Recently started working w a consulting firm and their work is awful! Plus it’s very buggy. Is this common?

SWARM / Sales Hsjnee4
Aug 13, 2018 26 Comments

Are most consulting firms such low quality? They created a few pieces of software for a client that is just awful to use, the UX is horrendous, but also the math and data is wrong, and there are so many bugs. Is this normal? Does this happen for TATA, Deloitte, Accenture or the others too? Why is this the case?

(Thank you to all who took the time to respond, I appreciate the insight)

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TOP 26 Comments
  • McKinsey Moonface
    Because it’s consulting. We tend to value presentation/wow factor over having a perfectly working tool. Whatever helps us make more money and sell more work. From my experience working with McKinsey developers - they’re all extremely talented but we just always have 1/8 of the time it actually takes to develop a good tool.
    Aug 13, 2018 1
    • SWARM / Sales Hsjnee4
      OP
      Yes, I’ve been noticing that about presentation over valuable content. Didn’t realize the developers were rushed, thank you for the insight.
      Aug 13, 2018
  • Kronos / Other 76
    Consulting firms don't have to maintain code for long. I had TCS (Tata) foisted on us to work on a project I was running. On paper the team was more experienced than the local team I'd been working with, but there code was garbage most of it had to be redone and the entire contract was wasted. My experience is that contract/consulting services don't have any incentive to build code for long term sustainability, since they will never be responsible for supporting and/or enhancing it.
    Aug 13, 2018 2
    • SWARM / Sales Hsjnee4
      OP
      You’re right that’s a big problem. It’s still odd to me, bc most of my work is through agencies, and we work hard to make the products Last and Work over time. I’m at a small product consulting agency, that’s why I’m so shocked by the major IT consulting work. I’m wondering if part of the issue is that they don’t have dedicated product managers who care about quality control? It must be a bit defeating for smart engineers to work on projects but never have the chance to make them good. I guess as I think through this, I might disagree- since there are agencies (like the one I’m at) where code quality is a priority but we also pass the product to the client rather than maintain it. So the incentive is not from maintenance...
      Aug 13, 2018
    • Kronos / Other 76
      In my more positive experiences, the software does what it was designed to do, but the minute you try to change something it all falls apart because of poor application design.
      Aug 13, 2018
  • Upstart imherenow
    Writing shitty software is a feature for them, not a bug. They spend less time creating it and then either get more money with the endless bugs or it's not their problem anymore.
    Aug 13, 2018 0
  • Which consulting firm. You have to name the names on blind.....
    Aug 13, 2018 3
    • SWARM / Sales Hsjnee4
      OP
      I really don’t want to badmouth them as I helping them out, I’m just astounded to the poor quality control on their software for clients, especially anything built on sales force. To give insight, they are one top 4 IT consulting firms.
      Aug 13, 2018
    • OpenTable Meliodas
      Top 4 by what metric? Obviously not quality of work.
      Aug 13, 2018
    • SWARM / Sales Hsjnee4
      OP
      Haha very true. If you read the Wikipedia article on top IT consulting firms, it’s one of them. I do apologize, but I don’t feel right naming them.
      Aug 13, 2018
  • Cisco rkHq23
    Yes normal because they're saddled with doing everything and treated like slaves. Anyone produces bad code under those conditions. I am working for one of those consulting firms and used to try to write good code, but when everything is due yesterday I found the most efficient thing is to write enough to say "it is done" to get them off my back so that I can eat dinner and go to sleep. I'm burned out, the offshore team is burned out, and so this is the resulting output.
    Aug 13, 2018 2
    • SWARM / Sales Hsjnee4
      OP
      Thanks I appreciate the answer. I wasn’t aware of this. What I’m curious about is why this is a prevailing issue in consulting firms but not necessarily agencies. I wonder if it’s due to outdated process (like a heavy focus on traditional waterfall rather than a modified agile) or if it’s by nature of a such large organizations?
      Aug 13, 2018
    • Kronos / Other 76
      I agree with this to a certain degree. When I got my resources, the Project Manager was pressuring me to package this as a project, when I didn't need to outsource a component, I just needed more capacity on the team. I let the team define what it needed and provided support from our side. There was no significant schedule pressure either and still the code was shit. Just poor design decisions. These were people who knew how to write code, but were not software engineers.
      Aug 13, 2018
  • OP is a POS coward because he didn’t name the consulting firm
    Aug 13, 2018 1
    • SWARM / Sales Hsjnee4
      OP
      I understand that it is common practice here, but it serves no purpose to name the company. It really doesn’t give anyone additional insight and I’d rather not bad mouth a brand and change perception when it’s an issue with a broken system within a company rather than the company itself.
      Aug 13, 2018
  • I know that TCS gives Walmart programmers at 10 dollars and hour. That’s the same you get by flipping burgers at Mc Donald’s.
    Aug 13, 2018 0
  • Accenture / Product
    mb2018

    Accenture Product

    PRE
    eBay
    mb2018more
    It depends on the team, not the company as there is a wide variance in talent. Projects that highly leverage offshore development resources tend to struggle - time difference, communication, culture play a role. Also like most things in life, you get what you pay for and good people (regardless of where they are) know their value.
    Aug 13, 2018 1
    • SWARM / Sales Hsjnee4
      OP
      Thanks. I’ve had the chance to see a whole bunch of their projects from different teams, and they all are rather poorly executed- but I still have a very small sample set in reality. I think your points are correct overall. They are discounting their services in the wrong areas, and front loading accounts/sales instead.
      Aug 13, 2018
  • Microsoft Scrtsqrl
    Common for shit firms, takes time to find good ones
    Aug 13, 2018 1
    • SWARM / Sales Hsjnee4
      OP
      Do you have any good ones to recommend? I’d be curious to understand how their processes make the quality of output better.
      Aug 13, 2018
  • Facebook wildm
    The lowest bid will never give you the highest quality.
    Aug 13, 2018 0
  • OpenTable Meliodas
    It’s common for the bad firms, which are also common. When I was at an app development studio, a lot of our engagements were rewriting bad apps from those kinds of outfits.
    Aug 13, 2018 0
  • New
    fjTN53

    New

    BIO
    Looking for engineering leadership role
    fjTN53more
    The bane of my existence in the last 2 years have been integrating systems built by outside vendors and consultants. Dth'#$-;##&!see+(?
    Aug 13, 2018 0
  • Kaneva Player-1
    Worked for one for a year. They hired a lot of non-CS graduates and sent them to training on SAP or Peoplesoft for a few weeks, then billed clients 150hr for their shitty work. Go figure they sucked. I was infrastructure and had to fix their crappy integration on our internal installation. I found bad UI that didnt trap for errors, divide by zero caused by incomplete records and no exception reporting.
    Aug 13, 2018 0
  • Amazon djusg27;*h
    Yes this is common I was in a consulting firm for five years.
    Aug 13, 2018 0
  • Intel headsonfyr
    It's all in the details - you gotta be diligent with the requirements and have proper exit criteria. Else you'd be in for a ride!
    Aug 13, 2018 0