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We asked 9 people from our Mule team to share their experiences. Part 1 – being an integration consultant

Posted on: February 13, 2019

What does it mean to be an integration consultant?

When you think of software development, or a Java developer role – you probably can imagine what the everyday job entails. It’s a lot of coding, some meetings, coding, fixing the code, then a few more meetings and lots of coding. But when it comes to IT consulting roles and especially in such a niche area like integration – it isn’t that clear any more. We actually find ourselves often needing to explain what Integration Consultant work involves to our candidates and recruits.

In order to talk about what an integration consultant does, first we have to briefly look into organisations that are hiring them. So, what does an enterprise connectivity firm such as Ricston do and what technologies are needed to be able to work in one?

Ricston team Malta Ricston Malta team

Our company’s main goal is to help organisations deliver their business outcomes through technology by improving their connectivity and infrastructure in order to reduce technical debt, development costs and increase speed to market.

Whereas there are a lot of technologies and approaches for doing that, we at Ricston focus on integrations led by API’s and work exclusively with the MuleSoft integration platform. This facilitates connectivity between various enterprise applications, data and devices on-premise and in the cloud.

Although we mostly programme in Mule (a Java-based language), our dev team members come from all backgrounds including Java, C++, Spring and JavaScript. They then top up their experience with the best-in-class Mule and integration training in-house.

Erika, Human Resources Manager

“Lots of the software developers find themselves “locked” working in single-product dev teams. Or completely opposite – changing companies with every new project when they work as contractors. Our way – is somewhere in the middle.”

ERIKA, Human Resources Manager

The nature of an integration consultant job is very cyclical. Client needs are understood, defined, and agile methodology is used to work through the project life cycle. Team members are not lost on a never-ending project with a continual set of updated requirements.

There is the sense of achievement and job satisfaction of seeing one’s creativity and solutions making a change in some of the biggest enterprises and achieving the goals as set out. As Justin points out:

Justin, Principle Integration Consultant

“The most satisfying thing in my job for me personally is the sense of ownership of the apps and tooling we are building around the Anypoint platform and realising how far, for example, one of our clients AirMalta has come since last year. On top of that, I am working with a software that is not typical for a standard developer, and my skill set is constantly expanding.”

JUSTIN, Principle Integration Consultant, Malta

Being part of the Ricston team means that every approx 6-12 months you start fresh, work on something new. New challenges, new problems to solve, new technologies, new industries to learn about. The knowledge growth potential is truly endless.

Clare, Senior Integration Consultant

“As a consultant, I have to travel, go onsite to meet the clients and that is one of the nicest experiences. I get to experience new offices, meet new colleagues, new technologies, new processes that each company has. I think that during this process I also grow professionally and personally since I have to live abroad, sometimes for a couple of months or few weeks.”

CLARE, Senior Integration Consultant, Malta

During her 5 years with Ricston, Clare has worked with clients from music, advertising, fashion, retail and data governance industries. She lived in Stockholm for nearly a year and spent 6 months in Buenos Aires, got to visit Brussels, London and other European cities.

Being an integration consultant breaks from monotonous projects and a boring work environment and offers a certain level of flexibility when it comes to your preferred way of working or work/life balance.

Sam, Integration Consultant

“I have flexibility in my working hours and location and have opportunities to travel. So it is possible that within a fortnight I can be working internationally at a client site, from home, in London, or at one of our other European offices. And even though our team is geographically dispersed across a number of client sites, we will always meet up regularly for team events.”

SAM, Integration Consultant, United Kingdom

The work revolves around very complex enterprise integration projects and constantly requires the development of new skills and creativity. The need to learn every day can either be frustrating, or very exciting. It all depends on your mindset and here at Ricston we are all dedicated to learning (almost as much, as we are dedicated to cakes 🙂 ).

Jeffrey, Integration Consultant

“Being an integration consultant, I often find myself exploring a new system that I have never worked with before, further strengthening my knowledge within the field. I’m always broadening technology stack beyond integration technologies, working with a variety of SaaS applications, CRM, ERP systems, databases, specific technologies like Elasticsearch, Kibana, SABRE or Docker and more.”

JEFFREY, Senior Integration Consultant, Malta

The demand for integration work is constantly growing and evolving. We exist in an ecosystem around MuleSoft products and services and we deliver on projects for a number of their clients. Working with Mule presents its challenges like everything else but the community is helpful and resourceful.

At Ricston, we put a lot of time into helping the community, with our technical blog posts, how-to videos, or webinars for example. We also have created a number of career paths that not only align with business goals but give our team members options that suit their skill sets and creative ambitions. Whether as a developer, architect, project manager, team leader, or into the management team. The career path is structured in such a way that you can clearly see where you are, and what stepping stones are needed to get you where you want to go…

Ildefonso, Senior Integration Consultant

“Ricston has allowed me to grow to the next seniority level fast and I’m working towards goals as set in my career paths. One of the good things about being a consultant in such a firm is dealing with big clients – since it is always enriching for your career.”

ILDEFONSO, Senior Integration Consultant, Spain

The skills and experiences required for each career path are defined and throughout the year we give different opportunities to obtain the required skills. Whether that’s taking the lead in client workshops to define project goals, attending a structured training course (on or off-site), or preparing for professional certifications or knowledge sharing sessions.

Davide, Senior Integration Consultant

“One of the aspects that I appreciate in my job, is the knowledge sharing with my younger colleagues. Seeing them getting to know stuff, being interested in what you are interested in, and seeing them applying the information and the input you give them, implementing it, is always something that you feel rewarded by.”

DAVIDE, Senior Integration Consultant, Malta

Sometimes we accept something as a given and don’t think about it much. But as others start to question you, you have to provide them with strong answers and rethink the things you once took as guaranteed. Teaching becomes a way of learning…

We hope that this article has given you some insights into what an Integration Consultant career is all about and what it encompasses in the way of demands and growth potential.

If you are interested to learn more about Ricston culture and why consultants choose to work with us, check out the second part of our interview series.

Contact Us

Ricston Ltd.
Triq G.F. Agius De Soldanis,
Birkirkara, BKR 4850,
MT: +356 2133 4457
UK: +44 (0)2071935107

Send Erika a message

Erika Quinn
Human Resources Manager