Anyone doing contract-bid work via the Internet?



  • Anyone doing contract-bid work via the Internet? And if so, would you care to share your experiences and opinions?

    In case I'm not being clear, I'm talking about sites like this:
    http://www.getacoder.com/

    Also, feel free to share other sites (and your opinions of them, good and bad).



  • Based on what I've seen so far, it looks like

    a: people have unrealistic expectations
    b: people are willing to accept sub-quality work so long as it's cheap and fast (they picked two - I personally don't like the two they picked)

    To me, this is kind of sad.  I wonder if there are businesses out there hoping to save a few bucks on their office building by hiring a high-school kid to build it out of legos.  Because that's similar to what I see on a lot of contract sites.



  • I had a great business idea that involved outsourcing to people on these sites. I experimented with trying to outsource a small project ($3,500 budget) to some folks on RentACoder.com.

    I placed the requirements for the project on the site and got quite a few bids, a few were absurdly small ($75), some were I guess "average" ($~500), and some were absurdly large ($15k). I accepted the best (by user rating) three "average" bids I could find.

    One of of them ($600) produced such low quality work and was so far off from the requirements (they coded a single page in PHP where the site was to be an ASP or ASP.NET web app) that I refused to pay. Below Average rating.

    The second produced ($550) some of the most hacktacular code I've ever seen. There were an absurd amount of bugs when the end result was delivered and they didn't use the graphics template I provided. I gave up with dealing with them after a few rounds of fix/test and just paid 'em so they would go away. Average rating.

    The third one ($530) produced moderate quality work. But there was soooooooo much back and forth -- I was constantly answering questions (many answered by copy/pasting out of the extensive requirements doc) and there were lots and lots of fix/test rounds. After spending a few hours cleaning up the final product, I paid and gave an "above average" rating, and was able to use the codebase.

    In the end, I spent far more time managing #2 and #3 than I would have had working. The outsourcing experiment was a failure and it turns out that you do, in fact, get what you pay for.



  • Those sites have more WTFs than this one. There's a post on rentacoder.com requesting a Google-style search engine, complete with spider and pagerank in PHP for $200.



  • @Zak said:

    Those sites have more WTFs than this one. There's a post on rentacoder.com requesting a Google-style search engine, complete with spider and pagerank in PHP for $200.

    $200!?  That's out of the question.  I won't do it for less than $350.



  • @Zak said:

    Those sites have more WTFs than this one. There's a post on rentacoder.com requesting a Google-style search engine, complete with spider and pagerank in PHP for $200.

    The real WTF is that they want to have it done in PHP ;-)



  • @ammoQ said:

    @Zak said:
    Those sites have more WTFs than this one. There's a post on rentacoder.com requesting a Google-style search engine, complete with spider and pagerank in PHP for $200.

    The real WTF is that they want to have it done in PHP ;-)

    Probably so they can update it themselves using the HTML to PHP converter.



  • I used to visit a site called Guru.com, which had the same issues.  For every developer who wants to design and develop something, there are hundreds who will hack it out for cheaper.  Ignorance on the part of the stake holders wins out and the hacker gets the gig.  That's precisely why many of the jobs involve PHP and not platforms like J2EE or .NET.



  • @Mung Kee said:

    That's precisely why many of the jobs involve PHP and not platforms like J2EE or .NET.

    I'm inclined to suspect that widespread support of PHP on $5/month webhosts has something to do with that. Even so, I don't think J2EE and .NET are the right tools for a lot of jobs - especially smaller ones.


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