Rent A Coder
Posted November 2, 2006on:
Predictably, things have not gone as predicted for my main project (the game). Thankfully, I have a good excuse this time: I’ve just discovered Rent A Coder. It’s a nifty site where “buyers” can post computer tasks that they need doing (like programming, web design etc.), and “sellers” can bid however much money they’d be willing to accept to do the task. The money is escrowed by Rent A Coder during the job so hopefully no one gets screwed over.
The tasks range from odd jobs (install MediaWiki on my web host for me), through to big multi-month projects (design and implement a 3D interface for our home media server set-top boxes). Some are ridiculously hopeful (need a clone of MySpace/Digg/YouTube, maximum bid $500) and there are a depressing number of spammers, AdWords scammers and other undesirables looking for people to do their dirty work for them. There are also tons of people who just want someone to do their homework, including one university student who was looking for someone to do his entire 3rd-year project for him.
Thankfully, in amongst all that there are the occasional nuggets of people who have interesting projects, know exactly what they want and have realistic expectations of how much they’ll have to pay for it.
I’ve already bid for and lost two jobs, but I’ve got another six bids outstanding so I’m hopeful that I’ll get at least one or two of them. I even offered to do one of them extremely cheaply (the guy who wanted MediaWiki installed), in the hope that he’ll accept it so that I can just get some feedback on my record. Thinking about it, that probably wasn’t the best idea in the world, because he’ll have to give me his password in order to do the job, so he probably just thinks that I’m hoping to get his password and wreak havoc. Oh, well.
The only concern I have is that as a global marketplace, it may be difficult to compete with people who are living in cheaper places, like all those Indian CS graduates who I keep hearing are gunna take all our jobs. For certain buyers and certain jobs, speaking English natively will probably be a fairly significant advantage: I’ve already bid on a couple of jobs where people just want various things explained to them. Anyway, I’m not looking to make a living out of this, just enough to pay for Christmas and maybe finally get myself off of my parents’ payroll (hi Mum!), so I think that should be doable. Oh yeah, and a <lust>iPod nano</lust> would be swell, too.