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The Computer Consultant's Guide: Real-Life Strategies for Building a Successful Consulting Career Hardcover – July 31, 1997
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From Library Journal
Ruhl, a computer consultant and staffmember on CompuServe's Computer Consultant's Forum, has tackled a topic that combines two of today's most relevant career-related topics: consulting and computers. This work thankfully dispenses with the typical how-to book's pep talks and exaggerated claims of potential wealth and personal fulfillment. Instead, Ruhl relies on facts and figures, covering such topics as the six types of computer consultants, incorporation, insurance, marketing, proposals, contracts, fee setting, billing, tax laws, licensure, and working with brokers. She includes a number of real-life examples, an extensive resource list, and answers to commonly asked questions. Well organized, easy to read, thorough, and up-to-date, this book belongs on the reading list of all prospective and current computer consultants.
- Alan Farber, Northern Illinois Univ. , Dekalb
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
If youre serious about striking out on your own as a computer consultant, you dont need a pep talk. You need reliable, authoritative information that will prepare you for the realities of independent consulting. You need to meet experienced consultants who have learned from their own successes and failures and who can teach you what it takes to develop a consultant mentality, attract and hold clients, set realistic prices, collect your money, run a business on your own, avoid tax problems, and much more. In this Second Edition of The Computer Consultants Guide, Janet Ruhl introduces you to more than 150 practicing computer consultants. In their own words, these professionals tell you how they feel about their work, what problems they commonly encounter, which real-world solutions worked for them, and which didnt. Youll even get to listen in on disagreements over touchy subjects such as when to discount rates and whether to insist on a written contract. Youll hear both sides of ever), question and decide for yourself which approach is right for you. The Computer Consultants Guide doesnt stop there. In excerpts from in-depth interviews with leading consultants, Ruhl addresses a host of important issues that will affect your day-to-day life as a consultant and could make or break your future: insurance requirements, effective image building, marketing techniques that work, and managing the client relationship. New information in this Second Edition includes tax requirements and standard business practices for Canadian, U.K., and European consultants; and new tips and tricks from working consultants as well as ideas on how to use the Internet and World Wide Web to support and enhance your business. This practical, down-to-earth handbook also includes updated resource lists, extensive up-to-date information based on Janet Ruhls popular Web-based Real Rate Survey, IRS rules for establishing independent contractor status, and the ICCAs model consulting contract. If youre serious about becoming a computer consultant, or even if youre just thinking about it, this book gives you a clear picture of what youre up against, prepares you to meet the challenges of launching your business, and helps you avoid the common errors that most fledgling consultants make. No, you dont need a pep talk. You need The Computer Consultants Guide, Second Edition.
Top customer reviews
To begin with the kind of "computer consultant" that the book is primarily focused on is the contract mainframe programmer. Even in 1997 that was not the dominant form of consulting, as she suggests it is. Also take into account that one of her favorite resources to recommend is CompuServe. For those of you under 35, that was the thing that AOL put out of business by being easier to use (though not better.)
In fact most of the information in the book is gathered from CompuServe and it's members. Ruhl actually bemoans this new upstart "the internet" because it isn't as good as the bulletin boards people are used to, since it's all static pages, after all.
Not that there aren't great pieces of information in here. It would just be nice to do a soft cover third edition that's about a third less pages. Just include the "timeless" stuff about dealing with clients and not the stuff about how you could earn as much as $35K as a consultant.
I enjoyed the book, and it's extremely well written, but the fact that it's so out of date and sold only in a $20 hard cover edition left a bad taste in my mouth.
If you are an absolute rookie in the computer field and have little idea of the consulting options available to you, your perspective may widen a bit and you might find yourself having more questions than you did before you started reading this book, which is a good thing. So, you will probably want to supplement your research a bit more once you have narrowed down your consulting career choices.
But, if you are already in the computer field, this book has about all the information you will need to base a career-changing decision on. There are plenty of resources listed to help further your knowledge on the consulting field. If you have the time, you might want to take a look at the author's subsequent book, "Janet Ruhl's Answers for Computer Contractors", which can be a very good supplement to this book.
~ Michael Nigohosian, author - "The Secret Path to Contract Programming Riches"
The first chapter defiens the many types of consultants fairly well. However, it does fail to mention much about the Networking Engineer, whcih is a critical part of today's busienss environment. The Meet The Consultants section is fairly user friendly. Earning potential is key but again you must interpret this in terms of 1997 dollars which is more inflated now.
Also critical discussions regarding health insurance and marketing are explored here. Some good advice is given here at the beginning. A little bit overdone in other spots as a person exploring the industry will become overwhelmed. So many of these aspects are situational. The brokering part is presented in such a dry format that its hard to read after 30-40 pages.
The glossary might be of help for those who want to explore more information. However, a new version is definitely in order to bring this book current.