The growth of AI and ML, along with a lifestyle increasingly dominated by the digital economy, presents an exciting new career landscape for skilled coding professionals. They no longer have to look towards the IT industry alone for high-growth careers. Niche domains such as social media, fintech, healthtech, OTT and gaming are offering multiple opportunities to build innovative, highly scalable solutions that can lead to digital disruption and positively impact communities.
Coders need to build solutions that are multi-fold:
- Intelligently process volumes of big data.
- Build new user experiences to gain traction from competition.
- Personalize the experience of users using past patterns and their liking.
- These emerging spaces have high user growth, leading to solving problems around scale, big data, etc. which are quite interesting for an engineer to solve.
All these are critical to get past the competitive clutter in order to engage users and trigger a shift in user habits for long-term retention. Domains like social media, gaming, healthtech, etc. offer coders considerable exposure to highly specialized data stores, highly available and performant systems and build ML models.
In addition to getting hands-on experience with many technologies and languages (Python, GoLang, R, Kotlin, Swift), there is also an opportunity to learn data engineering using much of the open source tech on the Apache stack (Spark, Flink, Hudi, Solr, Pinot). Coders also get to build sophisticated security frameworks and anomaly detection systems since social media, fintech, etc. reign high on data security.
Here are some of the key use cases that are enabling coders to design, innovate and drive an impact in the society:
Multi-lingual and secure experiences on social media
Social media is fast evolving. To cater to a population where 90% speak a native language implies adopting a language-first approach, and empowering users to freely express themselves in their mother tongue. To make social media a digital enabler, Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies offer immense opportunities by helping build immersive language experiences where users from different linguistic backgrounds can come together, engage with each other in their respective languages, and hold meaningful conversations. Many innovations have happened in the NLP space which are also used to predict and detect abuse on social media. Thus they help in bolstering online security, and provide users with a far more safe and secure environment to express themselves. As platforms look to enable users with an end-to-end product experience across native languages, the demand for professionals with proven expertise in NLP technologies is bound to grow exponentially.
ID theft and fraud prevention in fintech
At 87%, India’s fintech adoption rate is higher than the global average. However, a barrier to its greater adoption and usage for high-value transactions is ID theft. As a top-funded sector, fintech is leveraging the best of technologies to arrest and reverse this trend. Hence, coding professionals in the industry can expect best-in-class access to training, skilling, and exposure to AI technologies such as facial recognition, vendor profiling and structured/unstructured ML. Having these skills can certainly be a career advantage across sectors, as organizations will increasingly strive to enhance customer trust and loyalty by safeguarding digital payment frameworks from cyber theft.
Spatial analytics in health tech
Among the many focus areas when it comes to health tech, the emergence of spatial analytics to improve public health challenges such as pandemics, holds immense promise. This stream of AI uses algorithms to study patterns from location-specific visual data. By gaining expertise on related geospatial technologies such as Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, coders can apply them well beyond health tech. These skills can be leveraged to address evolving civic challenges such as traffic and pollution by analyzing real-time visual data in smart cities. Many companies are doing active research to understand the health data (which is getting digitized), and proactively detect patterns ahead of time. This has a profound impact on society as early diagnosis is the key in many fatal cases. The number of health signals and their correlation is an active research area, and many companies would be built on top of this health graph.
User engagement in the OTT space
Techniques such as Image and Deep Video Analysis are redefining user engagement for OTT platforms by decoding individual preferences. The thumbnail image to showcase the show, recommendation to users per genre, etc. play an important role to increase stickiness to a platform. In OTT as well, there are real-time streaming use cases – sports especially has a very high reach and the concurrent users watching the same game runs into millions. This poses a very unique challenge to design and architect these kinds of systems. DevOps, SRE, Video Engineering and Analytics are the sought after skills by these platforms, along with ML.
Outcome prediction in gaming
By 2026, the gaming industry is expected to touch USD 321 billion globally. Such a competitive environment requires gaming studios to offer highly engaging experiences to retain their user base, and constantly innovate on the gaming side by integrating with hardware to a larger extent. By using ML models and predictive analytics, studios are able to pre-empt a user’s next move, recalibrate computing response and create a highly compelling game time. Gaming industry will start leveraging AR/VR technology. With Metaverse being touted as the next big thing, there are a lot of exciting things being built in this space. Unity, real-time analytics problems are something they will get a chance to build and innovate on.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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