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You're going to get what you pay for. I've been horribly burned by people on that site because I was trying to save money.
But on the same token, it matters if the task is complicated or not.
that's a no-no.
Depends what for. If you need like data entry for a site then yes but anything other than remedial task work I would say stay very far away from.
**BUMP** My work is dead-set on farming out a portion of some of our business to oDesk. No matter what argument to the contrary I give, my words fall on deaf ears. Aside from being principally opposed to crowdsourcing, does anyone have any out-of-the-box arguments I can bring up? Anyone have any bad experiences? Or, to be fair and balanced, good experiences? Thanks.
if it's code outsourcing, the code written is often pretty foul. i've had a handful of jobs that were just fixing/refactoring/scaling other people's hackish code. great for a bind, not scalable though.
^ That's what I'm worried about the most -- that with the amount of time I spend briefing and organizing these people, and then fixing or modifying the files anyways, It would be better to just do it myself. That's what I'm pretty sure will happen, but I cant seem to make that stick with the higher-ups around here.
Here are a few rules I lived by when I first start out — before I could afford to hire local developers.
1) DO NOT hire Chinese or Indian developers. You will just end up beating your head against the wall.
2) DO hire European or Eastern European developers. I still work with a few developers in France and the Ukraine. Most have a design sense that is more in line with the Western World and makes for a lot less explaining (see above)
3) DO hire a Ruby on Rails programmer. By doing this you eliminate the lazy people who haven't bothered to switch over from PHP. I've found that if you can find developers that know the latest and greatest, they are usually very good.
4) DO NOT write a project brief, hand it off, and expect great results. With any project it's best to break it down into small chunks. Tell the developer the end goal of the project but assign realistic weekly tasks for them to complete. You should be spending some time each day reviewing (Skype), organizing, and preparing for the next steps.
5) DO pay a realistic wage. You get what you pay for. If you hire a developer at $10/hr and expect great things — you're an idiot. A good European developer will only ask for ~$35/hr. This is about 1/3 less than a developer here in Chicago.