry Experience 15:30 - Reflecting on NSS Experience
As we continue to discuss generative AI on Nashville Software School’s podcast, Stories from the Hackery, Founder and CEO John Wark and lead Data instructor Michael Holloway, dive into various techniques for leveraging large language models (LLMs) like generative AI. They explore the potential of using hosted public LLMs via chatbot interfaces and discuss strategies for embedding LLMs into applications. One such technique discussed is the use of a prompt engineering, which involves wrapping the LLM API to tailor user prompts for more effective responses. They also discuss more advanced techniques like retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), which involves using external data to tailor LLM responses further. This approach helps mitigate challenges like hallucination and ensures contextually relevant responses. Additionally, they touch on fine-tuning LLMs for specific applications, which requires more computational resources and domain expertise. John and Michael highlight the importance of having machine learning skills to implement these techniques effectively. While fine-tuning LLMs may require specialized skills and resources, the emergence of smaller LLMs makes certain applications more accessible. They also mention the potential of multi-agent models for deeper and more focused outputs, indicating an exciting direction for LLM applications. For more information on the evolving landscape of LLMs and the need for organizations to stay informed about these advancements to harness their full potential in this episode of Stories from the Hackery by Nashville Software School. START YOUR NSS JOURNEY To learn more about Nashville Software School and our upcoming programs, visit our website at https://NashvilleSoftwareSchool.com SUPPORT NSS Want to support NSS in our mission to teach adults skills needed for careers in tech? Visit our website to donate to the scholarship fund and learn about other volunteer opportunities! Nashss.com/Give CHAPTERS: 00:00 - Introduction 01:57 - Public Chat Bot Usage 02:47 - Prompt Engineering 03:21 - Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) 3:57 - Fine Tuning of Models 04:37 - Technical Implementation 05:10 - Product Engineering and Its Role 08:17 - Implementing Prompt and Product Engineering 10:15 - Utilizing External Context with RAG 11:20 - Responsible AI Considerations 16:57 - Overcoming Challenges and Limitations 23:53 - Future Trends and Considerations 29:48 - Prompt and product engineering techniques
In this episode of Stories from the Hackery, Founder and CEO of Nashville Software School, John Wark, sits down with lead analytics instructor, Michael Holloway, to provide insights into the impact of generative AI tools like ChatGPT on data analytics and data science. They highlight the importance of human oversight and contextual understanding in leveraging these tools effectively as well as strategies for adapting programs at Nashville Software School to prepare students for evolving roles in data analytics and data science are discussed, emphasizing the need for continuous learning and skill development. START YOUR NSS JOURNEY To learn more about Nashville Software School and our upcoming programs, visit our website at https://NashvilleSoftwareSchool.com SUPPORT NSS Want to support NSS in our mission to teach adults skills needed for careers in tech? Visit our website to donate to the scholarship fund and learn about other volunteer opportunities! https://Nashss.com/Give CHAPTERS: 00:00 - Introduction. 03:10 - An overview of data analytics and data science. 04:30 - The evolution and impact of generative AI tools like ChatGPT and their role in supporting data analytics and data science tasks. 05:33 - Similarities and differences between software development and data analytics/data science are explored, focusing on how generative AI tools transform learning and work processes. 06:31 - Similarities in using generative AI tools for coding tasks and the importance of understanding contextual knowledge and problem domains. 08:12 - Key differences between software development and data analytics/data science, such as exploratory nature and iterative problem-solving approaches, are highlighted. 10:18 - The iterative exploration process in data analytics is discussed, emphasizing the need for planning, design, and contextual understanding of the data. 12:10 - Limitations of generative AI tools like ChatGPT in reasoning and understanding complex data contexts are explained. 13:05 - Capabilities and limitations of generative AI tools, emphasizing their dependence on training data and human validation. 17:42 - The importance of human oversight in using generative AI tools. 22:58 - Domain expertise in data analytics and data science tasks, emphasizing the limitations of generative AI tools. 24:48 Training strategies at NSS to prepare students for evolving roles in data analytics and data science. 46:08 - Strategies for adapting training content to incorporate skills relevant to generative AI tools. 01:04:2 - Closing.
In this Alumni Spotlight episode of Stories from the Hackery, we catch up with Full-time Web Development Cohort 22 alumna Kimmy Bird to discuss her NSS journey. From her time as a product owner at an international education company to now working as an Elixir backend developer in Germany, hear about the diverse paths NSS graduates have access to in the tech industry after graduation. Connect with Kimmy on LinkedIn! https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-j-bird/ Learn more about Nashville Software School and begin your own journey toward a career in tech, visit our website NashvilleSoftwareSchool.com Nashville Software School is the nation’s first non-profit coding bootcamp, dedicated to teaching adults how to code through web development, data analytics, and data science. If you’d like to help support NSS’ mission to diversify tech, visit our giving site to make a monthly or one-time donation: https://support.nashvillesoftwareschool.com/ways-to-give Timestamps: 00:00 Introduction 01:31 Transitioning to Tech 04:05 Learning Experience and Overcoming Challenges 08:33 Career Transition and NSS Support 13:36 International Opportunities in Tech 16:31 Gratitude and Acknowledgments 20:43 Final thoughts 21:20 Outro
Gabe Guio is a Nashville Software School graduate who contributed to the recent local data conference, DataTune Nashville, in a big way. He had the opportunity to not only build the website for the conference that serviced over 400 attendee registrations, but also built a conference scanner application that sponsors used to capture the information of attendees as they visited sponsor tables for a raffle prize at the end of the day. In this episode of Stories from the Hackery, Gabe shares how he was connected with the team at DataTune Nashville and what tools he used to create the applications for the conference. Resources References in this podcast: Connect with Gabe on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabeguio/ Gabe’s Conference Scanner App Walk-through Videos: Conference Demo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEyQImODfUw Advized Raffle Short: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/9bG_WHxK00Q Learn more about Nashville Software School and our upcoming programs when you visit our website: https://NashvilleSoftwareSchool.com Chapters: 0:00 Intro 2:49 Gabe’s background before attending Nashville Software School 5:29 - Volunteering with Data Tune Nashville Conference 7:30 - Building the Website for Data Tune Nashville 11:39 - Building the Conference Scanner app for Data Tune Nashville 17:44 - Gabe’s experience with the Nashville tech community 20:33 - Outro Producer & Editor: Jessica Grande
From mock interviews, to resume talks and Demo Day scheduling, there’s no shortage of opportunities for our students to gain the skills necessary to their job search after graduation.! In the latest episode of Stories from the Hackery, NSS’s Career Development Team Lead, Ashley Canino, and Career Development Specialist, Michael Frieh, talk about how they work with every student at NSS to prepare them for their job search post-graduation! Learn more about Nashville Software School and our upcoming programs when you visit our website: https://NashvilleSoftwareSchool.com 0:00 Intro 1:37 Career Development Services Overview 1:48 What to expect from Career Development at NSS 8:32 Meet the community at Round Table Events Overview 10:25 Preparing with Mock Interviews 14:25 Present your project at Demo Day 17:06 Outro Producer & Editor: Jessica Grande
Nashville Software School Founder and CEO John Wark sits down with Full-time Web Development Lead Instructor, Steve Brownlee, to discuss Steve’s research in how generative AI can be a helpful tool the popularity of LLMs continue to grow in software development. Learn more about Nashville Software School and our upcoming programs when you visit our website: https://NashvilleSoftwareSchool.com 0:00 Intro 1:53: Generative AI is creating a new set of skills that developers need to learn 5:29 How NSS grads were using generative AI in mid-2023 9:30 The generative AI hype cycle & NSS’s exploration 14:05 How have NSS’s students learned to use generative AI as a learning assistant 20:04 Deepening our understanding of generative AI 24:50 Steve Brownlee’s exploration of generative AI for developers 31:40 Can these tools handle system level tasks? 42:52 Exploration with GitHub Copilot 49:33 Grading ChatGPT, Claude, and GitHub Copilot models 51:10 Takeaways: How we plan to incorporate generative AI and prompt engineering into our Web Developer program 1:01:25 Final Thoughts Resources References in this podcast: Steve Brownlee’s blog post: https://www.stevebrownlee.com/genai-stole-my-work/ Chat GPT: https://chat.openai.com/ Claude: https://claude.ai/login?returnTo=%2F Copilot: https://github.com/features/copilot Language References found in the podcast: GenAI = Generative AI. Refers to artificial intelligence systems that have the capability to generate new content, such as images, text, audio, or even video, that is similar to, or inspired by, the data they were trained on. These systems are designed to learn the underlying patterns and structures within the data and then generate novel outputs based on that understanding. LLMs = Large Language Models. Refers to a type of artificial intelligence (AI) model that has been trained on vast amounts of text data in order to understand and generate human-like language. These models, such as OpenAI's GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) series, are designed to process and generate text in a wide range of contexts, tasks, and languages. Foundation Model = Foundation models use self-supervised learning to create labels from input data. This means no one has instructed or trained the model with labeled training data sets. This feature separates LLMs from previous ML architectures, which use supervised or unsupervised learning. Emergent Behavior = Refers to actions or patterns that weren't explicitly programmed into an AI system but developed as a natural outcome of its complexity and interactions. Imagine a colony of ants. No single ant has the blueprint for the colony's intricate behavior. Producer & Editor: Jessica Grande
Markus Matheny graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. I've worked a hundred jobs and never had a career. However, I've always lived a data-driven approach to my life, trying to look at numbers and seeking truth that way. After spending years teaching myself, I realized this was a passion and so I selfishly enrolled in data school to learn how to make my own projects.
Diarra Fall graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. I'm a licensed civil engineer with 7 years of experience in traffic engineering and bridge design. I was drawn to data analytics because as our transportation systems get smarter, we continually add more sensors that are constantly collecting data. Most transportation professionals don't have the tools to churn through all the data to see what it can tell us.
Zach McPherson graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. I am a highly driven professional with a passion for solving complex problems. My diverse background, including hospitality and animatronics, allows me to solve problems through a creative lens. I am passionate about exploring datasets, collaboration, critical thinking while growing my skills further in a data analyst position.
Richard Leonard graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. Through my experiences in healthcare and biology, I was exposed to statistics and data analysis. Data analytics became appealing to me as a career path because of the innovation and creativity allowed when writing code.
Chernae Saka graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. Over a decade of experience in mortgage underwriting, analyzing, and risk mitigation. I have developed a passion for curiosity. My background in underwriting coupled with my interest to explore and make meaning of data has motivated me to pursue a career in data analytics. I look forward to new experiences within data.
Marty Burns graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. Data and analytics have always been a big part of my life. I love exploring, analyzing, and leveraging data to problem solve and build a story that will make an impact on both a professional and personal level. I have used data analytics most of my professional career to increase revenue, reduce waste, improve quality and drive supply chain improvements. I am thankful and grateful to Nashville Software School for providing me extensive training in new, exciting ways to extract, transform, analyze and visualize data. I can't wait to put these new skills to work in my future career endeavors.
Alec Blade graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. I have recently switched paths from engineering to data analytics after noticing my niche and what I liked. I decided upon data analytics because I love being creative with technology and exercising logical thinking. During my free time, I like to support my local soccer teams or hang out with my cat.
Caroline Kim graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. Internal auditor and finance specialist turned data analyst, my innate curiosity and love of learning make me fearless when it comes to tackling complex problems. I believe that data analytics is an immensely powerful tool to distill the story behind the data, deriving meaning and actionable insight from abstract numbers.
Elizabeth Kinnard graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. I've lived and traveled to many parts of the world mainly because my dad was in the military. And when it was my time to decide where to live, I decided on Tennessee. I went to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and received my degree in Economics. I also met my husband there. When we graduated, we moved to Franklin, TN where we both pursued our careers in finance. During the ten years of being in that field, we welcomed a son and a daughter. When I left the finance world in 2019, I wanted to take some time to decide on what my next career path would be. Unfortunately, Covid hit six months later which put everything on hold. Three years later and things are slowly getting back to normal, it was time to invest in myself and move forward in my career as a data analyst.
Maggie Quisenberry graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. I have been a Registered Nurse working primarily in the home care setting. I enjoy getting to meet people and helping them with their healthcare needs. I enjoy the outdoors and try to spend as much free time outside with my family. We enjoy traveling and visiting national parks. I am a hard worker and will always show up on time with a smile and willingness to give whatever the project is 100%.
Brian Wilhelm graduated with full time Data Analytics Cohort 9. I was a middle school teacher and Athletic Director the past 10 years but have switched to data analytics. I am fascinated with the analytic side to problem solving and love diving into data to find a solution to problems. I am very family oriented and my wife and I have three children.
Allison Dial graduated with full time Web Development Cohort 60. I am an imaginative designer and developer who is excited to step into the field of software development. I am passionate about designing for accessibility and building products that have a positive impact on the lives of users. I was first drawn to this field by observing my grandparents struggle to use applications as well as my own experiences with having a minor motor skills disability.
Amy Ulmer graduated with full time Web Development Cohort 60.
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