Whether you are a customer looking for someone to work with you on your project or a software vendor looking for someone to work with your product, it is difficult to determine who can do a good job for your project or your software. Here is where I would make the case that you can best accomplish this through going with an individual who you can vet and depend on for a long term. But even then, it is not a simple matter to find such a person. You can never “know” that any particular individual will do a good job.

References
For myself, I heavily rely on LinkedIn recommendations, these days. Just as with other types of references, of course, they are all positive. As usual, most of us get people to say the best possible things about us to shine a good light on us and our work. However, if you read through my recommendations, you should get a picture that there is a variety of people willing to publicly say positive things about my work, from end customers, to software vendors, to people I have worked with in my professional organizations. From reading through some of these, you should be able to get at least some idea of the reliability and knowledge I bring to my work:  Gloria Metrick

Even then, where there are gaps between these recommendations and between the information I list on my web-site for the services that I provide where this still does not cover every question a potential customer might have. Thus, another option that doesn’t require contacting me, directly, is to merely ask around and see if you can find out more about the quality of work I do by seeing if you can find others I’d worked with.

Of course, if you ask these questions of my competitors, they might admit my work “isn’t that bad”  😉   but will probably try to tell you why it’s not nearly as good as they could do. If you ask people who have been past customers, they will probably be a bit too over-enthusiastic. In either case, consider that either group is somewhat biased against or for me and you can keep that in-mind when asking them.

Public Knowledge
One of several reasons that I write articles for magazines and for this blog, and give public presentations at conferences, is so that people can get an idea what my knowledge is, what kinds of ideas I have, and whether I am the right person to work with them on their project or with their software. If you have doubt that I might be a good fit for what you are looking for, you should skim some of my articles, not just in this blog, but also in our industry’s magazines:  “LIMS, ELN, LES Resources”

Look for a few topics relevant to the work you might want done and skim them. This should give you a high-level view regarding whether I would be the right person.

Yet Another Thing Big Companies Don’t Offer
In the ongoing struggle people have to find out what resource they will be sent by a larger company and whether that resource is truly the right fit, it is difficult merely to get a résumé, let alone any idea what kind of fit that resource will be. Getting this much information on a resource is something only the small companies like mine offer, unless the larger companies have created something that I haven’t yet seen. And, as before, I’ll remind you that the risk is especially low considering that, each time you call a company such as mine, you will get the same resource each time – lowering the ramp-up costs for the resource to understand you, your project and your company.

As we close-in on the year-end and as many are getting ready to begin their 2011 projects, I hope both customers with projects and also new software vendors that I have not yet worked with will consider my company for their 2011 work. Don’t hesitate to ask for more details even if your budget and/or projects are not yet set for the New Year.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

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