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Consulting

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  • User profile image
    fatfrank

    Been reading a few threads and there are many people who are "consultants".

    This is obviously a widely-misused word. And it differs from industry to industry - although, there are many movements in the IT camp to profesionalise this.

    Anyways - if you reckon you are a consultant -
    - how many years experiece do you have in your area of specialism?
    - what accreditations do you pack?
    - what sort of customers have you worked with (project value, number of users, industry vertical)
    - what frameworks do you use?
    - how many people in your country are consulting in your field?

    just wondering...

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    fatfrank wrote:

    Anyways - if you reckon you are a consultant -
    - how many years experiece do you have in your area of specialism?

    Well, it depends. My last project was 18 months on HL7v3 integration, a standard that will ship next year. Right now I'm probably one of the few people in north america that did an actual HL7v3 implementation (count them on two hands). So, not a lot of experience there... Smiley Before that I worked on anything between big telescopes user interfaces to criminal data collation to game community sites.
    fatfrank wrote:
    what accreditations do you pack?

    None. Completely self-taught.
    fatfrank wrote:
    what sort of customers have you worked with (project value, number of users, industry vertical)

    Mostly government, ministries and scientific institutions. Sometimes universities and the occasional gaming company.
    fatfrank wrote:
    what frameworks do you use?

    Whatever the client requires.
    fatfrank wrote:
    how many people in your country are consulting in your field?

    Honestly, I have no idea. Thousands? Tens of thousands?

    Being a consultant means that you are basically a mercenary, going in with few weapons and scoping out the terrain and the situation for tools you can use. The clients usually issue a RFP (request for proposal) where the environment is already defined, so you have to adapt to whatever gets thrown to you.

    If you have business experience, sometimes you can get involved in the RFP, so you can get your technical people on board and drive the direction of the project, but it's a rare occasion if you're just starting.

    And, in conclusion, I am a consultant because my business card says so Wink

  • User profile image
    JChung2006

    I call myself a consultant, because I haven't figured out a good name to describe what I do for a living or at least found a name that sounds "professional." Or perhaps it is because I could care less what title I choose to call myself.

    "Software Developer with Nihilistic Tendencies"?  "Professional Computer Geek"?  "Evil Genius, Apprentice"?  "Accredited Professional Billable Guy"?  "Microcomputer Shaman"?  "Digital Voodoo Guru"?

  • User profile image
    TommyCarlier

    I've always been told that consultants are people that are not paid to do stuff, but to tell you how to do stuff.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    fatfrank wrote:

    Anyways - if you reckon you are a consultant -
    - how many years experiece do you have in your area of specialism?
    - what accreditations do you pack?
    - what sort of customers have you worked with (project value, number of users, industry vertical)
    - what frameworks do you use?
    - how many people in your country are consulting in your field?


    Experience? It depends on what I'm consulting on, but normally I consult on .net migrations, and teaching OOP, with the odd body shopping now and again. So, maybe 10 years all in all.

    Accreditations? None. Experience is more useful.

    Customers? Lots, from large Microsoft contracts, through corporates, banks, retail, government and non-profit.

    Frameworks? Usually what the customer has in place already. Ah the joy of discovering another version of a 7 layer model.

    How many? Too many Big Smile But I work for a small, flexible consultancy, with management consultants as well as technical consultants; so we pick up interesting things, and I have the scope to pick and choose.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    TommyCarlier wrote:
    I've always been told that consultants are people that are not paid to do stuff, but to tell you how to do stuff.


    Probably true, that's what I tend to end up doing. Steering and guidance and help is more useful than actual work sometimes. But my last long term gig was mentoring a VB team to C#; so I guided, and told, and wrote a base framework and the complete database for their needs, whilst their developers got to grips with OO, then WinForms, then WebForms, because they made them think more than just pumping out a data access layer and a persistance framework.

  • User profile image
    Yggdrasil

    fatfrank wrote:

    Anyways - if you reckon you are a consultant -


    I reckon I am. Smiley
    I'm not an independent consultant, though. I work for a firm that "loans" me out to customers when my skills and experience are relevant, for periods of a few days to a few months. Sometimes several different clients at the same time.

    fatfrank wrote:

    - how many years experiece do you have in your area of specialism?


    Define "area of specialism". I've been programming .NET for 3 years or so, with 5 years of prior experience in various other IT fields - programming, network administration and such.

    fatfrank wrote:

    - what accreditations do you pack?


    None. Might go for an MCSD (or one of the new programs Microsoft are having) if my company sponsors them, but all in all I haven't been overly impressed with this kind of professional degrees. I've seen too many out-of-date, unjustified and meaningless titles thrown around.

    fatfrank wrote:

    - what sort of customers have you worked with (project value,
    number of users, industry vertical)


    My area of expertise is technological, so I've worked with clients in many industries - ISVs, military/government, banking, small start-ups, huge enterprises, etc.

    fatfrank wrote:

    - what frameworks do you use?


    The .NET Framework, of course. Smiley
    Additionally, I do a lot of work with Office Systems - Office integration, smart documents, Sharepoint and the like.

    fatfrank wrote:

    - how many people in your country are consulting in your field?


    Not too many, I think. Sharepoint/Office is a field ripe for the picking. Smiley

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Is the lack of formal accreditation a trend for consultants? Smiley

    Is there a general case where a certification is useful (as in the certification itself, not the skill you acquire by getting it) when you have 20 years of experience in the field?

  • User profile image
    irascian

    PaoloM wrote:
    Is the lack of formal accreditation a trend for consultants? Smiley

    Is there a general case where a certification is useful (as in the certification itself, not the skill you acquire by getting it) when you have 20 years of experience in the field?


    Most consultants I know don't have accreditation, although that can cut off potential clients. Some clients with longer term consultants need Microsoft certified consultants to help them keep their partner status which requires them to have a certain number of MCPs, MCSDs etc.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    irascian wrote:
    Some clients with longer term consultants need Microsoft certified consultants to help them keep their partner status which requires them to have a certain number of MCPs, MCSDs etc.


    Which is why I refuse to take the exams. Using them to earn marketing dollars cheapens it.

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