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Product /Services

Sachin Mehra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 07, 2005
Posts: 77
Java Ranchers,

I have six years of exp in the industry, I am looking for change. All my exp is in the services industry. I have offers both from product and services companies. Both the organization are good MNC's.

Product

- good company
- good pay (no of years *2 )
but
- no leadership role (hand-on role)
- hardly any onsite opp


Services

- lead/manager role
- onsite opportunities
but
- industry standard sal (no of years * 1.3)
- good company but not so great brand

Which one of them could be better option both in short and long term?

Thanks
Sachin
Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2578

Originally posted by Sachin Mehra:
Java Ranchers,

I have six years of exp in the industry, I am looking for change. All my exp is in the services industry. I have offers both from product and services companies. Both the organization are good MNC's.

Product

- good company
- good pay (no of years *2 )


You mean you have an offer of 12L/pa??? Thats great!!!

My personal prefernce in later stage of career (4+ years)is a product company. But yeah, onsite opportubities are less in such cases...

- Manish
soniya saxena
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 18, 2004
Posts: 300
I would go with services.
Sathvathsan Sampath
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 03, 2000
Posts: 96
In my opinion -
- Often solutions/features that you build in products tend live longer than many of the project time lines in services company. Therefore, the depth and strength of the solution in products tends to be higher. And hence they demand a very strong skill sets to do that. Attaining that depth of skills demands good amount of hands on experience.
- Also, in product companies you'll notice that there is little role for people management and everyone very high in the hierarchy needs to contribute to the product directly or indirectly.
- In product companies people are extremly imprtant and aim in building the IP to sustain and grow. Often in services company you might be viewed as a pure (plug-n-play) billable resource.
- As the solution in products tends to last longer you tend gain greater sense of ownership. You tend to relate it as your baby and see it grow.
- Product companies don't have the concept of 'on-site' opportunities like services. But I guess thats offset with a little higher pay than services company.

Please note that the above observations don't hold true in all cases. I have observed some of them having worked in services and product companies here in Bangalore.
[ January 09, 2005: Message edited by: Sathvathsan Sampath ]

- Sathvathsan Sampath
Sachin Mehra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 07, 2005
Posts: 77
Thanks for the replies!!

Sampath, Considering both the options, in your opinion, which one is better.
soniya saxena
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 18, 2004
Posts: 300
I think that should be a matter of personal choice.

Originally posted by Sachin Mehra:
Thanks for the replies!!

Sampath, Considering both the options, in your opinion, which one is better.
Sathvathsan Sampath
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 03, 2000
Posts: 96
I would go for product companies. And that's based on my preferances. It really depends on your personal choice as Soniya pointed out.
Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2578

I agree what Sathvathsan is saying, and my reasons for choosing a product company are mostly same as what Sathvathsan mentioned here.

- Manish
soniya saxena
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 18, 2004
Posts: 300
Thou at the moment I am in a product company, what i like abt services/consulting based companies is that if i am bored on a particular project, i dont have to quit my company for a change. I can just switch projects and move on within the same company.
Sathvathsan Sampath
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 03, 2000
Posts: 96
If the company was just based on a single product then you have little options. However, a smaller consulting company may not have too many clients too and would leave you with little options again. So, I guess a larger organization, even if product based, will have options to move across products just the way consulting company allows.
soniya saxena
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 18, 2004
Posts: 300
Lets take a decent sized product company and a decent sized consulting company. The number of products in the product company cannot beat the number of projects in a consulting company.
Lets take a very tiny consulting company which has only 5 projects at any instant of time. Let say Person X gets bored and swithces projects after every 12 months. In 5 years, he would have had the opporunity to have worked on 5 different projects.
Lets take a product company which has 5 products. More often than not, these products wont be radically different and will be within the same industry. Here, even if Person X switches he will working on similar product lines. Might not be sufficient enuf to get rid of his boredom.
Originally posted by Sathvathsan Sampath:
If the company was just based on a single product then you have little options. However, a smaller consulting company may not have too many clients too and would leave you with little options again. So, I guess a larger organization, even if product based, will have options to move across products just the way consulting company allows.
Sachin Mehra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 07, 2005
Posts: 77
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Besides what Soniya pointed out regarding the boredom setting in, one another thing to look out for is the career growth. I think everyone looks for career growth and may sacrifice few things in short term for long term benefit.

In that case,where will be one better placed after spending few years in either (Product/Services) company. say after putting in 2 more years , in Product one wld be a SE(doing perhaps coding) with lot of techy knowledge of the product and in services a PM, leading a bunch of people/projects. Which one of the them could be good platform for the career ahead?
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

Having worked in both Services and products, I prefer Services.

1. More career growth. Usually in product dev. co. it will take more time to grow.
2. More opportunity to travel(V. Imp)
3. Projects are usually have shorter life time. In product dev co, you will be working for a longer time. It may be boring and not much to learn.

Technical knowledge will be more useful in products company.


Groovy
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

It is good to work in product dev company after some 8 years of exp. Work in Company like TCS for first 5-6 years of career , earn lot of money by travelling and later relax in prod dev co. If only someone had given me this advice 5 years back it would have been really useful.
soniya saxena
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 18, 2004
Posts: 300
Whut makes u think u can relax in a product development company

Originally posted by Pradeep Bhat:
and later relax in prod dev co.
soniya saxena
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 18, 2004
Posts: 300
Therefore, the depth and strength of the solution in products tends to be higher. And hence they demand a very strong skill sets to do that. Attaining that depth of skills demands good amount of hands on experience.

About skill sets of people working for product companies and consulting based companies, this is what i feel - people working in product companies tend be to highly technical in a given domain wherease people working in consulting companies tend to be reasonably technical in diverse domains. Each has its pros and cons, but i wud consider consulting to be a safer bet.

In that case,where will be one better placed after spending few years in either (Product/Services) company. say after putting in 2 more years , in Product one wld be a SE(doing perhaps coding) with lot of techy knowledge of the product and in services a PM, leading a bunch of people/projects. Which one of the them could be good platform for the career ahead?
Career-wise, again I feel that consulting/services is the safer bet cuz not only does it offer better opportunities to rise up, also u r not restricted to 1 domain; so even if 1 domain dies, u have several other domains that u r knowledgable in.
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

Originally posted by soniya saxena:
Whut makes u think u can relax in a product development company



The guy would have earned money needed by working in services company so now he can realax, meaning he need not worry about buying flat etc.
Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2578

Originally posted by soniya saxena:
[qb]Therefore, the depth and strength of the solution in products tends to be higher. And hence they demand a very strong skill sets to do that. Attaining that depth of skills demands good amount of hands on experience.

About skill sets of people working for product companies and consulting based companies, this is what i feel - people working in product companies tend be to highly technical in a given domain wherease people working in consulting companies tend to be reasonably technical in diverse domains. Each has its pros and cons, but i wud consider consulting to be a safer bet.

In that case,where will be one better placed after spending few years in either (Product/Services) company. say after putting in 2 more years , in Product one wld be a SE(doing perhaps coding) with lot of techy knowledge of the product and in services a PM, leading a bunch of people/projects. Which one of the them could be good platform for the career ahead?
Career-wise, again I feel that consulting/services is the safer bet cuz not only does it offer better opportunities to rise up, also u r not restricted to 1 domain; so even if 1 domain dies, u have several other domains that u r knowledgable in.[/QB]


I wholeheartedly agree with almost all Soniya is saying here, except for the last statement perhaps. I guess it's your own duty to assess from time to time what sort of market the particular domain you're working in has; and make a conscious decision to stay in that domain or move way gradually by acquiring knowledge needed for shift.

The product company gives you deeper knowledge of the technical skills as well, as you spend quite some time on the product and its feature enhancements. In the first few years of my career I worked in consulting/services companies, and every few weeks (4-6 weeks) I found myself working on different technologies as the company wanted, so I ended up working on C with UNIX, ASP, Java, WAP and what not! That gave me good exposure to various technologies, but I didn't know anything well enough (I was a fresher back then); at one point it looked like as if I would end up working only on scripts (ASP, and likes) if continued there; because company had continuos requirements for such work. So it was a conscious decision to move away from that company and get associated with company which would give me exposure to C/C++/Java, but unfortunately I didn't get much opportunity to work on C/C++ later, but since then I have been associated with all three flavors of Java (J2SE, J2EE, J2ME), and since last year and half it's almost exclusive J2EE in the product company that I am working with. I think I have got a pretty good knowledge by choosing my technology. In many service companies the attitude that I have seen is typical - "Compile it, and ship it", the code quality, ppl's interest and in-depth knowledge is badly lacking; and these include some big names here as well.

That's why I think it's important to work in services company initially, so that you get good exposure to various things, and then you can decide what interests you most (in my case it was C/C++/Java) and find ways to get associated with those technologies, with some adjustments. Find a company which has values/culture more in tune with your inherent nature & values. In that sense, it helps to work in product companies at later stage of your career. Some unpredictable elements are always there.

You need to plan your career (at least most of us, unless you're really ready to take things as they come without any resentment /complain, which is pretty difficult! At least for me!!) , you need to know where you want to go. If you don't where you want to go and where you're headed, and then if you end up reaching a place where you never wanted to go, you have no one to blame except yourself!

- Manish
JothiKumar Ekanath
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 21, 2003
Posts: 30
Hey Guys,Will this workout practically

First get into a product company and make youself strong in some technology, and using that techi knowledge work in services for diverse projects untill you are satisfied making out of enough money.Finally settle down again in product company or start of your own business.

No estimated time is required that how long one should stay with any type (services/Product).Purely depends upon individual satisfaction.

So finally life will be challenging and cool
Sachin Mehra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 07, 2005
Posts: 77
I agree to Sonia and Manish.

I think working initially in services company will give exposure in different technologes and domains. The technical knowledge won't be limited to only one particular tech/language. Moving subsequently to a product company will definitely give more money, and may be a good brand but is their any other advantage ? Being in services you would have lot more onsite opportunities, more exposure (due to different clients and technologies). Is the pull of good pay packet strong enough to ignore the benefits of services company.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: Product /Services