The Nomadic Developer: Surviving and Thriving in the World of Technology Consulting

Book description

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

    Acknowledgments     xix

    Foreword     xxi

    Preface     xxv

    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

    Index     343

    Product information

    • Title: The Nomadic Developer: Surviving and Thriving in the World of Technology Consulting
    • Author(s): Aaron Erickson
    • Release date: May 2009
    • Publisher(s): Addison-Wesley Professional
    • ISBN: None