July 12, 2017

How to transition from laborious coding to advisory services

Reader Olivier Destrebecq asked a question in response to one of my recent messages (i.e., subject line “Shipping code is laborious” sent on July 10).

Olivier asks:

It would be great to hear how you found your first opportunity that was more on the advisor side of things.

To be honest, I don’t remember what the first opportunity was.

I’m old and it’s been over a decade since I started selling advisory services to dev clients :-)

But I think what OD is really looking for is information about how he might identify such an opportunity.

Here’s my take on that...

It takes time, but if you are a developer who wants to transition from coding to advisory services, here’s my advice:

Keep track of the non-coding activities that clients ask you for during the course of a normal coding project.

Stuff like:

Really, anything that qualifies as a client asking to “pick your brain”.

These are the kinds of things you might have been doing for free in hopes of getting more coding work.

But you can create discrete services out of any of them, or bundle them together into an advisory retainer.

(Refer back to the aforementioned message if you have objections to this idea.)