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How To Nail Your Next Tech Interview

Unlocking AI’s Potential: Prompt Engineering Techniques for Software Developers
Hosted By
Ryan Valles
Founder, Interview Kickstart
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Unlocking AI’s Potential: Prompt Engineering Techniques for Software Developers

Researchers and scientists have exposed the hidden potential of AI. Amidst this technological revolution, Natural Language Processing applications have emerged as strong contenders,  seamlessly integrating themselves into every sector that demands human interaction. LLMs are types of AI models that use prompts to generate novel content in different forms. 

Giving in the commands through prompts and knowing the craft of developing the prompt is critical to getting the desired responses when using AI in software development. Explore the techniques that propel skilled software development professionals to the forefront of this AI-driven revolution. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • An Introduction to Prompt Engineering
  • Prompt Engineering - Techniques 
  • Prompt Engineering - Best Practices
  • More About AI with Interview Kickstart
  • FAQs about Prompt Engineering Techniques

An Introduction to Prompt Engineering 

Prompt refers to the form of text, question, information, or coding used to communicate to AI to get the desired output. Clarity in any type of communication is an important tool, and the same applies to AI as well. Curating a prompt in such a manner that it provides a clear context for AI to interpret the human language refers to prompt engineering. Learning prompt engineering is important regardless of the type of AI usage. It is important for less ambiguity, more control, and to save time. 

Prompt Engineering - Techniques 

Let us go through the prompt engineering techniques for a better understanding: 

AI Prompting Techniques

Zero-shot prompting

It is the basic method of asking a question. You do not provide any beforehand information in the prompt but the task. It eliminates the presence of additional context in the answer. The general usage includes getting quick and direct answers to basic questions or general topics rather than specialized questions. 

One-shot prompting

Being an extended version of zero-shot prompting, it includes giving an example or context and further asking questions based on it. 

Few-shot prompting

If the prompts are accompanied by more than one example, then it is a few-shot prompting. It is suitable when you want to give more ideas to the AI where a single example can not demonstrate all the important aspects. It can also be used to give an idea of a table, diagram, or multiple functions in a program. 

Content summarization prompting

The long articles give a tough time in interpretation. The complex languages further add to the difficulties. Using AI to summarize such long content is an appropriate option. However, be clear on your requirements. The prompt must clearly indicate if you require a specific part of your content to be summarized or the complete article. Adding the level of summarization, too, helps, where you can indicate the technicality level.

Information retrieval prompting

The prompting indicates treating LLMs as search engines. The prompt includes questions aimed at an answer based on the existing knowledge from the pre-trained dataset. The response to coding, factual and historical information might be accurate, but it will not be generated for information beyond the training time. It is unsuitable for current software and tools. 

Template filling

Using AI to generate multiple content simultaneously eases numerous tasks. The template-filling method suits situations where a specific type is required, like the generation of personalized emails, information brochures, and different functions in specific programming languages. Providing the desired template and associated information can help you get the required output meeting the guidelines. 

Prompt combination

Often, the response time of LLMs is perceived as longer. In such a scenario, combining the related queries to give a single output opens the venue for a comprehensive response on the topic. Instead of two different short answers, you can expect a more detailed explanation of your query.

Prompt reframing

Getting different responses for specific queries is easy. A simple reframing with the usage of synonyms, phrases, or a change in sentence structure without changing the overall meaning can help you get different responses. It is an optimal technique to get different ideas for your query. 

Chain of thought prompting

Contrary to prompt combining is the chain of thought prompting. It includes getting precise responses to the query through the breakdown of the question into smaller parts. It includes prompts comprising multiple questions in one context. The technique is said to improve the overall quality of the generated text and ensure contextually accurate responses. It is highly suited when designing AI prompts for coding. 

Iterative prompting

The technique follows questioning the AI multiple times to get a response until satisfied. It can help you get deeper into the topic with extra and more refined information. This technique brings clarity to the user themself and accordingly modifies their prompt by the addition of filters or specifications in the next one. 

Language translation with context

Providing the context for translation provides more helpful responses than simply conversion of text into another language. You can add the context by indicating the purpose of the translation. The output is expected to encompass cultural and situational meaning and explanation of your prompt. 

General knowledge prompting

Another research-based technique for efficient answers from AI is adding external information to prompt before typing the query. It improves common sense reasoning and improves the accuracy of answers through the integration of existing and new knowledge. 

Prompt Engineering - Best Practices

Finding the right output for your prompts sometimes gets tricky. Writing the prompt keeping the following considerations in mind helps you get the desired results. 

  • Clearly know the model’s capabilities and keep expectations up to the real-life possibilities. It includes knowing the training datasets or their categories 
  • Ensure most specifications in the prompt and incorporate each and every detail in the correct sequence order 
  • Add the context of the query or information for an in-depth understanding 
  • Add examples whenever required to ensure accuracy in demanding 
  • Modify the prompts in the next queries and develop them positively based on previous shortcomings 
  • Ensure consistency while discussing a specific topic. Frequent change in topics leads to fluctuations in response and the inability to maintain the chain based on previous responses. 

More About AI with Interview Kickstart

AI is capable of so many applications. Be it coding, software development, or any other resources, it has made major contributions to different areas of programming. Learning AI programming techniques provides new ideas and shortcuts, easing the tasks and thus providing time for more fruitful tasks. Additionally, mastering the art of prompt engineering helps you control AI as per your requirements. Have you crossed the learning path? Are you looking to implement your knowledge and skills for excellent career growth? 

There can be no better opportunity than to prove your potential and make it to FAANG companies. Don't know how to begin? Interview Kickstart is the right place for you. Providing your personalized guidance from instructors working at FAANG itself, our focus is on every aspect of your that is relevant to crack the interview. Still have queries? No issues. Join the FREE webinar to get the answers to all! 

Frequently Asked Questions on Prompt Engineering Techniques

Q1. What are the different types of prompt elements?

Ans. Some of the important prompt elements to consider when writing a prompt are context setting, clear instructions, tone and length, and output indicators.  

Q2. What not to do when writing a prompt?

Ans. You should avoid open-ended questions, ambiguity, and being non-exact about your requirements. 

Q3. What are the negative prompts in ChatGPT?

Ans. Negative prompts refer to directions for ChatGPT to refrain from any information or task as per the requirement. 

Q4. Does prompt engineering have a future?

Ans. Based on the high level of AI incorporation, an expert in its usage will be preferred in the organizations. Hence, it has a good future. 

Q5. Is prompt engineering easy to learn?

Ans. Learning prompt engineering is similar to learning any other skill. All you need is a will to learn, consistency, and practice to master the art of prompt engineering. 

Q6. Is a prompt engineering certificate worth it?

Ans. The constant evolution of AI is directed towards enhancements and improvements. It promises the worthiness of a prompt engineering certificate in showcasing the candidate’s will to learn and ability to write accurate prompts. 

Q7. What are the skills needed for prompt engineering?

Ans. The important skills for prompt engineering are proficiency with technology, understanding of human psychology, creativity, and analytical thinking.

Last updated on: 
January 5, 2024
Author

Ashmita Roy

Senior Content Specialist at Interview Kickstart

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Unlocking AI’s Potential: Prompt Engineering Techniques for Software Developers

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