Consultant Personalities - ASP.NET Style

Posted on 6/9/2007 @ 11:11 PM in #Non Techie by | Feedback | 5152 views

I enjoy delivering projects to end clients. I work with numerous consultants, each with different personalities, and many of them are shockingly similar to ASP.NET controls. Here are the various kinds of consultants I have run into -

  1. The Button consultant: This is probably the wisest of the consultants aorund. He is essential, so you can't get rid of him without seriously altering the project. But he sits and does nothing most of the time. But if someone pushes him - he'll do what is necessary to keep his job. Damn, must be nice to have that kind of job security. Usually found in large companies or government projects.
  2. The Placeholder: Also known as the "Seat warmer" consultant. This kind of consultant has been put on a project, not because he has any skills or contribution to the project, but just because he was there when nobody else was, and a seat needed to be filled. Afterall, he is billable to the client, and the $'s is what really matters. This kind of consultant is really not useful unless a different server control takes his place and does some real work for him, yet when you look at the code it looks like the placeholder did all the work! WTF!
  3. The Literal consultant: This consultant is very flexible. He can be a project manager, a lead, a developer or a tester. He can do everything and anything - just none of them well enough.
  4. The Hyperlink consultant: This consultant is extremely annoying. He doesn't really do anything himself, but he always knows who can do something you need. I guess he is useful in a way, but really I wished he just did the job instead rather than deflect to another page on the team. I wish I could fire him and use Ajax instead, but I guess he is useful sometimes, well heck, anyone is!
  5. The HiddenField: Oh haven't we run into this guy before. He sneakily sits on IMs and behind emails. When the visible consultants on a project can't pull anything through, this stealth consultant tacitly does the job behind the scenes. Unfortunately, he is a gaping idiot because
    • He stretches himself more than he should, and
    • Gets no credit for the work he did, even though the project would be screwed without him.
  6. The DataGrid consultant: This consultant is a one dog show. He does one thing, and picks one of the most complex things to do, but does it really really well. Unfortunately, this consultant works better in labs than he does in the real world, and is heavy and expensive and mostly impractical. But still useful in those very very special situations.
  7. The Label Consultant: Same thing as a DataGrid consultant, just not as good, but way cheaper. Ends up getting used a whole lot - the dataGrid can't figure out why it can't bill as much as the label control can, and the label consultant can't figure out why the datagrid charges so much.
  8. The RequiredFieldValidator consultant: We have all seen him, we all hate him, and we all know that we won't get rid of him. He is that annoying kind in class who sits in the front row, and that must ask a question even if one isn't necessary. He raises silly questions that annoy the heck out of us when we are developing and wished that he wasn't there. Some of us want to even kill him or beat the shit out of him. Heck somtimes we just disable him, but then a bug slips into production - ouch! I guess we'll just put up with him.
  9. The Substitution consultant also known as The FileUpload consultant: A highly pragmatic consultant. He always makes it a point to steal all source code before leaving a client site. He is also great and plugging in code he found on google or from another project into the current project. Hey, he gets the job done - what else do you want?
  10. The Composite Control: This consultant likes to call himself "lead", but the dirty secret is - he is utterly useless unless it wasn't for the controls he leads. He can get a concept half running, but really when it comes to doing any actual work, he is completely useless if it wasn't for the various other controls to help him out. Some say that he is useful, but frequently he just adds to the budget of the project.

What are some of the consultants you have run into?

Sound off but keep it civil:

Older comments..

On 6/9/2007 10:55:51 PM Sahil Malik said ..
And before anyone asks, I'm the HiddenField more often that not!! :-(

On 6/11/2007 1:42:14 AM HiddenField Developer said ..
First off I want to say I really enjoyed your comparisons, it made my day. I hate to say it but I'm most like the HiddenField control. Thats why I've been working all week end. When I first got into consulting last year I thought these consultants would be all knowing software developers, boy was I wrong. :)

On 6/11/2007 4:10:17 AM Matt Taylor said ..
I hate it when a post like this makes me laugh so much because people will equate that to being a "geek" - the single thing I most hate being called in the entire world!

No comment on what control I think sums me up, you're way too perceptive!!

On 6/11/2007 9:14:10 AM Sahil Malik said ..
LOL, Hidden Field Developer - I know the feeling :).

Matt - c'mon, ju gotta tell us which control you are mang!! :)

On 6/11/2007 12:50:12 PM Wayne said ..
DataSet Consultant - An excellent addition to any team, but overkill for most projects you're working on. The problem is that he's just so easy to work with and he gets the job done quickly, so you ignore how much he costs.

(I'm a DataSet myself)

On 6/11/2007 12:59:09 PM Sahil Malik said ..
LOL Wayne, do you believe in sublimnal voices?


As we speak, the ORM crowd is mixing arsenic in the DataSet consultant's (Wayne) drink!


On 6/11/2007 6:17:11 PM Niels said ..
The DropDownList consultant. It looks like an ordinary 9 till 5 type of guy. People are never really positive about him. But you have just found out on your recent project that when you push the right buttons -or trigger him otherwise :)- he really opens up and seems like a valuable resource with lots of information to share.

The DatePicker consultant. You don't really need him at all, but the customer is his best friend or the customer fell for his speech. You can do with much less, but he is already on the project and you cannot seem to get rid of him. Annoyingly enough, he is already focussing on the calendar to look for other customer appointments.

The HtmlControl consultant. Seems really old school -and probably is-, but does what needs to be done really well if you don't ask to much of him. He is quick, simple, dependable and effective. The other consultants may shine more, but are sometimes just to full of themselves.

I can do this all day. :D

On 6/11/2007 7:00:01 PM Sahil Malik said ..
LOL Niels - good stuff :)

On 6/13/2007 1:36:27 AM Ishai Sagi said ..
"The Composite Control" here!

On 6/13/2007 7:20:20 AM Sahil Malik said ..
Yeah whatever Ishai .. you're just being nice!!

On 6/13/2007 7:49:12 PM Joe Brinkman said ..
Don't forget every developer's favorite: The DataAdapter. He controls all access to the database. Sure, almost anyone could do his job but for some reason he is the only one trusted to talk to the actual database. I mean really, I defined the table. I defined the query, but since he is the db "expert" I have to go through him to get to my data. He doesn't actually provide any real value to the project beyond slowing up the process.

On 6/13/2007 9:18:09 PM Sahil Malik said ..
LOL Joe - someone else remarked exactly that about a DataAdapter, so it must be a common pain :)

On 6/17/2007 12:39:18 AM Rob Garrett said ..
Got to say, I think I'm Niels's DropDownList control ;)

On 6/17/2007 1:33:32 AM Sahil Malik said ..
Rob - No shit! :)

On 6/24/2007 1:47:03 PM Dee said ..
Meet me, I am "The Literal consultant:" jack of all trades, master of none. :p

On 7/5/2007 7:58:48 PM Brian said ..
The open source 3rd party control developed by a college student and downloaded from Code Project. He doesn't know crap, there are several fools around him that think he is invaluable because not only is he have a shiny seal of meaningless accomplishments, but he's cheap.

Not a control - but - the UIP Framework: usually and ex-Java programmer that can't find a job elsewhere. Takes something relatively simply that is straight forward and doesn't require any extra layers of abstraction and makes it overly complex not because the dynamic or flexibility was needed, but because Martin Fowler wrote it an book and therefore if it isn't done that way it isn't done right. Has the ability to turn a 2 week project into a 2 month project, and again is well liked by foolish management because it appears that he can fill in the huge gaps that he preaches about being left by Microsoft.

On 7/5/2007 10:24:32 PM Sahil Malik said ..
LOL Brian, this comment is PRICELESS ! :) ROFL.

Boy haven't we seen *that* go around lately :).

And oh that kinda consultant talks hella techie too.

On 3/31/2009 4:03:18 PM chris said ..
re: The Label Consultant. Based on the description, wouldn't a better name for this guy be "The Reapeater Consultant" or the "The DataList Consultant"