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.