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To choose between Senior s/w Engineer role & Services Consultant role

Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
Hello folks,
I was the one to post this
Now the situation has changed a little. [ I have offer from 2 companies and both are ready to wait for my notice period.]
So now my problem is to choose between 2 completely different roles in 2 different companies with different pay & company brand.

The variances and parameters are:

Company A:
offer is for Rs. 800,000
Position is: Services consultant in their Professional Services Group and the typical job will be very less coding/development. I would be in charge of knowing the Company A's products and create a solution for customers, install it, give training etc. Coding would be some front end patch up jobs and writing some api's, but basically no development of a product.
Something like this:
*Utilize Company A's Best Practices to accurately and efficiently implement products of chosen expertise as a solution within the client environment.
* Effectively troubleshoot technical product implementation issues for products of chosen expertise.
* Ability to interact with Company A's Support in order to open and track product issues when necessary.
* Actively engage as part of the project team with the purpose of contributing product and solution expertise, and to contribute as required to deliver a successful client engagement, following the Project Manager (when applicable) directive.
* Meet target billable utilization objective as assigned for this role.
Daily job:
*Decisions regarding product and/or solution installation.
* Decisions regarding product and/or solution configuration in client environment.
* Decisions regarding technical troubleshooting process.


So this is basically a customization job, not a development job.

Company B:
offer is for Rs. 725,000
Position is: Senior s/w Engineer in their Product Engineering Group and the typical job will be typical development.

My profile is: 3 years of development experience.
My (maybe naive) question would be which is better ? Reason for asking is: Would I be making a mistake to choose Company A by changing my track from Development to Services ? Or it does not matter ?
Interest wise I could go either way.

I do not have much experience in these fields so I would be grateful if experienced folks put in their 2 cents, please. Plus I do not know what are the future prospects for a services consultant role as compared to development role which is known(e.g. architect).
Thank you.


You know what I am saying ?
Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
bouncing for people's response, please
Joachim Rohde
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Joined: Nov 27, 2006
Posts: 423

I would go with company B.
Mainly because what I've heard from friends who work as developers, consultancy seems to be more stress than developing.
And from what I read in your other thread (btw. why a new one?) company B seems to be the better choice. Like Fred said in the other thread: always go with "better work". More money is nice for a short period of time but if the work environment sucks I would even consider to change my job even for a less-paid one if the less-paid one has a better environment.
Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
Thanks, but now I think I was wrong in saying that one has better work than the other. Now I think that both works are equally challenging, but different in dimensions.
Now the tie is between a developer's role and a services consultant's role.

Would it be unfair to ask pro's & cons of each, or if I ask which one is better ? Choice wise, I would go either way, have equal interests in both.
Which field is has better work, better growth etc ?
Because in some forums/blogs I have read that sometimes being just a code monkey is something we should stop doing as soon as possible, and that a services role could be better for career ?

I am just torn between this decision as it would lead to completely different paths in my career.
Lemme point out that in the 3 years of my career I have been a developer.

Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
It is not that I have not tried finding out. Have searched extensively for this on the internet. I am reaching out to you all in this forum only because I still am in confusion. Help would be so much appreciated.
Jimmy Clark
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Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Hopefully, there are individuals in your life that know you. Have you asked them about this? What do they think? I'm confident that you will be able to get better opinions and feedback from individuals that actually know you and can conversate with you in person.
Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
Yes tried, but they are my peers so not much conclusion.
My basic confusion is that would shifting from development role to services consultant role not be advisable and that is it better to continue on the development track ?
Jimmy Clark
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Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Take two small pieces of paper and write Services Consultant on one piece and write Developer on the other.

Then find a hat and put the pieces of paper in the hat. Close your eyes and pick one piece of paper out of the hat. Crumble it up without reading it and then read the piece of paper that is in the hat. This is the right choice for you. If you deviate and choose the other role, you will have many troubles and difficulties for most of your career.

Good luck!
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30537
    
150

People who don't know you personally aren't going to be able to answer this question. We can ask you questions to help you come to an answer.

A few things to consider:
1) Do you like coding? Do you like designing low level solutions? These aren't bad things, but they lead to the developer/architect path.
2) Is company A one such that knowing their products will help you on future jobs. (You can only answer this here with yes/no as we don't talk about companies with respect to jobs). Since I don't know what company A is, I feel comfortable giving an example. Knowing IBMs products well is helpful because many companies use them.
3) Three years of development experience isn't much. It's only because of title inflation that you are a senior developer. If you try to switch back to development later, it will be harder. Suppose you stay in the services industry for only a year. This makes 25% of you career out of development.

Jimmy: cute


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Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
@Jimmy:

@Jeanne/others: One thing I have heard from some people, but I am not sure if they are right or not, is that: It is much easier to jump from Developer to Services consultant role anytime, but the reverse would not be that easy. Is that right or just baseless speculations ? At least this is a general opinion which you guys might know ? Just checking.
Thanks.
Jaikiran Pai
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Rajeev Masand wrote:

@Jeanne/others: One thing I have heard from some people, but I am not sure if they are right or not, is that: It is much easier to jump from Developer to Services consultant role anytime, but the reverse would not be that easy. Is that right or just baseless speculations ?

Did they have an explanation on why they think so?

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Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
I came and asked this question here because I wanted to know what the people who have been in the industry since very long would know about the trends and good bad practices of the industry career-wise, not to harass people with my queries. As I said most of them are just my peers so I wanted to get the opinions of people who have more experience in the industry & would like to throw in their 0.02$ .

My confusion is now a simple one, not very complex:
It is much easier to jump from Developer to Services consultant role anytime, but the reverse would not be that easy. Is that right or just baseless speculations ?
Joe Harry
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Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9384
    
    2

Rajeev Masand wrote:

My confusion is now a simple one, not very complex:
It is much easier to jump from Developer to Services consultant role anytime, but the reverse would not be that easy. Is that right or just baseless speculations ?


Just think about this. Imagine if you have been out of development related activities for say a couple of years during your so called "Services Consultant" role. Now if you get a chance to work on some development activities with some latest technologies or perhaps some famous technologies that you just know by name.... do you think you could cope up and be productive as quick as possible? If you say yes, then go ahead with the Services Consultant role.


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Jimmy Clark
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Posts: 2187
Rajeev, the selection process that I outlined above is very sound and is a reliable way to make the "right" choice. In terms of spiritual science, if you have a good spirit, then it will help you make the "right" choice. If you have a bad spirit, then it will trick you and help you make the "wrong" choice. Take note, since you have been exposed to this way of making this decision, you must do it this way. Ignore it at your own peril....
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Joined: May 26, 2003
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Rajeev Masand wrote:@Jeanne/others: One thing I have heard from some people, but I am not sure if they are right or not, is that: It is much easier to jump from Developer to Services consultant role anytime, but the reverse would not be that easy. Is that right or just baseless speculations ? At least this is a general opinion which you guys might know ? Just checking.
Thanks.

I agree with that opinion. Especially at this phase of your career which is what I was getting at in #3 in my post above.

Joe: The difficultly is that everyone says they can learn quickly at an interview. Why should the interviewer pick someone with 3 years development + 1 year services over 4 years development? Or similar.

Jimmy: From your first post, I thought it was apparent you are joking. Now I'm not sure since you repeated it. Surely we aren't advising people to choose randomly.
Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
@Jimmy: I tried your method, did not work ! I chose one of the pieces of papaer, but now I am not sure if I have a good spirit or a bad one. So I do not know if the answer in th epiece of paper is the right one or the wrong one. HELP ME JIMMY, HELP ME

@Jeanne: Hmmm, you cleared a few doubts of mine, thanks a bunch. May I ask if a particular position, between Development & Services Consultant, which is a better one than the other ? Or is it just a matter of personal choice & my question is invalid ?
Luke Kolin
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Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Why should the interviewer pick someone with 3 years development + 1 year services over 4 years development? Or similar.


I think that's a pretty obvious question - pick the person with broader experience, rather than longer, all things being equal. Experience is far more qualitative than quantitative; one should pay more attention to what someone did than for how long.

Cheers!

Luke
Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
Luke Kolin wrote:
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Why should the interviewer pick someone with 3 years development + 1 year services over 4 years development? Or similar.


I think that's a pretty obvious question - pick the person with broader experience, rather than longer, all things being equal. Experience is far more qualitative than quantitative; one should pay more attention to what someone did than for how long.

Cheers!

Luke

But then someone would counter your argument with: "Being a jack of all trades and master of none is not that appealing either !"
Joe Harry
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Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9384
    
    2

Luke Kolin wrote:
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Why should the interviewer pick someone with 3 years development + 1 year services over 4 years development? Or similar.


I think that's a pretty obvious question - pick the person with broader experience, rather than longer, all things being equal. Experience is far more qualitative than quantitative; one should pay more attention to what someone did than for how long.

Cheers!

Luke


Even I would do this. Prefer the candidate with a broader experience.
Matthew Brown
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Joined: Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 4392
    
    8

Joe Harry wrote:Even I would do this. Prefer the candidate with a broader experience.

Surely it depends on the job? The more it's a pure developer role, the more developer experience is necessary. The more it's a role that has to overlap with other functions then the more broad experience is valuable.
Henry Wong
author
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18845
    
  40

Rajeev Masand wrote:One thing I have heard from some people, but I am not sure if they are right or not, is that: It is much easier to jump from Developer to Services consultant role anytime, but the reverse would not be that easy. Is that right or just baseless speculations ? At least this is a general opinion which you guys might know ? Just checking.


Personal opinion only, so take with a grain of salt .... Having made the jump from development to services, to a combination of both, to services, to development, and back to services... ... I kinda agree. During an interview, client facing roles requires people / personable skills and technical skills. The first you can access during the interview and the second you can accept either types of experience. Non-client facing roles seems to target technical skills -- and they seem to be way more targeted. Meaning more concerned that you know XYZ, than interested that you can come up to speed on XYZ.

Having said that, for client facing roles, you really need to like working with people, and jumping project to project. It's not for everyone. So, how easy is it to transition from one role to another should not be a primary criteria in choosing.

Henry


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Jeanne Boyarsky
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I think the switching back from services to development isn't a problem once someone is a senior* developer. Rajeev isn't at that point, so an extra year or two of experience in development is more likely to make a big difference. At Henry's stage, he has already accumulated so many skills that expanding into services helps hone even more without making him less experienced of a developer.

* And by senior, I mean more than the "senior" that the industry apparently now considers 3 years.
 
 
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