EppsNet Archive: Consulting

What Can Be Done About Gender Diversity in Computing?

That is the question posed in, among other places, the October 2015 issue of Communications of the ACM. Since gender is no longer a biological imperative connected to one’s physical anatomy, there’s now a simple answer to this. Men (and women, but that’s not relevant to this question) can identify as either gender, independent of reproductive organs and chromosomes, and a thoughtful consideration of the uniqueness and validity of every person’s experiences of self requires a societal stamp of approval. Google or Facebook or any organization that wants to improve its gender diversity metrics can offer some modest incentive (could be financial, could be you use the women’s locker room at the company gym … use your imagination!) for workers to identify as female. Have a 50 percent female workforce by Friday! Now that I’ve written this down I’m thinking that maybe I should be starting up a diversity consulting… Read more →

Aside

What Satan lacked was a strategy. Maybe he should have called McKinsey.

Certifications

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day, offer him a fishing certification and he'll open up a consultancy without ever having seen a fish. — Dan Lyke (@danlyke) July 29, 2013 Read more →

Whatever the Client is Doing, Advise Something Else

People who are close to a problem tend to keep repeating what didn’t work the first time. If it did work, they wouldn’t have called in a consultant. — Gerald M. Weinberg, The Secrets of Consulting Read more →

Make sure they pay you enough so they’ll do what you say. — Jerry Weinberg

It’s Always a People Problem

Even when it’s “really” a technical problem, it can always be traced back to management action or inaction. Even so, the experienced consultant will resist pointing out that it was management who hired all the technical people and is responsible for their development. At the same time, the consultant will look for the people who should have prevented this problem, or dealt with it when it arose. — Gerald M. Weinberg, The Secrets of Consulting Read more →

A Consulting Axiom

I’ve been downgraded from an ear infection to a “full-blown” ear infection. Last week, the doctor at walk-in urgent care gave me an Amoxicillin prescription and told me to come back if the symptoms didn’t improve in four or five days. They didn’t, but I went to a different walk-in clinic this afternoon to work a second opinion into the process. The doctor gave me a prescription for Levaquin to replace the Amoxicillin. I know, nobody cares about this. I only mention it because it reminded me of something important. I was a consultant for many years and I’m going to share with you now one of the axioms of consulting: Whatever the client is doing, advise them to do something else. If whatever they’ve been doing was working, they wouldn’t need a consultant, right? Is Levaquin “better” than Amoxicillin for ear infections? No, but you see what I’m getting… Read more →