Industry Insiders: Tech Consultant
WE CONTINUE OUR INDUSTRY INSIDERS SERIES WITH A SENIOR CONSULTANT IN BLOCKCHAIN AT A LARGE TECH SOFTWARE AND SERVICES FIRM.
We’ll be the first to admit that we don’t fully understand blockchain or how it works, but there’s a reason that every major company is starting to invest in the technology. We’re so grateful to have KW (28 years old, based in Melbourne, Australia) giving us the insights on what it’s like to work as a blockchain consultant at a large tech firm. Thanks so much, KW!
Q: What is your official work title?
Senior Consultant - Blockchain
Q: How would you explain your job to a 15 year old?
My job requires me to engage with clients and understand what their current pain points are, find potential solutions (such as Blockchain) and start gathering requirements to actually make it happen!
Q: What are some things you are responsible for?
As a tech consultant, responsibilities can vary far and wide. I'm currently responsible for leading the testing phase of a blockchain prototype project I am on. This means planning different types of testing to be conducted on the new platform we are building, writing the test cases and expected outcomes, helping different business users conduct testing and managing the defects when something isn't quite right.
Q: Tell us about “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of your role?
I love the variety of work that I get to do, It's always a challenge but it also allows me to continuously learn. Whether it be a new industry i'm working with, new clients, or a new role I need to step into, I get to try new things.
Variety also can mean uncertainty. As a consultant you're required to be 'billable' to a client, so there's always the thought 'What am I going to do after this project finishes?' you're always trying to plan ahead to make sure you've got a good project to jump to when your current one finishes.
Scope creep. It's important to clearly define what the scope of the project is with the clients. The project can turn sour if deliverables aren't set in stone and suddenly you feel like you're committing way more than what you have planned for. When delivering a technology solution, it's easy for clients to keep asking for enhanced features, which adds a lot more time and cost.
Q: What skills have you learned while on the job?
My job has allowed me to understand just enough technical knowledge so I can understand what and how the developers are building our prototypes, yet also be able to translate it to business terms to the non-technical stakeholders. We are also using agile methodology for our project management so that's been another acquired skill on the job, lots of post-it notes!
Q: What skills do you have to have to be successful in your role?
Being adaptable so I can try different roles and also to keep up on what's happening in the tech world. Especially working in the blockchain space where the topic is still quite new, a lot of reading and learning is a must. Things change at a rapid rate when working in technology, you always need to know what's happening around the industry and to know what's the next big thing.
Q: How is your performance measured?
Project performance, client and peer feedback and annual utilisation (how much time you are on billable projects)
Q: What are the best perks that come with the job?
- The wealth of knowledge that I have access to. I'm currently working with the research team in a research lab that my company has. The research team has a lot of knowledge in Blockchain and i've been fortunate to be seated amongst them if I need any guidance.
- Flexible working. If I ever need to work from home or need to work different hours due to personal commitments, i'm easily able to do that.
- Plus a day off on your birthday!
Q: What is the ratio of male/female in your direct team?
3 female : 8 male
Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about working in a tech firm?
You don't need to have studied IT to be in tech. Often tech firms just need people with good business skills to help out the technical people on the team. It's all about balancing our skills with each other, you also learn a lot on the job so it's a perfect way to become technical if you wanted to.