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software contract / freelance work

While surfing around the internet, I came across the site www.onlinecoders.com . After doing a quick google search, I found a similar site ( www.contractedwork.com ). These sites both offer an auction-type service where companies can post software project descriptions and freelance coders can place bids on the projects.

I really like this idea (in concept, at least). Has anyone had experience with this kind of website before, from the perspective of a software developer? Are there similar sites that are really good / really bad?

I'd like to give this sort of work a try, but I wanted to find out if others here have experiences with or opinions about such sites. My cynical side, I'm sorry to say, keeps reminding me that there's probably some negative aspects to that kind of business arrangement.

Any thoughts would be great.

Ben
Sunday, June 22, 2003

From what I hear, you're always outbid by a 12 year old who has nothing better to do but stay online all day coding.

Maybe it's better during exam time. =)

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, June 22, 2003

These sites are a great idea if you want to deal with people who think they should pay no more than $800 for a project, and that supporting different file formats is just a matter of changing the menus.

Avoid them like the plague.

.
Sunday, June 22, 2003

I've been in dry spell for almost a year and a half.  I did a couple of contracts on RentACoder to scrape up some extra cash.  It's not the best money I've ever made -- hourly, it's probably not much more than flipping burgers for an equivalent time -- but at least it's more enjoyable and less demeaning and hey, I can put them on my resume too ...

And I can pat myself on the back ... I'm top coder #52!

You must be very careful about choosing the projects you bid on.  Don't get out of bed for less than $100.  Don't bother cloning an existing website.  And don't be afraid of being underbid ... in one of the two contracts I won, I was actually the HIGHEST bidder.  But then again I was the only one who put in the time to create a realistic design proposal.

Alyosha`
Monday, June 23, 2003

eLance ( http://www.eLance.com ) used to be pretty good for this, but seems to have been de-valued recently with "silly bids" from people who work for $1 per hour, or less.

It might still be worth a look though. Their website is pretty good and the support they give to client and freelancer is excellent. It's not free though, so be prepared to "speculate to accumulate" as they say. There is a nominal cost (monthly I believe) to be able to bid, but these expenses should be allowable for businesses.

I remember seeing them on a TV documentary a while back, their operation looked very impressive and professional. I guess you get what you pay for.

In the UK, http://www.freelancers.net is pretty good, and completely free to use, although again, be prepared to accept the fact that you'll be underbid.

Steve Jones (UK)
Monday, June 23, 2003

If you use the freelance sites, be prepare to work for very low fees.

You will compete for projects with a lot of people in India, Russia, China, etc. This is why prices drop a lot.

Hell, I live in East Europe (where the cost of living is roughly comparable to the cost of living in Russia and India), and I still consider the winning bids to be very low.

So, in my opinion, there is nothing to see on freelancer sites - move along!

John
Monday, June 23, 2003

Thanks for the thoughts and links.

Ben
Monday, June 23, 2003

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