View Full Version : Anyone ever use Rent-A-Coder or any like services?

Harold Mansfield
03-21-2016, 07:04 PM
I'm at the point in a project where I have to accept that I'm not going to learn how to code in a particular language anytime soon.
Need to find freelance coder to handle what should be a simple job ( I know, I hate when people say that too).

Anyone every use Rentacoder or anything like it? I have an apprehension to freelance sites for my own industry, so I have no idea what to expect.

Any ideas or suggestions?

03-21-2016, 08:25 PM
I just signed up for Thumbtack and I think I like the model a bit better. I don't love the rent-a-guy-for-pennies-in-India model, just because the management involved with trying to do a project across lots of time zones is beyond the abilities of most mortals.

Harold Mansfield
03-21-2016, 09:42 PM
I just signed up for Thumbtack and I think I like the model a bit better. I don't love the rent-a-guy-for-pennies-in-India model, just because the management involved with trying to do a project across lots of time zones is beyond the abilities of most mortals.

Yeah and that's pretty much my main concern. I'm in America so I want to work with someone in America so that I know who and where I'm sending my money and what my basic rights are doing business.

It's not really about budget. I just need it done and done correctly, and it will cost what it cost. I just have no idea where to even look to hire a freelancer that is based here in America. They're not exactly killing it in the search results.

There's so many different kinds of programming languages and so many people who claim to do every possible one well (which is impossible), that so far not a lot of credible people have stood out.

I've got some feelers out at some agencies, but I kind of want to work with a guy (or gal) like me. Good at what they do, runs their own show, is their full time job and with regular office hours.

03-22-2016, 12:35 AM
Check out CyberCoders or RobertHalf. While their goal is permanent placement, they do offer services on contract IIRC correctly.

Good luck with your search, it took me 8 months to find the right candidate (and over 500+ resumes) for a position I had open and I way under estimated the final salary I would end up paying.

03-22-2016, 02:00 AM
I don't blame you one bit for being apprehensive on using sites like Rent-A-Coder. I have used sites like this before and I have even been hired through them as a Developer.... =) I found it really tough to land good gigs on there because most of my competitors were from either India or China, willing to work for $3 to $5 per hour. Unfortunately, most of the companies willing to hire from there would only take the lowest bidder.

There are plenty of freelancers out there based here in the US (including me). Most of them however, do freelancing on the side as a "second or part-time" job (at least the ones I know thus far). Most of us can not leave our full time jobs yet.... =) I have been freelancing on the side for some time now and what I've found is that most of my clients are willing to work with me on the schedule (week nights and weekends) for a lower rate in return. Communication had never been an issue because they can always send me an email through out the day and I usually respond within less than an hour.

You can search for U.S. based freelancers on Upwork.com, freelancers.com, and even on major programmers' and developers' network sites like stackoverflow.com and codeproject.com. You should be able to do a quick search there based on location and find pretty good results, many of which will even allow you to filter down to the state they are in.

If you don't mind me asking, which programming language(s) are you looking for in a freelance developer?

Brian Altenhofel
03-22-2016, 10:28 AM
The management cost is what will get you. A general rule of thumb is to take the time that it should take and add 20-30% to cover management.

I've hired freelancers occasionally in the past, both on- and off-shore. I recommend staying stateside (and Canada), especially if it is your first time. Off-shore carries the additional management cost of language and cultural barriers. (The one time I off-shored I didn't have a timezone issue, but that was because the agency I used had their resources available and working during my hours.)

By hiring out, you're taking on the additional role of project management. It's better to over-communicate than to just provide the info that you think they need. I say this from experience being on both ends. Don't be too upset if at first they seem like they aren't getting it or if they seem confident but then deliver something different than you had imagined. Especially if it's your first time in that role, it's probably lack of communication. Developers tend to make assumptions to fill in gaps while also being afraid to ask for clarification for fear of being perceived as unfit for the job. Sometimes, they don't even notice that they are making those assumptions.

If you're not using a version control system (such as Git), you'll want to do that before hiring outside help. It will make it much easier to revert things or (at the very least) keep a log on when (and ideally why) certain changes were made.

If you're needing more than a few months worth of work, I'd recommend using a staffing agency like Robert Half. They will cost more, but my experience working alongside developers who were hired via the various low-cost freelance sites and the staffing agencies out there is that those coming through staffing agencies tend work out better. Staffing agencies like to dangle the "contract-to-hire" carrot, but my experience has been that most don't exercise the hiring option.

The first place I'd recommend looking is your network, though, especially for short term work. One thing that has helped me over the years has been networking with other developers who are experts in areas where I am not. For example, I know enough Javascript to do general debugging, but anything beyond 20-30 minutes of work and I call one of my many contacts who are JS developers.

Make sure you find out from your attorney or accountant what paperwork you need on file for whoever you hire. Some paperwork may be required by law, and other paperwork may be required by your insurance carrier (especially under an E&O policy or IP infringement coverage).

Based on your post in #3, I'd definitely check your network first, especially for referrals. You might not know someone who does what you need directly, but chances are someone you know knows someone you need and has had a good enough experience to provide a referral. If the person you're referred to doesn't have the bandwidth available or doesn't see your project as a good fit for them, they probably have a few folks of similar caliber in their network that they can refer you to.

03-22-2016, 04:27 PM
There's so many different kinds of programming languages and so many people who claim to do every possible one well (which is impossible), that so far not a lot of credible people have stood out.

I just wanted to comment on this quote because it's so TRUE to some degree. In my opinion, it is possible for a Developer to know multiple languages, depending on what they're programming on a day to day basis. For example, in a web application, it is necessary to know HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, XML, etc..... but that is only for the front end (client side) programming. Often times, we also need to incorporate back end (server side) programming in order to make our web applications work (for me it's .NET MVC and C#). For me, I develop both web and desktop applications (and a little bit of Android via Xamarin C#) and I find myself having to know multiple languages PRIMARILY for web because it is necessary to do my job.... =)

What I don't understand sometimes though is when I see other freelancers say that they are "fluent" in iOS (Objective C), Android (Java), C++, C#, Python, COBOL, C, Delphi, A-B-C-D... etc..... =) When I see those, I say to myself, "Come On!!!" They must be a "Jack-Of-All-Trade" kinda developer, but "Master-At-NONE!".

<Please set up a signature through Settings>

Brian Altenhofel
04-01-2016, 03:38 PM
I can see folks being able to do quite well with related languages (for example, PHP, C, and C++ are closely related, with C# and Java still having enough of a relation that a developer of those other languages shouldn't feel too lost).

Then there's languages that are really in their own realm like JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, and COBOL. (Seriously - when I see COBOL listed on a resume, I call BS unless they are making six figures at their current job and are pushing at least 50). I never expect one Perl developer to be able to understand another Perl developer's work the first time. The recent NPM debacle makes me really question why people insist on using the Jenga tower of JavaScript.

This is a great talk (about 4 minutes), by the way, that shows some weird things from Ruby and Javascript. https://www.destroyallsoftware.com/talks/wat

04-01-2016, 06:08 PM
Hi everyone,

my first post. Take it easy.

Harold I found this forum thread when looking from the opposite side, I'm a developer myself (full stack but with expertise in Ruby) and I've been working as a contractor for a few years, however I don't usually work directly with the final client and I was trying to find ways to cut the middleman.

When I tried to look for jobs on Freelance marketplaces I had the same feeling of romels33, the only ones looking for jobs there are the penny savers, as an indication of that, try to filter for projects with budgets greater than 10k, it's not possible.

Also I've done a couple of gigs through TopTal, you can find some good developers there, however I don't know how much it would cost to hire through it. In your position is worth investigating.

In the end I think you need to have a great network in either sides of the equation, contracting for/landing in a good project, or paying more for a middleman (as everything in life). What I decided to do, as business forums didn't helped me, is to focus on a specific kind of industry and size to expose my services.

04-01-2016, 06:11 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention, I'm from Brazil and I never had any problem to work for US and Canada companies (it's been years since I don't work for a brazilian company), timezone is pretty much the same. So you might as well consider hiring someone from Latin America.

04-10-2016, 06:11 AM
Any ideas or suggestions?

Depending on your industry, you could ask for advice from a number of folks in forums, to see how they found developers for their business. Reddit should be fairly active, so I'd give that a shot first. Locate the subreddit you need, then ask away. Not only can you find out how to locate and filter ideal programmers, you could also narrow down specific languages/software that are better suited for the business. Likewise, you could delve in programmer forums, and ask generally what the best way to solve so and such. They should be able to point you to the right direction.