I was just wondering which one of you guys uses RAC and if you do use it, what your experience has been like so far? For me, I realize that I bid on a project by thinking how much time it takes me to do it and how much budget is needed. Then for example I bid on it and since I am a "developer" and not just a "programmer". I for example realize that the budget must be about 200 USD and then I bid on it for about 180. Then I notice that for example an Indian "programmer" bids on the project for 1 USD and they win the bid. That's so frustrating. I mean maybe 1 USD is a lot of money for them?
Posted on 2008-11-28 10:52:22 by XCHG
One US dollar is not a vast sum, even in India.
I think you can look at this situation in several ways.

From the point of view of the Indian programmer: competition among programmers in India is steep, and programming requires no formal qualifications (certainly there is no mechanism on RAC for checking this), so these guys will effectively work for free just so that they can add a few jobs to their resume.

From the point of view of the company or individual who is offering the job: They don't care how good the code is, as long as it meets minimal criteria - after that, the only consideration is price. Also, many of these people are actually referring a job that was advertised elsewhere, hoping to make some money as a middleman while doing exactly nothing to earn it. This is a type of scam where people hide behind pseudonyms and the non disclosure policies of various banks.

From the point of view of a professional developer: As the old adage goes, "You get what you pay for". I can't imagine these buyers will be very happy with the result, unfortunately they're likely to dismiss RAC altogether rather than blame themselves for their own poor judgement.
Posted on 2008-11-28 20:12:25 by Homer
From what I understand, Rent-a-coder used to be different... but not anymore, obviously.

You are thinking too much like a developer and not enough like a businessman :P

The game is to snag low-ball offers from off-shore developers, in which Homer is correct in saying "you get what you pay for."

With the majority of the work done off-shore, you then have a few better-quality developers touch things up so that you can deliver a meager product to a over-sold and under-informed client.

With people scrambling to do jobs for $1, I can't image how far along this downward spiral at which Wal-mart is offering custom development :roll:
Posted on 2008-11-28 21:20:14 by SpooK
Every once in a while I scan RentACoder for jobs, apply to a few and my offer is rarely close to the one which got accepted. I believe a week or so I applied for a tiny job and offered 39.99 for something rather silly and easy but which would still take me two to three hours to do it right and the accepted offer was 25. $25 after fees results in 6 or 7 bucks an hour and I am not _that_ cheap. :(
Posted on 2008-11-29 08:54:15 by JimmyClif
I have broadened my range of work to computer repair/tech support and programming since I've been in school. But I still more or less charge the same no matter the job:

C=(((p*2)/60)*R)+(R*h))[+100]

The first part (((p*2)/60)*R) calculates the cost of my gas to drive out to the location and back. I repeat this for each time I have to visit the location. 'p' is the number of minutes it takes me to travel from my current location to where I meet the client and 'R' is my going rate. The second part (R*h) calculates the cost of working on the problem/project at hand. It's basically Rate * hours. I use an hours specifier here because I always round up to the next hour as I have a minimal cost of R*100 for each job. The [+100] is an extra (optional) cost that is used for an "agrevation fee" or a "just for coming out" fee when people call me out to a job then turn around and say they don't need me and want to not pay me for any work. ;)

Currently 'R' is at $45/USD because of the state of local economy, it's been as low as $35/USD and as high as $75/USD, but the algorithm I use for charging has pretty much stayed the same for as long as I've been working with computers.

RentACoder is one of the reasons I haven't advanced to moving my business efforts online, I did some work with them and The Freelancer back years ago but I found I make a lot more money locally than I do working the bidding system. Most companies I come in contact with like having a face to deal with because in their mind if something was to go wrong they have someone corporeal to point the finger at. With an online entity, after the job is done who do they point the finger at? They are just stuck with shotty goods and have to bite the bullet on the cost. With my clients, I personally guarrentee them that if there is any problems in my software I'll personally return to fix it at my own time and cost. And there have even been times in the past that I've bit the bullet fixed problems in "my software" which were in truth user errors. But that's the cost of keeping your clients now-a-days.

There really is no way to under-bid these guys from India and other impoverished countries, the demand for jobs is much higher over there and they are much more willing to do work for practically nothing. But what you can do is work within your local economy and offer things such as guarrentees and return services that these guys simply can't. Then on the side, if you want, you can do your web based work to build extra revenue. Just keep in mind when I say local economy that's just limited to how far you are willing to travel. For me it includes GA, TN, AL, and NC as I live in north GA and I can actually drive to all of those within short period of time.

P.S. If you are looking for some really good money, look into military bases near your home. Talk to them, they love contracting locally and supporting local businessmen as much as possible. Just be prepared to sign an NDA and (in some cases) pass a security clearence check.
Posted on 2008-11-29 13:38:29 by Synfire
It's funny because I saw a buyer on RAC saying "Please, if you are from Pakistan or India, do not bother bidding on the project.". I understand that you have to be looking at it not from a developer's point of view but try to do something that the seller is going to like/enjoy. But as a developer, it is somehow disgusting to know that some people do the same job that you do (more or less, usually a lot less) for less money just because USD (the currency that RAC works with) is superior to the currency in their country.
Posted on 2008-11-29 18:58:55 by XCHG