Example of Making Big Money Through Programming

Discussion in 'Get Paid to Learn Computer Programming' started by Dan Allen, May 13, 2016.

  1. Dan Allen

    Dan Allen Administrator Founder Not Banned Radio Button Problem - Leader

    Published previously as part of another thread.

    The World's Biggest Custom Software Company Does It This Way

    Last I heard, their annual revenue, mostly from programming custom sofware, is $30 billion.

    When I was 27, I set out to learn how to make "skyscraper" computer systems. It took some doing, but I managed to get hired by the firm doing more custom software development than any other in the world. At the time, they were called Andersen Consulting and now they are called Accenture. I did not go there just to work I went to learn what they do that made it possible for them to make huge profits and build systems when more firms trying to do the same thing could get no where.

    The most striking thing I noticed is that they use beginner programmers only. They hire non-programmers and teach them how to program. They are selective in hiring, but they I am here to tell you, they are not the best programmers in the world. What the are great at is managing projects and client relationships. By training people to program, they can deploy teams in any size needed. Almost no one else can deploy teams of programmers. The result is they can collect huge fees from well-financed businesses for doing what you and I think of just doing something normal. It is not like they are all geniuses.

    The teams they train are not taught to be expert programmers. They are taught to work on specific systems the company uses to do their work for clients. They don't teach how to setup tables and fields in a database. They don't teach how to make a connection between your programs and your database. They set those things up and then have you do the things that rig makes it easy to do. Without the database setup for you, the work would be hard. Multiply that by say, 50 people. Add 10 more people for management and tech support, now you are looking at a team of 60 people where everyone is billed at over $100/hour. That is how they make big money and we are going to do the same thing.

    Nothing about this is hard. It's just that most people don't know that this is how you have to arrange things to do this kind of work.
  2. Kirsten Bolda

    Kirsten Bolda Administrator Radio Button Problem - 2nd Demo Parts A and B Founder Not Banned

    This is a fascinating insight, and reinforces the suspicion I am getting that people are the most important component of any programming project.
    When you say they hire non-programmers but are selective, what kinds of backgrounds and qualities are they looking for? How do they find these kinds of hires? And, how are they able to convince non-programmers that they would be ideal candidates for a career in IT?
  3. Dan Allen

    Dan Allen Administrator Founder Not Banned Radio Button Problem - Leader

    They look for people with good grades, intelligence, good work ethic, right clothing, being "presentable." They go for resume fodder. Young, moldable. They want to create the impression of being the best of the best, so they look for people who are driven to be like that.

    Thing is, all a client wants is, "can do the job." Even with all the fancy diplomas and all that, here is what trumps them all: EXPERIENCE using the technology the client needs. Even within the firm, people with hands-on experience were the ones who had best reputations. All the fancy stuff is for "dog and pony shows." When you are collecting tens of millions a year in fees from a business, you are going to be doing dog and pony shows.The fancy paperwork is what they use as part of their overall corporate culture. It is not critical to the success they have. What is critical is doing a good job and bending over backward for the client. Being intelligent about how clients are dealt with is what matters. There is an edge to be had by running all kinds of fancy paperwork, but I will tell you what.If we are still at this in 5-10 years, there will not be another firm anywhere that does better work than we do. We could grow to a scale where we find ourselves competing with top firms, if we get the right management talent going for us. If that happens, the only way we ever will lose to anyone would be either because they are bigger and we are not big enough for the job or prior relationships. On a level playing field, we will win every time, because we are the only ones not running some form of carrot and stick game. Have you ever noticed how technology tends to be sold on what you can be led to imagine it to do? And when you get your hands on it, it always turns out to be almost nothing like you thought? By not doing that, we are going to be so popular it is crazy.

    Getting back to your question about what they select for, they tell you they are selecting the best and the brightest, but what they always doing is puffing things up. We select for steely eyes, no nonsense people who can help with real work and who stick with things to get them done.
  4. Mike C. Baker

    Mike C. Baker Please Welcome This Member Software Access Has References

    Additional data here: I was on the client side of an Andersen Consulting arrangement once upon a time myself -- process re-engineering for REALLY custom manufacturing. Another essential element of their process, as I experienced it, was the manner in which they utilized / leveraged Subject Matter Experts from the client and other vendors into their Method. Wasn't always "best", and for some of the slog I felt like my employer, A BIG Corporation as things were measured at the time, had been sold a bill of goods. BUT Andersen delivered as best the circumstances permitted, and were willing to admit when they had flubbed on some of the up-front estimating (and negotiate addenda that allowed the whole thing to be counted as successful-with-amendments/adjustments).

    Lessons *I* learned in the process have served me well for the past 25-plus years.
    Dan Allen likes this.
  5. Dan Allen

    Dan Allen Administrator Founder Not Banned Radio Button Problem - Leader

    Process re-engineering is not going to be our thing I don't think at least not at first. Long topic, but that is the short of it.

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