But I Want to Rent a Coder

Recently Jeff Atwood and Dan Appleman both wondered Can You Really Rent a Coder? And conclude, no, not really.

I have no experience with the current batch of sites but I know that I definitely have (side) projects where I would like to have someone code something for me. Now I do have some experience in offshoring coding projects (while at Microsoft this DVD driver my project depended on wasn’t outsourced but was being developed by a non-Redmond campus) and definitely don’t want to repeat those experiences.

So what would be nice if there was a site for “professional programmers” to be matched with serious projects. In other words a site that attracted the best and brightest from Stanford/MIT/Waterloo either in need of side projects or as a way of earning a living. Yes, I could post on Craigslist but by the time I screened resumes, put the good ones through an interview loop, developed a short list and then have them bid the projects the time involved on sides would be significant. If there were a site that could short circuit that and let me browse profiles and portfolios of top talent from good schools and good companies and submit a project to three of them I think everyone would be happier.

Would the top talent want this? Watching my professional programmer friends “grow up” many of them take long sabbaticals after two to five year stints at companies like Microsoft and Amazon I’m sure a project now and then during their sabbatical would go a long way in terms of replenishing their piggy banks as well as keeping their skills current. Especially if they weren’t competing against $1/hr folks and instead were competing with their peers for $75/hr jobs.

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One Response to But I Want to Rent a Coder

  1. Andrew Mattie says:

    I love the idea, but what’s to keep the $1 / hr people away (or keep them from bidding $60 / hr with their $5 / hr skill level)? In order to work, it seems like you’d need to set up a system of reviewers and checks and balances on the scale of eLance or RentACoder; at that point, it’d just be another clone of the sites that Atwood mentioned. I’d considered bidding on stuff at RAC, eLance, etc in the past, but it just wasn’t worth my time to try to compete and convince people of my qualifications. I’d suspect it’d be the same no matter where I looked unless there was some sort of radical difference from the aforementioned sites.

    Again though, good idea. Maybe you should contract it out :)

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