I have been speaking for a good percentage of the last 24 hours. To different people and about slightly different things but speaking almost continuously nevertheless. Writing has turned out to be a rather relaxing activity off late (in lieu of another interest of mine that is a tad expensive – poker!) and so, here I go.

The good part about interviewing for me has always been the fact that you get to meet new people doing different things. Not to mention it being humbling, to say the least. However, the part where it tends to get tricky is the time and effort it takes. Add that to a consulting career and you will probably see what I mean. The number of people who have to make an impression upon along the way can be a little exhausting as well.

I really wish I could come up with an ingenious way not to prove that I can do whatever my potential clients need but to simply exhibit the few skills I might have beyond an element of doubt. Ultimately, the client needs help with something and they need the best company or person that can help them achieve it. The sooner you get the client and the sooner the client gets the candidate or the company, the happy all parties are. But, we all know it is easier said than done.

I have tried a few options myself and while some of them have come in handy sometimes, they haven’t been able to play a role for the most part. For instance, I created a few different applications that used varied technologies and demonstrated some basic stuff. The code is pushed to a Git repository and is generally running on my laptop that I am well able to demonstrate to the client. The hope here is that they are able to see some code that I both own and wrote with the objective that it goes some way in alleviating any concerns they might have for lack of having seen my work directly in the past.

This has made a difference to some clients and not to most others and there could be several reasons for this – (a) The nature of problem that these scaffold-ish type of applications might solve may not necessarily be complex enough (b) The client cannot be entirely certain that I actually wrote the code (c) The applications aim to demonstrate some skills but they are clearly limited in what they can prove given that I need to create a number of these to cover the different stacks I have worked on in the past (not to mention the upgrades that have to be done along the way).

The one other option I’ve tried occasionally though it hasn’t attracted any client thus far, to be honest, is a 2-week trial period. Given that the on boarding cost involved in consulting is rather limited, in my opinion, I have asked some potential clients if they would be willing to “try me” for 2 weeks and then pay me in a backdated manner IF they liked my work. While this should help in mitigating the risk even more from a client standpoint, I haven’t really been able to sell this and while there may be many reasons for this too, I think one of them is that they aren’t necessarily set up from a process standpoint to go down this route.

I see myself doing consulting for a while unless many other things fall in place much quicker than I expect & given that, I want to really try to find ways to make the finding the next gig part easier and seamless. I’ve been very fortunate over the past few years to be able to work repeatedly with a few of my clients (and a big thanks to them, once again!) and the search hasn’t necessarily extended into week-4. It has, this time around, and I am just beginning to feel a bit exhausted. I feel like it is about time I write some actual code or do some real architecture work for my next client and hearing myself talk about work I’ve done in the past is becoming a bit boring, if you know what I mean! Enough of past laurels, give me a new problem to solve, please!

— krish @ http://www.snowpal.software

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