A curated list of resources for freelance programmers
- Fiverr.com: This one is presently my favorite. This marketplace allows freelancers to post gigs which are basically a single unit of programming or design work such as “I can develop a python script for you”. Its a big misconception in the freelance world that Fiverr offerings are of low quality because their gigs start from $5. A lot of freelancers make money by only selling a basic demo feature for this trivial amount, and then charging extra for premium features. Good or bad quality in gigs is ultimately reflected in a freelancer’s ratings (and also that particular gig’s ratings) and stars. This is a similar model on which Amazon and eBay rate their products and sellers and this is what made them a huge success. I think Fiverr’s model of reviews and ratings is much more transparent and efficient than Upwork’s model which is based on explicit job contracts rather than gigs.
- Upwork: Though Upwork still remains one of the best online freelancing platform, it has long lost its status as the primary source of livelihood for a lot of freelance programmers. Formerly called oDesk, this marketplace is a fully integrated platform that has all the tools and features required by a freelancer and an employer to work together. There is a team-room where status is updated and the clients can chat with freelancers and know the status of an ongoing job. There is also a time-tracking app used by freelancers for logging their time worked. The clients can see the screenshots in the team-room and know exactly what their hired freelancer is working on. However, since the transition and revamp of their site from oDesk to Upwork, I’ve noticed a huge performance degradation (over engineering and zealous use of ajax and graphics), so I no longer recommend this site as much as I used to earler.
- Python Jobs: A little known, but good job board where developers post job requirements by sending Github pull requests. This way, the crappy advertisers are filtered out and only genuine recruiters can be reached.
- Guru.com: Good site for freelancers and hirers alike, but unfortunately there are a lot of scamsters too. I’ve personally come across several prospective clients who tried to get me to sign-up a subscription on some site before I could start work. So, be cautious and avoid such clients if you are trying to find jobs on this site.
- PeoplePerHour.com: An ok site based in UK, but their user interface has gone crappy of late. However, freelancers can post ‘hourlies’, sort of a one-off offer for doing specific work for a specific price. Example: “I can build a Wordpress plugin for $50” or something like that.
- Freelancer.com: Yet another hiring platform, but not as good as upwork. The front-screen contains a lot of things including things like logos and adverts making the website slow to load. Their escrow system also doesn’t seem to be good as some folks have had issues in the past.
- /r/ForHire: One of the best places to get jobs if you have patience enough. The advantage of getting hired through this subreddit platform is that there are no middlemen involved, so the amount you get paid is commission free. However, since there is no escrow in between you two, the risk is also entirely yours and you will have to research the client yourself.