Odesk contractor rip-off

I previously a positive experience on Odesk for finding a graphic artist. I even offered a bonus.
The job was correctly after 3 hours, I decided to polish the work for a total of 10 hours.

However recently, I posted a job to build server side on Python Google App Engine for a new venture kowifi.com

How a contractor on Odesk can rip off

The people I invited were top talent, so they were busy with other projects. Some contractors bided . The ones who beg for the job are actually the needy. I interviewed two contractors from Ukraine both seemed good. I took the cheaper one and he seemed competent enough to do the job on his own. I planned 5 hours to get a first draft of the job done and as a test of skillset.

I passed some interview with great companies and before you get on an site or even technical skype interview, you have to pass a 5 hour challenge. Some are shorter like 30 minutes of coding test. But I said to myself : “no one will want to pass these tests for free”. Actually these tests filter the good candidates from the rest.

I should checked more on the dumb contractor. One job accomplished on Odesk for more than 200 hours and no review , sounds strange.

I hired him on friday. WRONG.
I set the time limit at 5 hour per week.
– However after 3h of work, nothing was visible. It was clear he had a poor understanding of “foreign key” and SQL. On the interview he bragged how he knew about PostgreSQL , GeoDjango … and showed his references project. But he had to look at the documentation every time. He hardly knew how to read SQL schema and translate into a Django model. Just three tables.
– I prolonged to 5 hours. still nothing. I should have stopped by then.
The Odesk  billing summary starts on Monday next week.
– On the next week, he worked unauthorized hours. I clearly said to wait for my instructions.
I saw my project on his github repo. No need to say some employees will get immediately sacked. It’s common sense not to make public the client’s project. When outsourcing software, the intellectual property is really important . But the bozo just pushed the source code on github. There was also the previous client project …

At the end , it’s a total of 8h, the test job is not done, time over run. I filed a dispute to get some cash back and for the extra log time.

Odesk makes money on hours billed

After reading this http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?987335-Odesk-getting-ripped-off

It’s clear Odesk is protecting the contractors or the hours billed by the contractors. Simply Odesk makes money on the percentage of hours billed. So it’s in their advantage not to refund money because it’s a loss. Odesk does not evaluate the quality of work. Even if I leave a bad review ( extra log time, put the source code on github … ) , the contractor can still make the comment private.

This open doors to shady contractor who will exploit it in the sense where as long they log their hours properly, they will be paid even though what they did is not usable nor complete.

Clearly I will never be fooled again by some bad contractors.

Munich facts

After spending 4 days – 3 nights from August 16 to 19  2013 in Munich. On Monday, I got a job interview, the dates were flexible so I arranged a longer stay to enjoy Munich.
Like always I book on airbnb because it’s cheaper than hotels and more fun.
I arrived on Friday at 17:20 , and luckily the lady hoster was at the airport on Friday. People associates Munich with  Octoberfest, massive beer stein but not surf.

1 Surf culture

She told me to wait at Surf & Style , a surfing contest just outside the airport . A friend of her drove us to the apartment .
Munich has a  surfing culture  , strange for a city far from the sea. Sometimes, I see some people with a surf in the subway.

2 Englischer Garten

The next day,  at viktualienmarkt I tasted the weisswurst literally white sausage ( it is eaten before noon ). I like it because of the mustard honey sauce.
I visited the Englischer Garten ( which is bigger than New York’s Central Park ).  There is a Chinese tower in the center of the park surrounded by a beer garden.  And there is a surfing spot on the river south end.

3 Bavaria

Then on Sunday, I had tour on a segway .  I took the chance to do a segway tour for the first time in my life. The tour covered what I did the day before plus some landmarks and the history. Here is what I learnt :
  • BMW ( Bayerische Motoren Werke AG ) , the auto maker, has its headquarter in Munich.  The blue and white logo is the flag color of Bavaria. Buying at BMW Museum and import can be cheaper depe nding on your country.
  • at Odeonsplatz , Nike posted in front of Theatinerkirche   a giant poster of Franck Ribery, Bayern Munich player, wearing the King robe  . The guide said : “It’s funny, he’s French muslim in a Catholic state. He drinks beer alcohol free.”
  • since WW2 , most buildings were destroyed. In Munich the buildings were rebuilt as the same traditional ones unlike the rest of Germany.
To finish the day, I walked past Theresienwiese ( the place of Octoberfest ) . Actually Theresienwiese means the Therese ‘s wedding . During the wedding, the place was used for horse racing . Now it hosts the famous Octoberfest . The 2 week long feast  generates around 1 billion euros every year.
Munich has great standard of living . Lots of people speak English . The subway is cleaner than Paris.
Bavaria ( the region ) has the most holidays in Germany and the most successful economically. Low unemployment , some people even have two jobs.
Here are some photos of the trip.