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Is freelancing coding for projects dangerous?

Posted on 2014-07-25
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Last Modified: 2014-08-26
Hi

I am making a Java RTS.
I have enough of the server working to do movements and such.
I'd like it so that my server is made commercial-quality bulletproof. - I don't, as a rookie server coder, feel like encountering all the (thousands?) gotchas I might not anticipate. The compiler explosions I sometimes got were rough, Thread collisions. Someone who knows everything, having thorough experience, would be ideal. On freelancer.com, they have a pitching system, where freelancers can review projects and bid on them.

How safe is it for me to post a coding commission on freelancer.com ?
So far, it seems reasonable.
Anyone have experience with recruiting someone you've never met or never will meet?
Is it just a way for people to find coders. What guarantees do I get?

Thanks
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Question by:beavoid
8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Kyle Abrahams
ID: 40219683
There are a couple of sites like that.  (RentACoder.com comes to mind).

I remember one of the sites you could require an expert guarantee where the programmer had to also put up money that you got if they failed to give you deliverables on time.  

The only few times I used an outsourcing site I had less than a good experience, but I was also looking to get something for as economic as possible . . . you get what you pay for.

There are no guarantees other than if the expert puts up some of there own money.  Though you MIGHT have more success if you hire a top expert from here (shameless plug for the hire me button . . . but I'll exclude myself as I'm not a java programmer).

Other people might have more input, just my 2 cents.
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Expert Comment

by:Iammontoya
ID: 40219810
It's really no different than hiring someone in house. Resume may be flawless, they kill during the interview and then... lazy @#$! that need to go...
It's all about project management.  Here are a few tips:

set up a coding challenge as part of the interview/hiring process. For example, I ask: build me a hangman game. You will find out within minutes if this person knows what they're doing.
Don't do deposits! You'll never recover your money.
Set up a written agreement. (e.g., On Mondays I will provide you with deliverables. On Friday we review deliverables. On Saturday, you get paid if you completed deliverables or had valid reasons for delays.
set daily and/or weekly expectations
Get tough on excuses

Following those will greatly increase chances of success and/or minimize losses if you have the wrong person.

Good luck!
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:krakatoa
ID: 40220386
I would say the most important caveat is that whomever you hire doesn't see a good idea in your meta, and then, in addition to giving you something that works, goes off and codes it completely differently (so as to avoid copyright and contractual pitfalls), as well as more efficiently, and puts his version on the market ahead of yours.

Secondly, if you are a coder and farm it out to someone else, you will always regret not having done the project yourself - at least, that's what I would have certainly come to feel, had I ever gone with an outsider.

For that reason, if no other, you should try to find a coder willing to share in the profits of a project to which he is attached, but to forego getting any actual payment before the whole thing works, and the first sale has been made.

But that's just my opinion. Obviously.
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 40220582
Great.

The system is simply a go-between between management and potential dev.
At My Microsoft Xbox office, we had dev on one floor, and test in the basement ;) Management let test have a total party, almost. They played Age of E with us at lunch test v. dev which was a wipe out for us, often!

Is this like my super setting me a task and monitoring day by day or by week? - Whatever I want, or they are comfortable with?

My friends said that there are no safeguards.
If I pay after task is complete, it should be in my hands if they get paid.  Thanks. It confirms that on this page here.
Is there a downpayment?
I like the Monday and Friday deliverables concept. Would you include a Wednesday progress discussion? or would they be better spending that time working? Maybe a quick - "we're okay." message from them?

I can feel confident. Would you make use of this if you felt it necessary for a project block you know can be done perfectly by experienced outsiders? Why was your experience bad? Overestimating ability? I am not going to be cheap on this one. An RTS server is not something you can be happy about novices making it. I cant risk staggering dev crashes.
Like I said, in an RTS server, why rebuild the wheel if someone certainly has a perfect working one out there to make fit into my specific parameters?
Someone might even come back with a low $ pitch.

Do you think I should ask for a first rate client engine, as well as the server? Why not? They have to test it on something?
I need to spend time thinking about good modules of my project to act as work blocks.
How much would I realistically expect as a bid from a group for
1) An RTSserver Java class that accepts as parameters, the number of clients playing, the map Type,
2) Once all clients join the server's IP address, a gameplay loop starts, expecting activity messages from each client in a cycle and updating a local game-state on the server, and sending game-state update messages to the clients during play for a ClientEngine to process and display.
Handling of up to 6 players.

Thanks
Personally, in an interview, I'd ask for discussion of a network chess implementation, or checkers. and then discuss their RTS vision?
That would eliminate clowns very quickly.

Anything else?
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Anthony Pangilinan
ID: 40225100
I've never used freelancer.com, but you can look for experts to hire from the experts exchange community here.  It cuts out the middle man since you just message them directly.
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 40225612
I appreciate the suggestion, Tony, but I need the middle man, for sure.

I got scammed the last time I got a freelancer, because I stupidly agreed to step out of the middle man. - To do the save money thing. The middle man guarantees that pre-agreed tasks are achieved, or there is no payment. The guy said that if I step out of the middleman, I'll save money, and I trusted him, because he seemed to know exactly how to complete my goal. - ironically, he sucked at getting it done - laughable. He thought he could fool me into thinking I had purchased a Yahoo music video service, which actually didn't exist. He even sent me a pseudo Yahoo receipt. He also insisted on RealPlayer instead of a Flash Video Plugin. Which I since realized cause he could only do RealPlayer. His control Panel for my service looked like unintentional random window components placed everywhere by flowLayout.

So, I won't work without a middleman. I got scammed out of $16,000 or so, because more B.S. snowballed, and I had no protection (the middleman) The money for the middleman is the whole point. It's only 3% When my dad inferred what might be happening, from a conversation I was having with my sister, he got involved.
With middle-man - I only pay if it's correct. Period.
Should I post a summary of my idea for the E.E. community there and give a link to the freelancer page?
I have since forgiven myself for being scammed, but the sting never truly fades.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Anthony Pangilinan earned 500 total points
ID: 40225671
Should I post a summary of my idea for the E.E. community there and give a link to the freelancer page?

Unfortunately that's not how the hire system works.  The closest you can do is message a few of the hirable experts and see if they're willing to go through freelancer.  You can also post the functionality you want in the suggestions topic (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/Suggestions/), but that's not going to help with your immediate need.
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 40225933
I am luckily in no rush.
I will post a question soon, asking for comments on the clarity of my proposal.
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