Thursday, July 21, 2011

What it Takes to be a Successful Consultant

I have not written for a while on what it takes to be a successful consultant, but lately I’ve been noticing some common trends with our best people, and oddly enough it has absolutely nothing to do with their technical abilities. I’m really not sure what to call it – grace, poise, or just plain old fashioned professionalism.

In one instance, one of our clients handled an HR problem, let’s just say, in a less than optimal fashion. Our consultants there were affected by this decision, and one of them could have been justified to be hurt or angry, but to his credit, he just continued to do his job while the storm raged around him. He happened to be in our office one day while this was going on and his comment to me was “I have a job to do, and I’m going to focus on that and do my best.” Love that!!

In the second instance one of our consultants was working with an engineer at our client’s client on an integration project. I’ll spare you the gory details but this engineer was engaging in programming practices that would make any professional programmer shudder with disgust. The stories even made me shudder and I haven’t been a programmer in ages! To his credit, our guy worked thru the issues with this engineer without issue.

Although they’re all sharp, in fact some of the smartest people I know, I think I admire the restraint, respect and professionalism our consultants exhibit even more than their technical chops. We serve at the request of our clients, and being difficult or disrespectful does nothing for our relationships. I’m so proud to be a part of this team, with these amazing engineers and developers!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Girl Power! Encouraging News on Girls in Tech

I’ve written a lot on the alarming lack of interest of girls (and boys) in technology careers. This week I read some encouraging news I wanted to share.

Google’s inaugural science fair was held on Monday and the three winners were all girls! Google reviewed more than 7,500 entries to bring the 15 top applicants to Google headquarters for final judging. These 15 were interviewed by luminaries in technology, including a Nobel Laureate, National Geographic Explorers, and some of Google’s best and brightest.

As we know, there is no shortage of younger girls interested in math and science, but for some reason that drops off in middle school, yet these girls were all teenagers. Let’s hope their interest continues. We need smart people like this in technology!