There are several reverse bid freelance sites out there. Beyond the big ones, smaller ones are popping up each day. With the variety of places for a programmer to go and look for work the review systems in place on these sites don't count for as much as they did at one point in time. If you are thinking about getting a project off the ground and using a freelancer there are some basic rules you should go by.
1.) State your needs clearly and effectively. If you need a programmer to help you write a decent proposal you might want to start off by finding a programmer to talk to. If you understand the technical side of things better you will get better service. I can almost guarantee that.
2.) Talk to the freelancer through the sites private message board. It will give you a chance to see how well they can communicate. Ask some questions that can't have cookie cutter responses. If you are considering freelancers that don't speak the same native tongue as you, you might have some communication problems.
3.) Remember, the ability to program does not give a programmer the insight into your business. While you might know what a down line building reciprocal link morpher with a built in MLM system and a double wide matrix, they may not understand you at all. Make sure you are quite clear and they DO understand you.
4.) Reviews are important, but they are not everything. It's fine to give someone new to the site a shot, as long as you communicate well and you follow the guidelines below.
5.) DO NOT PAY UP FRONT- Use escrow in stages if you must, but just handing someone money that you don't know is sort of silly. It's fair to release funds in stages for a long project. Make sure you get the source code at each release of the escrow as well. Just because they do a good job for the first two stages doesn't mean it will continue.
6.) Make sure they are writing well commented code, a program that needs to be edited or improved upon is much easier with commented code. It will save you money in the long run, especially if this programmer isn't available.
7.) Don't do a project in pieces if you can afford to do it all at once, it just increases the cost dramatically and will frustrate the programmer. Trust me on this one ? a frustrated programmer doesn't work as hard.
8.) Consider pricing, you will get bids for almost nothing.....sometimes you get what you pay for. Good programming costs money, and time.
Freelance sites are a great way to get good quality work done, and you can also get the other end of the spectrum ? that is cheap and fast low quality. Know what your expectations are, and be realistic with yourself. You can't get a real enterprise level application made for a hundred dollars.
Article written by Ed Charkow. Ed is the webmaster and lead
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