IBM Tech. Consultant Grad Scheme - NO PROGRAMMING EXPERIENCE...

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Speedfile123
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Hey y'all!

I am very interested in technology in general and consultancy (have past experience).

IBM's "Technology Consultant" Grad scheme says it welcomes ALL degree disciplines as long as you're on track for a 2.1 (which I am).

However, I was wondering whether I'd be at a significant disadvantage as I don't know how to code?
Though I am a quick learner and would happily learn it if required...

Thank youu
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GenuineEagle
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Being a quick learner is a great trait to have, with coding it is general understand more quicker by people who are good or skilled at maths. People have told me that they have been into A-Levels in computing with no knowledge of any coding but pick it up faster due to their understanding of maths.
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Speedfile123
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(Original post by GenuineEagle)
Being a quick learner is a great trait to have, with coding it is general understand more quicker by people who are good or skilled at maths. People have told me that they have been into A-Levels in computing with no knowledge of any coding but pick it up faster due to their understanding of maths.
Ah okay thanks for the info.

I am confident with maths and actually really enjoy it. It's just that I don't want to be playing "catch-up"...
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GenuineEagle
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(Original post by Speedfile123)
Ah okay thanks for the info.

I am confident with maths and actually really enjoy it. It's just that I don't want to be playing "catch-up"...
Understandable, but honestly dude if you want to get into programming i recommend learning python first as my classes are currently learning all about and its a gateway to other programming languages(debateable) also if your going into tech aswell its not only programming hardware/software is commonly questions so i recommend watching on youtube "Craig and dave" it is a youtube channel based around computer science should give you basic understanding of computers
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Speedfile123
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(Original post by GenuineEagle)
Understandable, but honestly dude if you want to get into programming i recommend learning python first as my classes are currently learning all about and its a gateway to other programming languages(debateable) also if your going into tech aswell its not only programming hardware/software is commonly questions so i recommend watching on youtube "Craig and dave" it is a youtube channel based around computer science should give you basic understanding of computers
Cheers man thanks a lot for this.

I will check them out haha sounds fun!
Would you say python is difficult to pick up?
(For context, I got an A* in GCSE Maths, B at A- Level and studying Econ atm).
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Speedfile123)
Cheers man thanks a lot for this.

I will check them out haha sounds fun!
Would you say python is difficult to pick up?
(For context, I got an A* in GCSE Maths, B at A- Level and studying Econ atm).
Python has some fairly user-friendly syntax, but the 'hard part' in programming isn't really about the syntax; you can get to grips with those basics by spending a few weeks bashing away at it - programming is more about having a problem solving and computational thinking mindset.

Learning to 'be a programmer' or 'think ilke a programmer' is all about practice; the more you do, the easier it'll be. In some ways it's a bit like maths (although programming isn't mathematical - basic arithmetic is all you need). However, where it's true with Maths that your skills get better as you practice with harder problems, it's also true with programming.

Realistically, f you can teach yourself to become a programmer using Python, then you can easily teach yourself another language later on then apply those same core programming skills to that language. The concepts around problem solving and computational thinking are exactly the same in any language.

Here's a good starting point for Python from University of Michigan - the course material (videos and other resources) are all excellent, but the real learning will happen from trying to tackle the exercises - most of the things you learn will be by trying to think your way around a difficult problem and using the language to write the solution: https://www.py4e.com/
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Speedfile123
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(Original post by winterscoming)
Python has some fairly user-friendly syntax, but the 'hard part' in programming isn't really about the syntax; you can get to grips with those basics by spending a few weeks bashing away at it - programming is more about having a problem solving and computational thinking mindset.

Learning to 'be a programmer' or 'think ilke a programmer' is all about practice; the more you do, the easier it'll be. In some ways it's a bit like maths (although programming isn't mathematical - basic arithmetic is all you need). However, where it's true with Maths that your skills get better as you practice with harder problems, it's also true with programming.

Realistically, f you can teach yourself to become a programmer using Python, then you can easily teach yourself another language later on then apply those same core programming skills to that language. The concepts around problem solving and computational thinking are exactly the same in any language.

Here's a good starting point for Python from University of Michigan - the course material (videos and other resources) are all excellent, but the real learning will happen from trying to tackle the exercises - most of the things you learn will be by trying to think your way around a difficult problem and using the language to write the solution: https://www.py4e.com/
Thank you so much!

I have realised from your answer and others that I've spoken to that what's far more important for programming is having a "programmer's mindset".

I guess that's why IBM emphasizes on having a genuine interest in programming and problem solving feather than actually knowing how to code (as I guess if you have the "mindset", you can be taught fairly quickly).

I'm struggling to grasp how the programming element links with being a technology consultant. Will I be using programming skills to help clients with issues/solve problems?...
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Speedfile123)
Thank you so much!

I have realised from your answer and others that I've spoken to that what's far more important for programming is having a "programmer's mindset".

I guess that's why IBM emphasizes on having a genuine interest in programming and problem solving feather than actually knowing how to code (as I guess if you have the "mindset", you can be taught fairly quickly).

I'm struggling to grasp how the programming element links with being a technology consultant. Will I be using programming skills to help clients with issues/solve problems?...
Yes, all IT consultancies are essentially solving various technical problems for their clients; typically you'd expect most problems to be focused on a software system which either needs to be built from scratch as new, maintained as existing (fixing defects), new features added, or replaced with another new system (probably a combination of fixing the old one and building a new one).

However, having a job title of Technology consultant doesn't necessarily mean you would be doing anything other than focusing on your main strength, unless you happened to be on a project where there's suddenly an urgent need for someone to do something else and noone to do that job.

It's more likely that they use the term Technology Consultant just to avoid having lots of different job titles, and perhaps so that people know to expect that they might sometimes be asked to work outside of their comfort zone. Otherwise, It's a bit of an umbrella term which covers a lot of different aspects of technology and a whole range of disciplines, so it's a bit vague,

With that said, In pretty much any IT job the work can vary. For example, someone working as a software engineer at any company will probably need to do help out with some QA Testing or DevOps once in a while. If you have skills in software engineering, then it's highly likely that you'll spend the majority of your time doing that, since it doesn't make sense to put a software engineer into a full-time permanent DevOps or QA position, and vice-versa.
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username738914
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(Original post by Speedfile123)
Hey y'all!

I am very interested in technology in general and consultancy (have past experience).

IBM's "Technology Consultant" Grad scheme says it welcomes ALL degree disciplines as long as you're on track for a 2.1 (which I am).

However, I was wondering whether I'd be at a significant disadvantage as I don't know how to code?
Though I am a quick learner and would happily learn it if required...

Thank youu
tech consulting is a business job not a technical job

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Speedfile123
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(Original post by Princepieman)
tech consulting is a business job not a technical job

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Yh so essentially normal consulting but focusing on the tech side (i.e. computer systems, new tech etc...)

What I'm trying to get at is what's the difference between tech and business consulting at IBM?
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Speedfile123
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(Original post by winterscoming)
Yes, all IT consultancies are essentially solving various technical problems for their clients; typically you'd expect most problems to be focused on a software system which either needs to be built from scratch as new, maintained as existing (fixing defects), new features added, or replaced with another new system (probably a combination of fixing the old one and building a new one).

However, having a job title of Technology consultant doesn't necessarily mean you would be doing anything other than focusing on your main strength, unless you happened to be on a project where there's suddenly an urgent need for someone to do something else and noone to do that job.

It's more likely that they use the term Technology Consultant just to avoid having lots of different job titles, and perhaps so that people know to expect that they might sometimes be asked to work outside of their comfort zone. Otherwise, It's a bit of an umbrella term which covers a lot of different aspects of technology and a whole range of disciplines, so it's a bit vague,

With that said, In pretty much any IT job the work can vary. For example, someone working as a software engineer at any company will probably need to do help out with some QA Testing or DevOps once in a while. If you have skills in software engineering, then it's highly likely that you'll spend the majority of your time doing that, since it doesn't make sense to put a software engineer into a full-time permanent DevOps or QA position, and vice-versa.
Thank you for the detailed reply!
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username738914
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(Original post by Speedfile123)
Yh so essentially normal consulting but focusing on the tech side (i.e. computer systems, new tech etc...)

What I'm trying to get at is what's the difference between tech and business consulting at IBM?
that's what i'm saying. tech consulting is about the business side of tech.

you're not doing any serious programming.

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Speedfile123
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(Original post by Princepieman)
that's what i'm saying. tech consulting is about the business side of tech.

you're not doing any serious programming.

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Ah yh I see I thought so. Thanks
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Speedfile123)
Yh so essentially normal consulting but focusing on the tech side (i.e. computer systems, new tech etc...)

What I'm trying to get at is what's the difference between tech and business consulting at IBM?
Business consulting would be something like accounting, business management, finance, etc. Tech consulting would be about software engineering, network engineering, devops, testing, etc. But IBM don't really control the projects - it's all down to the requirements of their clients. If you're in a technical role you probably wouldn't be involved in the business side of things though - they'll have project managers and business analysts for that side of the job.
.
For example, a typical project for IBM might be something like building a new system to handle healthcare data for the NHS - e.g. writing software which can pull in data from thousands of hospitals across the country, check the quality of that data, store it in a database, produce reports, manage patient records, integrate with other NHS systems, make sure the data is secure and meets GDPR standards, ensuring the system is robust and quick to recover from a failure, make sure the system can handle the load of large quantities of data being accessed by tens of thosuands of users, etc.

There's no particular limits on what kind of technology it could be - it might be a website, or mobile app, desktop app, a set of distributed microservices, or maybe some cloud lambdas in AWS/Azure, The platform could be *nix, or Windows, or maybe solaris. The language could be anything from Java, Python, C#, Javascript, C++, or even something a bit less well-known like Delphi. One thing you'll often find with consultancies is that you're potentially exposed to a lot of different tools and technologies - although realistically in the first couple of years you'd probably stick with something like Java or Python and web technologies because that'll most likely be where the majority of their clients are working.
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Speedfile123
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(Original post by winterscoming)
Business consulting would be something like accounting, business management, finance, etc. Tech consulting would be about software engineering, network engineering, devops, testing, etc. But IBM don't really control the projects - it's all down to the requirements of their clients. If you're in a technical role you probably wouldn't be involved in the business side of things though - they'll have project managers and business analysts for that side of the job.
.
For example, a typical project for IBM might be something like building a new system to handle healthcare data for the NHS - e.g. writing software which can pull in data from thousands of hospitals across the country, check the quality of that data, store it in a database, produce reports, manage patient records, integrate with other NHS systems, make sure the data is secure and meets GDPR standards, ensuring the system is robust and quick to recover from a failure, make sure the system can handle the load of large quantities of data being accessed by tens of thosuands of users, etc.

There's no particular limits on what kind of technology it could be - it might be a website, or mobile app, desktop app, a set of distributed microservices, or maybe some cloud lambdas in AWS/Azure, The platform could be *nix, or Windows, or maybe solaris. The language could be anything from Java, Python, C#, Javascript, C++, or even something a bit less well-known like Delphi. One thing you'll often find with consultancies is that you're potentially exposed to a lot of different tools and technologies - although realistically in the first couple of years you'd probably stick with something like Java or Python and web technologies because that'll most likely be where the majority of their clients are working.
Brlliant thank you so much. This has helped to clarify the difference between busineas and tech consulting.

I think tech consulting is much more interesting than business consulting esp. as tech is moving so fast and is unpredictable atm.

Are you at uni or working etc?
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Speedfile123)
Brlliant thank you so much. This has helped to clarify the difference between busineas and tech consulting.

I think tech consulting is much more interesting than business consulting esp. as tech is moving so fast and is unpredictable atm.

Are you at uni or working etc?
I work as a software engineer (Not IBM so I don't know their inner workings with HR or management structure etc) I'm at another tech consultancy, but they all work in much the same way. I'd previously been a permanent employee at one of the clients - there's not really any difference in the job itself between working for a consultancy and just being a permanent employee at any other business; the biggest difference is that you're more likely to end up working in different places, different projects, etc.

Technology does move quickly so there's always a lot to learn, but the core skills around problem solving remain the same. Also while new technologies appear all the time, old ones don't tend to die out very quickly once they're entrenched into enough businesses and enough money has been poured into them, so you'll inevitably end up running into a lot of old technologies/systems too.
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username738914
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(Original post by winterscoming)
I work as a software engineer (Not IBM so I don't know their inner workings with HR or management structure etc) I'm at another tech consultancy, but they all work in much the same way. I'd previously been a permanent employee at one of the clients - there's not really any difference in the job itself between working for a consultancy and just being a permanent employee at any other business; the biggest difference is that you're more likely to end up working in different places, different projects, etc.

Technology does move quickly so there's always a lot to learn, but the core skills around problem solving remain the same. Also while new technologies appear all the time, old ones don't tend to die out very quickly once they're entrenched into enough businesses and enough money has been poured into them, so you'll inevitably end up running into a lot of old technologies/systems too.
Can I just say that there is difference between being a software engineer at a tech consulting firm and being a tech consultant..

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winterscoming
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(Original post by Princepieman)
Can I just say that there is difference between being a software engineer at a tech consulting firm and being a tech consultant..
That's true, but IBM are using the term as a catch-all for all technical consulting jobs. I'm not sure whether IBM actually give specific job titles to their consultants, it looks to me like everyone is a 'tech consultant' regardless of whether their real job is software engineering, QA testing, cloud, etc.
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username738914
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(Original post by winterscoming)
That's true, but IBM are using the term as a catch-all for all technical consulting jobs. I'm not sure whether IBM actually give specific job titles to their consultants, it looks to me like everyone is a 'tech consultant' regardless of whether their real job is software engineering, QA testing, cloud, etc.
how it works is that firms will hire software engineers and other technical individuals into that specific role (which IBM does). then the tech consultants will own the relationship and engagement with the client, overseeing all of the project management, delivery, planning, sometimes design/architecture/system or business analysis etc stuff.

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winterscoming
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(Original post by Princepieman)
how it works is that firms will hire software engineers and other technical individuals into that specific role (which IBM does). then the tech consultants will own the relationship and engagement with the client, overseeing all of the project management, delivery, planning, sometimes design/architecture/system or business analysis etc stuff.
That's typical 'tech consultant' job description - I don't think that's the same thing as IBM's graduate scheme, but I don't work at IBM.
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