Learn the Real Secrets of Succeeding as a Software or IT Consultant in Any Economic Climate!
Despite economic cycles, the idea of using technology to make a company more efficient and competitive–or perhaps even reach a new market– is appealing to all but the most desperate and cash-starved companies. More and more often, those companies look to technology consultants to fulfill their needs.
There are real advantages to being a consultant. You make contacts with a lot of different people; you get exposure to many industries; and most important, unlike a software developer in the IT department for a brick-and-mortar company, as a technology consultant, you are the profit center…so long as you are billing.
Consulting can be hugely rewarding–but it’s easy to fail if you are unprepared. To succeed, you need a mentor who knows the lay of the land. Aaron Erickson is your mentor, and this is your guidebook.
Erickson has done it all–from Practice Leadership to the lowest level project work. In The Nomadic Developer, he brings together his hardwon insights on becoming successful and achieving success through tough times and relentless change. You’ll find 100% practical advice and real experiences–his own and annotations from those in the trenches. In addition, renowned consultants–such as David Chappell, Bruce Eckel, Deborah Kurata, and Ted Neward–share some of their hard-earned lessons.
With this useful guidebook, you can
Objectively assess whether the consultant’s life makes sense for you
Break into the business and build a career path that works
Avoid the Seven Deadly Firms by identifying unscrupulous technology consultancies and avoiding their traps and pitfalls
Understand the business models and mechanics that virtually all consulting firms use
Master secret consulting success tips that are typically left unstated or overlooked
Gain a competitive advantage by adding more value than your competitors
Continue your professional development so you stay billable even during bad times
Profit from both fixed-bid and time-and-materials projects
Build a personal brand that improves your resiliency no matter what happens
About the Author xiii
About the Annotators xv
Chapter 1: Why Consulting? 1
Chapter 2: The Seven Deadly Firms 27
Chapter 3: How Technology Consulting Firms Work 59
Chapter 4: Getting In: Ten Unstated Traits That Technology Consulting Firms Look For 97
Chapter 5: What You Need to Ask Before You Join a Technology Consulting Firm 125
Chapter 6: Surviving 157
Chapter 7: Thriving 181
Chapter 8: Your Career Path 207
Chapter 9: Avoiding Career-Limiting Moves 231
Chapter 10: Is Consulting Right for You? 259
Chapter 11: An Anthology of Sage Advice 273
Appendix A: Consultopia: The Ideal Consulting Firm 311
Appendix B: A Consulting Lexicon 325