As a Salesforce consultant you have to know the out-of-the-box functionalities of the platform. By doing more and more complicated Salesforce implementation projects, I became more dependent on developers. Getting a grasp of the basics of Apex helped me in so many ways in becoming a better Salesforce consultant.
The biggest announcement at Dreamforce ‘16 was Salesforce Einstein! Salesforce Einstein is making each of Salesforce core products smarter than ever before. Einstein will also have implications for Marketing automation and Pardot