Ask for feedback: Tech consulting companies

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I'm making some research about consulting companies (Tech consulting).

This industry is known to have a very bad reputation for lots of reasons.
Among others:

  • The way they treat consultants
  • Low salaries
  • Type of projects consultants are working on (not interesting missions)
  • Not much/No training
  • Bad relationship with the manager (who is often a sales person with no tech background at all)

What would be, in your opinion, the perks/processes/code of conduct that a consulting firm should have in order to attract (and keep) good developers ?

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I guess it depends on the company. A friend of mine is working as a consultant and is really satisfied with pretty much everything, especially the way he, and the other consultants, are treated.

I'm a consultant myself, and my conclusion would be: it depends on the mission(s). My current mission is really interesting and I spend 100% of my working hours at the client premises and working here is awesome. As a matter of fact, this mission feels like I'm just working here (for the client) and I could even forget that I'm a consultant. I don't even see or talk to my manager that much, so it's pretty good on the "how I'm treated" side.

 

Hi Quentin,
Thanks for your reply (testimony)!
Glad to see such a good feedback!
It seems you don’t even care about your employer, in the sense you don’t seem to have any belonging feeling.
Would’nt it be cool that your consulting company make you feel into a community? Connected to other peers, having meetups, frequent event and all?

 

There are a few events where all consultants are invited, but most of the time it's late in the evening and often a few hours drive so I usually skip it... to be honest I don't care much about the belonging/community stuff at work, if I want to make friends of my colleagues I can do it myself (and I do quite naturally), I don't need my company to do it for me and waste my free time in the process.

 

I'd look towards the more friendly/transparent firms that really lead the way in the software communities themselves. We follow guides and use open source software written by some very reputable consultancy shops. Places like this have such a great rep that they never have a shortage of great devs.

You don't have to be a huge firm to start building a great rep for all the right reasons.

 

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the reply. It makes sense.
I didn't say all were bad, but the majority isn't what you describe.

 

What about a company that would offer this for its consultants ?

  • 1 day per month remote working (because, hey, who doesn't want remote?)
  • 1/2 day per month free time dedicated to side projects (Engineers need to have some spare time to play along with side projects), full-time pay though 😉
  • 24/7 access to a top notch MOOC in order to get technical skills always sharp
  • Slack : Never get stuck on a problem / Communicate with other members, peer help an chat
  • Github for the company, because sharing is caring (Open Source is Life)
  • Frequent meetups / Technical conferences / Hackathons
  • Frequent lunches and afterworks with other peers
  • Stock-options (because we're going to rocket grow and we want to share our growth with our people)
  • Solid healthcare plan
 

I dig your first two points! I'd really like to have that where I work. Especially the half day to work on side projects. A friend of mine is working at a company where every Friday afternoon is dedicated time on side projects and learning new things... lucky bastard!

Another really nice thing would be the ability, for a consultant, to suggest things without being laughed at or being answered "You are just a consultant, you can't suggest things!". As an example, I like your Slack idea, if I suggested that to my employer, I would probably be answered with a plain and barely justified "No" (something like "that's not how we do things" I'd guess).

 

What would be, in your opinion, the perks/processes/code of conduct that a consulting firm should have in order to attract (and keep) good developers ?

I personally don't like commuting/travelling for work, also I don't want to wear suits on a daily basis, and consequentially I avoid a lot of them (wouldn't be a good, as they say, "cultural fit"...). So, being remote-friendly is a huge plus in my books (for every company, not only consultancies)

Yet, there are a few tech consultancies on my radar that I would consider applying at/working for, if I wanted to change my job.

They all have in common, that they invest heavily in their people, i.e. give them time and budget for personal growth, research, learning, participating in the wider community. As a matter of fact, in many cases I knew some of their people first and then looked up what kind of work they were actually doing.

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