Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




RentAcoder

I followed a link at embedded.com  http://www.embedded.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=18311972 to the RentACoder site. It would seem that this service makes outsourcing viable to any business (regardless of size) that requires software. Doesn't this shrink the market even further for US software develoers?

ChickenLittle
Friday, March 12, 2004

Are you kidding?  If that's the direction that this outsourcing blitz is going in, it's fantastic!  Did you read the example problems put up for bidding?  Who wants to do that kind of thing?

K
Friday, March 12, 2004

Hi Chicken and K,

Yeah, I totally agree with K's point. There has been a major buzz about the whole outsourcing issue in the recent past (including articles stating that bangalore, the so called "silicon valley of India" has overtaken the silicon valley). But I think, outsourcing can never take away the real value of the American computer/ sofwtare/ IT industry and its professionals.

When I say "real value", I mean the "spirit of innovation". The kind of software professionals that most of the outsourcing countries provide are people specialized in particular programming languages (as an example) and not in engineering. They are NOT people who can see "the bigger picture" to things. It is this difference that will always keep the US economy (eg. the silicon valley) ahead of the outsourcing competition.

http://blogs.chip-india.com/readmore.php?entryid=135&blogid=1

http://in.rediff.com/money/2004/mar/03guest1.htm

The EE/CS Guy
Friday, March 12, 2004

I imagine in a place like Romania or India you could make a good living off that site.  Teaching English part-time in Romania I made $100+ there; that could be one or two coding projects.  Do one a week and you'd be living relatively well.

(But I wonder how you ensure that they pay you once you deliver...)

(Hmmmm...I wonder if this is what Alex.ro does for a living...)

Kyralessa
Friday, March 12, 2004

Rentacoder seems to be a collection point for ridiculously elaborate RFPs that  have tiny budgets. What I find amusing are the "terms" posted by the clients that are so adversarial  that they border on the comical.

Presumably the work posted to Rentacoder is all B2B, and any business owner *expects* to pay appropriately for something that is valuable to their business. On one hand, yeah, it's important to save money. But it seems "retarded" to try to buy a clone of Ebay.com for a couple of hundred dollars if you're basing your entire business on it. Somehow, it just doesn't seem like a purchase that would pass any standard of due diligence in a real life business.

What I wonder is just how many of the posted projects on Rentacoder are sincere, if someone is even willing to pay for the work... the vibe I always get is that 95% of the "clients" there are fracking liars.

Bored Bystander
Friday, March 12, 2004

" Need a strong ASP programmer to fix an error in our Mail Sending form script so it actually works. Max bid $20.

I have an html file that passes data to a php script--that data is written to a mysql db and is supposed to be passed to a perl script. It's not writing to the db and the data is not passing into the perl script--should be a quick fix. " Max bid: $5 "

In all fairness these are commodity skills.  You want premium prices for your work, learn non-commodity skills.  Can you find any C++ jobs out there for $5?  How about assembly coding for $10?

If you actually pay someone $5 for coding something for you you don't even deserve a batch file.

Mike
Friday, March 12, 2004

Rent-a-coder is a nexus for bottom feeders.


Friday, March 12, 2004

RentAcoder is another business model for software development.  Someone saw an open niche and decided to take advantage of it.  Can't fault 'em for that.  They hook up people who want cheap fixes with people who will do cheap fixes and take a cut.  Brilliant actually.

A lot of this sort of thing is probably a payback for multi-million dollar projects that never saw the light of day.  How many of us worked on projects and made decent money and the project simply died?

If I were paying the bills, this would concern me.  I would look into ways of making the process more affordable and able to work better.

Offshoring, rentacoders are in some strange way a product of our failures.  If we could have efficiently created software that worked from the beginning, there probably would have been no reason for the bottom feeders. 

I don't like it anymore than the next developer.  But it's happening, we need to learn to deal with it.

c
Friday, March 12, 2004

It's the programmers version of Google Answers http://answers.google.com .

_
Friday, March 12, 2004

RentACoder is not all bad. What if you're a college student taking an overload of units so you don't have time for a "steady" job? You can still make some cash on RentACoder and get some experience doing different things.  Where else are you going to find such a wide variety of projects that need to be done so you can get your feet wet.

Phil Larson
Friday, March 12, 2004

Phil,

I thought the same thing when I first ran across rentacode some time ago. I signed up and owuld look at the projects that came in, but the max bid prices were ridiculise. For a time there the other bidders details were being displayed and they were so cheap. Hald of them would go and complete the project before placing a bid in an effort to undercut someone else.

This is all okay if you have time for this, and maybe $20US translates well in other economies. During univeristy I placed a few bids on that site, only sometimes knowing full well it would go to someone who was willing to work for peanuts.

Aussie Chick
Friday, March 12, 2004

Are there any other avenues for a college student with strange hours?

Phil Larson
Saturday, March 13, 2004

Check out elance.com It's not free ($40-$70/month), but way better than Rent-a-coder.

Egor
Saturday, March 13, 2004

I agree with "K" up top, who wants to go through all that headache of shouting "Pick me! Pick me!!!" with 20 others all offering the same thing, for $1-2K at a time? Let 'em have it...  less competition for the rest of us.

Ron
Saturday, March 13, 2004

> Are there any other avenues for a college student with strange hours?

Much the same idea - you stand on the side of the street wearing a short dress.


Saturday, March 13, 2004

I've used both elance and rentacoder and don't forget scriptlance. I've done as buyer and seller. As a seller I sold nothing. The one time I got a job the guy thought my hourly rate was a bid for the whole job.

As a buyer I've been successful in finding sellers.  As I'm also a programer I'm quite strict in what I expect and that seems to filter the sellers. I bought some work from a guy in Romania who did quite a good job given the requirements. Right now I'm having a module improved by some guy in Modavia. I also found a very interesting Russian guy who is doing specs for an idea I have. I want to do more than just "clone this site" as I have not found a site which expresses my idea.

Also, one project has not found a seller. A guy from Argentina told me he would not work for what I wanted to pay and that he was too busy at the time but if I wanted to pay more he'd consider. And as someone who has lived in countries like Russia and Argentina I can tell you this guy is making a good living for his countrie's living standards.

I never liked elance. Their website is ever so much better than rentacoder or scriptlance but they really seem like slime balls.

BTW, when you buy services you put money in escrow. It only gets delivered to the seller if everything went well. I did this on scriptlance, elance, and rentacoder and I've never had any trouble.

Me
Monday, March 15, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home