Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Book: Getting Started in Consulting

[This was originally posted at]

I just finished a very good book - Getting Started in Consulting. As its title suggests, it explains how to start up your own consulting practice. While I am personally entrenched in industry at Paylocity and not heading towards consulting, the book is still very applicable. (I used to work in consulting at Deloitte and CSC). Essentially, the developers who really stand out do a lot of the same things that successful consultants do - they take initiative to add value in a way that supports the client.


As someone now in industry, my "client" is usually my boss, or the customers who purchase our product. My "fees" are usually how I get to spend my time - i.e. I need to justify to my boss that project X is worth the time investment, and they should therefore allot schedule resources for it. The chapters on sales and marketing are good for any developer to know because they remind you that ultimately the project needs to generate revenue. It's easy to think that money grows on trees for these corporate giants, but for many of us, good projects often come down to a series of small "sales". Alan does a great job of showing how to incrementally add value and handle scope creep.


He also has very applicable chapters on "Moving to the Next Level" and "What do you do with Success?" For developers, if you've been in the field for 10 years, are you just doing more same old features, or are you still professionally growing and contributing back to the community via mentoring, publications, user groups, or other extra curricular activities?


It's an easy read, a well done book, and stimulates your mind to think about how to add value for your current project in industry.

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