Performing Technical Interviews For Consulting Clients

Clayton Neff Consulting, Opinion, Soft Skills Leave a Comment

The situation will occasionally arise when we have gained enough respect and confidence from our clients that they will ask us to help them interview new technical people to join the team. As consultants, it’s important for us to be the person that our client needs us to be at the time, so we are definitely willing to help. But, needless to say, this situation must be handled with ‘kid gloves.’

Many managers are uncomfortable performing a technical interview in an area they do not feel competent in. Typically, that is when they will ask for your help in the interview process. As technical consultants, we should be able to provide useful feedback to them about the person’s apparent abilities. When it comes to the ‘soft skills,’ we want to ensure we’re on the same page with the client as to if we should limit the interactions to just the technical topics.

Whether you’re a consultant helping your client, or the client manager looking to fill your employee team, there are a number of topics that must be considered when searching for the right technical person. In this post, I will point out some useful topics to concentrate on while performing a technical interview– and why they are important questions to ask before hiring a new person to the team

Life as a Software Consultant

John Boardman Consulting, Keyhole, Opinion Leave a Comment

I’ve been in the field of programming professionally since 1990. I started out as a corporate employee for 14 years, then as a consultant, back to an employee, and finally settled with consulting. In both positions, I’ve worked with small, medium, large, and huge Fortune 50 corporations. There are many similarities between being an employee and a consultant, but there are also some significant differences.

In this blog, I’ll explore what life has been like in each role and hopefully give some perspective to others who might just be starting out. Keep in mind when I write “employee,” I am specifically targeting programmers.

Improving Performance in Enterprise Web Applications

Zach Gardner Opinion, Programming

Every team that builds a large web application can generally pick from the following: delivering application functionality on time, with high quality, or high performance. Teams can pick one or two of the options, but they can’t pick all three.

Most teams opt to only focus on performance if and when it becomes a problem. This, unfortunately, can be far too late for some projects. Anyone who has been in the industry can empathize with both sides of the equation – choosing to defer performance concerns, as well as seeing the negative impact it can have on the success of the product as a whole.

It is a lesson I’ve learned from hard experience, so I want to make sure others can learn from my mistakes. In this post, I suggest a handful of principles that help to find a happy medium for delivering high-quality software applications while focusing on performance.

Significant improvements can be realized even if only one or two of the principles are applied. Applying all of them, of course, will produce the best results.

Taking on the Azure Developer Certification (70-532) Exam

Vince Pendergrass .NET, Azure, Opinion, Service Fabric 6 Comments

Many of the companies that we work with use various cloud providers (such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft) for IT Service Delivery. This has created a great need for those who assist these companies to possess the technical skills required for proper and effective implementation of such services.

An excellent way to make yourself stand apart from the crowd in this space (and your company for that matter), is to obtain a developer/architect certification, such as the Microsoft Azure Developer Certification. Plus, if your company is focusing on becoming a Microsoft partner, it may be necessary to have a few developers on your team spend some time working to become certified. Fortunately, my awesome company Keyhole Software presented me with this opportunity.

In this blog, I share what I did to prepare for the Azure developer certification, specifically the 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification exam. I’ll include a couple of prep tools that helped me significantly, as well as a few unexpected “gotchas” I encountered when taking the exam…