Why I chose a career in IT-consulting

This article was written during my first week as a consultant. Some of it also inspired my “I’m not a nerd, I am a creative maniac!” article.

Consulting is very much about helping, learning and teaching.

Consulting is very much about helping, learning and teaching.

So when you graduate from a 5-year long education resulting in two different titles you have a lot of options when it’s time to get out in the real world and start your career. For me, the first choice was to choose if I wanted to become a teacher in mathematics and technology or if I wanted to go into the tech industry as a developer. I definitely want to teach students somewhere down the road but as a newly graduated IT engineer, the tech environment is just too intriguing to say no to.

There is a teaching-related theory put forward by Lev Vygotskij called Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD, If you don’t know it, a quick read up won’t hurt you). This theory basically describes the volume of things you can learn by interacting socially and collaborate with other people. A large team, for example, has a larger ZPD since there is more knowledge accessible to you. If I were to start teaching programming right away I would have a very limited ZPD in a school environment for me to learn more about programming, that's why I want to work as a developer in the tech industry, it has a lot bigger ZPD.

So now I had to make the next choice, do I want to work with a product company or become a consultant? The salaries are about the same, maybe consultants make a little more but let us face facts; money isn’t half as important as getting what you want out of work. We spend a lot of our time working and I decided early on that if I’m going to work for half of my time on this planet I’m going to enjoy that time.

So now I had to make the next choice, do I want to work with a product company or become a consultant? The salaries are about the same, maybe consultants make a little more but let us face facts; money isn’t half as important as getting what you want out of work. We spend a lot of our time working and I decided early on that if I’m going to work for half of my time on this planet I’m going to enjoy that time.

  • You get to know your coworkers well.
  • You get to work on the same codebase/product and can really get into the nitty gritty of everything.
  • You can easily become an expert on that code/product and get to know the business very well.

However, it has some disadvantages too,

  • You get to work with the same colleges and code base all the time.
  • You get to work with the same colleges and code base all the time.

It can, of course, be joyful and an awesome experience but it is not what I want. I want to work with different people, learning from different developers with different workflows. As you might guess the key point here is variety. To me variety is very important, it allows me to work in different types of ZPDs and learn diverse things.

New workplaces, new workstations.

New workplaces, new workstations.

As an IT consultant, I can do all of this. I get to experience different companies, businesses, code bases, technologies and best of all, I get to meet new people all the time. This makes the ZPD almost infinite! Which in the long run actually means I can learn almost anything I like, that just makes me shake of enthusiasm.

As a consultant, I get to work with a variety of teams and people but I still keep the cozy homey feeling at our home office where I can kick back and have a beer with my other awesome colleges, like our CEO, sales and talent acquisition teams. This actually fills me with energy, I still have a fixed point where I can come to and discuss my assignments at clients with other consultants and get the support I need in everything from personal development to specific code problems.

As a (relatively) young person at the beginning of my career, I can’t think of a better role. I’m eager to learn new things and love to write code and meet new people, this glove just fits!

As always, thanks for reading! You can find all of my articles via my profile Jonas Johansson.