Code Outsourcing Websites

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About

In today's age, there are lots of people with ideas and aspirations to create phone Apps, websites and/or computer software, but don't necessarily have the background and skills to create it themselves. Their hope is that they can pay someone to do it for them. Often expectations need adjusting - good programmers, especially in silicon valley, earn over 100k a year, and probably don't have the time to do the job for free. Computer students might be a good option, but the work quality might be questionable, and there's not guarantee it will get finished. You will probably have to pay someone, and you will probably pay more than you expect. If you think someone can create you a phone app for $100 you are probably off by at at least one order of magnitude!

People go to school for many years to become good at software, and you get what you pay for. Equally true, there's a good chance the programmer you find will run out of time to help you, and you'll have a half-finished piece of code. And then it can turn ugly.


Code Outsourcing Websites

  • fiver.com - Bargin basement, but fun place to start. Code is only a small section here, what some people want to get or want to provide for $5 chunks is hilarious. I actually got some decent PhP code out of this, for maybe 6 sets of $5. Trick was to keep it small though. Not a bad place to test the waters, just don't expect anything huge. Also a good place to ask for logos, and illustrative work!
  • guru.com - Matt started with these guys and had mixed experiences.
  • freelancer.com - Good place to find illustrators etc.
  • [1] - Another place for outsourcing.
  • upwork.com - This is the big boy. A very big/professional outfit where you can post a job and have people bid. Big enough company that they consumed both odesk.com and elance.com (which was pretty big) in early 2016.
  • ... this list is not complete, there are others, but these ones are a good start. Maybe post your job to them all and see what happens.


Advice

I've not had huge experience myself with outsourcing, but I've had a friend who's tried many times, and been disappointed many times. His advice is to treat it as a learning experience. Take your time, start cheap and if you create an app which gets finished then that, itself, is incredible! It's something you can put on your resume, but don't also expect it to make you you millions. For phone apps, for example, there are over a millions Apps on both the Android Play and iPhone Stores, and I can guarantee you only a small fraction (probably in the thousands - so 0.1%) broke even with money, and even fewer made it big. The ones that do make it big - well a few in a million people get lucky (FlappyBirds), but largely the successful Apps have huge marketing teams, and so you if you think $1000 for a phone App is expensive, you will have a shock when you hear how much people pay for marketing!

So yes, treat it as a learning experience, set a budget, post your job on one of the sites below. Don't worry about someone stealing your idea - people are all busy with their own ideas, and it's incredibly, incredibly unlikely your idea hasn't been thought of and attempted by someone else before. Your best bet is something very niche, keep it really small, and maybe you're lucky enough that you'll have a bunch of people in your workplace of class who you know will use your product because you've talked to them about it... so at least you'll have some users! Expect some troubles.... the cheapest programmers are likely to be foreign countries, so something will be lost in translation.

Make sure you spell out exactly what you want - draw up every button on every interface. Create the absolute smallest version of your software first... if that works then think about more ambition. You should also, hopefully know what type of backend (database) and frontend you need - and what language(s) you want it written it! If you find a really reliable contractor when you post your job.... keep him! A lot of coder - client relationships can turn ugly because the client and coder don't communicate exact expectations. As a client you might not even really know what you want, so you think for $500 you'll have a finished product, but then you'll chew through double that amount of hours telling him to make endless changes.




Acknowledgements: Matthew Walker for the websites, tips and experience.