I’ve been spending some time on site at an engineering customer of ours (in case you were wondering, I work for @IMMIX, http://www.immix.co.za) and at the start of a workshop a gentleman, in his late 50s, joined us and started asking some great questions in and around the knowledge management arena.
The questions were different from the usual content heavy stuff and it got me thinking – “Do I have enough life & business experience to really answer this man properly?” This provoked a second question – “Are SharePoint Consultants too young?“
Why do I ask this question? Well, it’s quite simple; in the South African context, “consultants” very quickly get given or demand this title simply by working on a particular technology for a couple of years. In another scenario companies often bestow this title on the lucky “20 something” simply because their company is too small to have specialised resources. Putting “consultant” into someone’s title also allows said company to pimp this individual out as many things. #FoodForThought.
In other industries consultants are white bearded men with years and years of experience on their side. Why is that not the case in SharePoint? Firstly, I believe Microsoft have made the technology quite easy to work with, hence technical resources are “skilling” up quicker and quicker. Secondly, companies give away the “consultant” badge way to easily in the Microsoft partner ecosystem.
I wish I could spend another 1000 words on this topic, but I have to run to make it to a presentation at Teched Africa. My key “take away” on this topic is this:
Before adding “consultant” to your title, ask yourself this question – “Am I consulting with the customer or am I simply deploying a technology?” The answer to this question should give you an indication as to where you fit in.