André Luis Da Silva shares his journey of independent consulting with Talmix.
Having served over 25 years within the Technology industry, André’s own journey has a firm footing in the academic world, having completed his Bachelor, Masters and pursuing a PhD degree in Computer Science, setting himself up as an expert within the machine learning, applied networking and robotics sectors. Not resting only on his academic history, André has been instrumental in the development and growth of numerous businesses and industries and prides his long-term, 11 years to be exact, consulting project with IBM as one of his biggest achievements to date. “Working with IBM has enabled me to be part of incredible global opportunities. Having worked through several platform iterations and architectural system changes, I have had the good fortune to work with colleagues from all over the world, and on projects located in almost every continent” he tells me.
For most of André’s career, he has served as an independent consultant, also running his own consulting business, but he too understands the challenges of the permanently-employed environment, having worked for several organisations throughout his academic years. “What I love most about consulting is the diversity that having different clients with different project requirements brings. I love to be able to work according to my client’s time zones and the flexibility that it offers me in being able to work anywhere I wish”, he adds. But working in cross-cultural, varying time-zone environments does present its own set of challenges. For him, the key to a successful project is clear, transparent communication. “Keeping everyone informed on the progress of a project is vital to keeping that project on track. Everyone involved – from developer to key stakeholder – needs to feel confident with the planned schedule of each day, and feel secure in knowing that what was planned, will be delivered”, he says.
But André is not simply a brilliant developer and systems architect. His entrepreneurial spirit means that he can recognise where innovation and improvement would help his clients work more efficiently. His own first start-up business would attest to that. André not only started one of the first Internet Service Provider businesses within his birth city in Brazil, but went on to secure a 30% market dominance before he chose to sell it to a larger technology organisation at the time.
And André doesn’t believe in becoming stagnant. “One thing I’ve learnt in my years as an independent consultant is to always keep yourself updated – not only, in my case, within the technology industry, but more importantly the business world as a whole. We are in a world where everything becomes new, every day. Businesses and Service Providers need to keep their eyes open to that. We need to adapt. If we don’t adapt, we die”. André is also quick to add that although he recognises the strong need to adapt and grow, sometimes if a system works well, then there may not be a strong need to change it. “Yes, enhancement will always open up new opportunity, but sometimes, you just need to keep things simple. I want my clients to think carefully about where they’re investing their money.” A value that I’m sure many of his clients also appreciate.
And André’s advice to consultants who are considering their own independent journey? “That’s simple. It boils down to 3 simple things:
- Keep learning, every day. If you have the opportunity to keep studying formally, then take it. It’s not always about the curriculum. Sometimes it’s also about the people you meet along the way, and the knowledge you share.
- Travel Abroad: Get to know cultures. Live elsewhere. Expand your knowledge culturally.
- If you do a good job the first time around, they will come back, year after year”.