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Technical Consulting for Introverted Developers (Python, R, Data Science, Java)

Hints for consulting when the thought of doing sales may scare you. Given at SLC R User Group May 2019

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Technical Consulting for Introverted Developers (Python, R, Data Science, Java)

  1. 1. Consulting for Introverted Developers @__mharrison__
  2. 2. About Me ● School / work in Bay Area for 8 years ● Ran Utah Python for 5 years ● Author of multiple Python and Pandas books ● O'Reilly video author & instructor ● Corporate training & consulting through MetaSnake ● UofU / Stanford Professional Education Professor
  3. 3. MetaSnake ● ● Get technical people really understanding Python ● Get Python programmers grokking intermediate & advanced skills ● Get technical people training on Data Stack (SQL, Pandas, Machine Learning, Jupyter, Viz) ● Consulting (AI route planning, Loan delinquency, Course classifcation & churn, Code review, MVP for commercial real estate marketplace, Architecting ad reporting and predictive services)
  4. 4. Like
  5. 5. Don't Like ● Sales ● Large groups
  6. 6. Advice for a youngster Go work for a company that rhymes with: Cramazon, Ficrosoft, Kroogle, Frapple, Tracebook
  7. 7. I might not be to talk advice from "There once was a young man": ● First job ● After frst job
  8. 8. Consulting People pay you for your expertise
  9. 9. Why Consulting? ● Money ● Time ● Do what you want
  10. 10. Why not? ● Sales ● Marketing ● Running a company ● Competing with a race to the bottom (computers/people)
  11. 11. First Order ● Get an accountant ● Form an LLC ● List it on your LinkedIn
  12. 12. If you decide to go solo ● Find a good (health) insurance broker
  13. 13. 3 Things Inspired by Drew Conway Stats Progamming Expertise
  14. 14. 3 Things Attitude Invest in Self Invest in Others
  15. 15. Attitude
  16. 16. Abundance Mentality There is more than enough work to go around
  17. 17. Attitude "There once was a young man whose friend was speaking at all of the conferences and he wasn't..."
  18. 18. Conferences Attending a conference is mostly a waste for me
  19. 19. Conferences Speaking at a conference is completely different
  20. 20. Conferences My best pro tip for introverts at conferences is: be a speaker. It sounds wild, but you get time to practice and plan ahead of time, and then people will approach you and you'll already have something to talk about. -- @valeriecodes
  21. 21. Conferences I expect to get business from this talk
  22. 22. Source of Work I get pitched all the time on LinkedIn, but 90%+ of my work is from my network or conference work
  23. 23. Attitude Write down and review your goals!
  24. 24. Invest in Self
  25. 25. Invest in Self Let me tell you the story of a boy who wanted to create the frst Python series for Pluralsight ....
  26. 26. Invest in Self On Linux
  27. 27. Invest in Self Buy/use correct tools
  28. 28. Invest in Self Let me tell you the story of a boy who decided to create a book from his conference tutorial...
  29. 29. Invest in Self ● Book is a business card ● Self-publishing is easy ● Publishers want good content
  30. 30. Invest in Self Become a leader
  31. 31. Onion Skin of (Open Source) Participation ● Heard of ● Use ● File bugs/use mailing list ● Submit PR ● Committer
  32. 32. Onion Skin of Participation Let me tell you the story of a colleague who wanted to become a Core Python committer...
  33. 33. Become a Leader ● Meetup ● Sharing ● Blogging ● Presenting
  34. 34. "Effectiveness of Public Work" ● Blog ● Tweet ● Contribute to Open Source ● Give Talks ● Record Screencasts ● Write a Book dl=0
  35. 35. Invest in Self ● Get enough sleep ● Exercise ● Mental Health
  36. 36. Better Developer The secret to becoming a better developer? Get more sleep. -- @kvlly
  37. 37. Invest in Others
  38. 38. Abundance Mentality There is more than enough work
  39. 39. Abundance Mentality (2) It's a small world. I personally know most of the other Python trainers (who also consult and write books). They are not my competition.
  40. 40. Attitude Rather than pitching everyone your service, ask "What can I do for you?" (w/o expecting payment).
  41. 41. Mastermind Group Connect with people who do similar things or who are doing what you want to do.
  42. 42. Clients as "Others" ● Give clients a fair price ● Be willing to drop clients
  43. 43. Invest in Others Be charitable: ● Donate ● Teach at schools
  44. 44. My Offer If there is something I can do for you, let me know in person after talk.
  45. 45. Book Helpful book: The Coder's Path to Wealth & Independence by Mark Beckner
  46. 46. Summary Attitude Invest in Self Invest in Others
  47. 47. Thanks! Reach out on: ● @__mharrison__ (twitter) ● LinkedIn Check out my latest book at