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Thread: Changing course

  1. #11

    More time posting than coding

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch It View Post
    I don't intend to be rude in the professional forum, though the clue is here right? Are you good with people generally? When you get into a discussion about these things with clients, do you sense that you're 'putting their backs up'? In my experience, hard to come back from that if you want to influence the discussion favourably.
    I never discuss these things with clients - I stick to my profession, my contract and deliverables.
    Have definitely made mistakes but never had anyone get angry.
    Shared my observations here to see if someone else identified with these - at least for me these peripheral day to day aspects of being a member of staff are too taxing.
    Changing course into specialist, short, focused contract work is a way out I see - i.e. become a supplier of solutions, not staff.

  2. #12

    More time posting than coding


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    I think a number of the responses on here have been spot on in that you probably need to look closer to home. Over the years I've worked with a number of other contractors and permies who can, quite frankly, be complete a***holes about the way they push their considered professional opinion as the OP stated in their post. The big issue here is that it is just that, an opinion, undoubtedly one of many.

    Part of our role as contractors and consultants is to try and push what we consider to be the right approach but know when to step back (and in extreme cases walk) if the situation demands it. In particular I single out my software developer/engineer brethren for being particularly obnoxious when they think they are right and their approach is best and take a binary view of the world in that if you don't work or approach things in a particular way then you must obviously be rubbish.

    My advice would be to actually try and work with the people you're contracting with and find a compromise on how to get the project you are working on done as that's what you've been brought in to deliver.

    Some clients and projects can be death marches but it's up to you to figure out whether the project is in a salvageable situation or whether you are better off finding something else before your (hopefully) next renewal.
    Last edited by ShandyDrinker; 9th July 2017 at 11:29.

  3. #13

    Double Godlike!

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    You want a niche role, you need a niche skill. "Building up to it" isn't it. When you're a genuine, recognised subject expert, then you can tell the rest of the world how to do it. Until then you're the hired help.

    BTW, people management is not a niche skill, just a very necessary one. Perhaps start there,
    Blog? What blog...?

  4. #14

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    Present the options good and bad.
    Costs.
    Risks.
    Alignment with corporate strategy.

    Done correctly your best option will be the obvious way forward.

    Obviously you have to be a true specialist to deliver that.

  5. #15

    crap ex-mod

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    I agree with all of what YAB is saying. When you contract & decide to take more of an interest in delivery, ie, wanting to do it, or feeling you want to add value, then by default you start to care. By starting to care you want to point out better ways to do it, get stuck in to help muck them help, point out where's it going to go wrong and what to fix.

    There's nothing wrong with this IMHO, and has allowed me to in my last few contracts to take charge, been offered senior perm roles and even a Directorship. It's not a requirement to do the job though, it
    s a value add.

    On the flip side, certain companies don't want this. They want a team player, an automaton, someone who delivers but doesn't make everyone else or the management look bad.

    I think it depends very much on the company, management & opportunities.

    Present contract I had hoped was going to be a great opportunity for me to get in, and do what I have done elsewhere. Within six weeks I had bounced off some very crap managers, PM's who did not like the status quo being challenged. In the past I have pushed this, but once was terminated for going too far, so this time I just wind my neck in, listen & watch, and add that extra value when I think I can slip it in. Present project is failing and will fail. I have given my piece & peace, and so have now fallen back to doing what is required according to the plan. Present clientco doesn't want to be told it will fail and what to do, they want the status quo. So I will give it to them & keep invoicing.
    What happens in General, stays in General.
    You know what they say about assumptions!

  6. #16

    More time posting than coding


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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMarkyMark View Post
    Present the options good and bad.
    Costs.
    Risks.
    Alignment with corporate strategy.

    Done correctly your best option will be the obvious way forward.

    Obviously you have to be a true specialist to deliver that.
    Think you missed out a line about having the emotional intelligence to not give a flying ***** when your well presented, evidence based view is rejected in favour of using a marginal tech somebody at the client company read about in a blog and thinks it's amazing despite not being remotely related to the problem you're trying to solve...

    In reality, it's walking the tightrope between caring too much and not giving a sh*t. You care enough to do a professional job, not give a sh*t enough to let client stupidity wash over you.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by perplexed View Post
    Think you missed out a line about having the emotional intelligence to not give a flying ***** when your well presented, evidence based view is rejected in favour of using a marginal tech somebody at the client company read about in a blog and thinks it's amazing despite not being remotely related to the problem you're trying to solve...

    In reality, it's walking the tightrope between caring too much and not giving a sh*t. You care enough to do a professional job, not give a sh*t enough to let client stupidity wash over you.
    Spot on Sir!

    How about inserting developing your own in house tech, instead of your "marginal" one, instead?



  8. #18

    Fingers like lightning

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Surely a good supplier is one that delivers what the client wants in a timescale they want and to a price they want. Maybe learn from past problems and become a better supplier?
    Some clients will tell you that they want the wall painted red, and when you deliver a red painted wall, they complain that it's not blue!

  9. #19

    My post count is Majestic

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    Quote Originally Posted by billybiro View Post
    Some clients will tell you that they want the wall painted red, and when you deliver a red painted wall, they complain that it's not blue!
    LOL. Well that's true. Just have to stick a quote in for painting walls blue then
    'CUK forum personality of 2011' - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  10. #20

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    Don't underestimate personal skills.
    I do a very average job all round, enough to get by. However, my instincts for people are very highly skilled, I know everything about any team I am dropped in within a couple of days and I am rarely wrong about how people will bounce. I expect many contractors are the same. I get on with everyone (even if I hate them) and am very low maintenance.
    Consequently, they usually want to keep me, even over perceived harder workers who people find annoying. Whether it's right or best for 'the company' I would doubt but 20+ years in the game tells me this is true.

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