Jerry Nixon @Work: My new Business Cards - yeah!

Jerry Nixon on Windows

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My new Business Cards - yeah!

What's worse than being asked "What do you do?" by people who outside the technical industry? My mom seriously thinks all I do is "make web pages" and "get Excel to print", but that's pretty inadequate.

It's worse being asked by people inside the technical industry. My role isn't typical. Explaining it is difficult. Mostly because of American Systems Group (ASG); we're not a typical organization.

ASG is a targeted. We're not interested in one industry. We're not interested in one technology. Although we are a Microsoft partner, our real purpose is to provide consultants to customers.

A contractor is not a consultant. They are sometimes used interchangeably. But we consider a contractor an hourly worker. A consultant, by contrast, is someone who cares about the customer and brings true expertise to the table.

We engage customers at a high level. We work to sell project vision. We work to build project awareness. We work to create project budgets and plans. And, we deliver the project through exhaustively vetted developers.

Our success rate is not the industry success rate. We don't allow projects to fail.

Many of us have worked together for more than 8 years. Others, less. But we are all dedicated to a few rare ideals: don't complain, don't BS, be great in your expertise, and deliver. Customers love it; who wouldn't.

My role in ASG is to help sell. But I also design project architecture. I also build reference implementations. I also help lead through the SDLC. I also develop software. I'm not a jack of all trades, what I do is just one comprehensive trade.

So, what do I do? I do a lot. Let's just call it "Principal Architect".
I'm looking for new developers. Developers with expertise (SQL, SharePoint, Workflow, WPF, Mobility, C#) - but only those dedicated to be great. You know the kind. They read MSDN. They play with BETAs. They tinker. They show up. A dying breed.

Developers like working for ASG because unlike those stupid Microsoft partners out there who treat technical artisans as employees, we treat them as valuable people. We pay better than anyone else, period. But we're demanding. It's great.

We don't force you to travel. We don't bait and switch. We don't beat you down. We don't beg for overtime. We treat you like you want to be treated. Why is this so rare? I really don't know. But it's rare. In fact, we may be the only one.

If you are a great developer. We might not have a place for you - not now. But let me keep your name and expertise in my "little black book". Our projects are interesting and challenging. If a fit arises, we'll call you and start the process.

If you have a project pending, starting, or in process - let me talk with you about it. Maybe we fit. We'll be honest about it. We can review architecture, coach you, mentor staff, bring in off shore, or just do it. You can decide, and we'll walk you through it.

Anyway, I just got my new card. Call me "Principal Architect" for now.