Monday, January 22, 2007

Another seemingly useless oDesk post

Been working on oDesk for awhile, mostly part-time stuff -- its proving to be working out better than the equivilent RentACoder experience (not to harsh on the RAC guys, but things get weird [for me] once you start doing $500+ projects).

oDesk turns out to be a lot more soothing a work-environment than the fixed-bid system of Rent A Coder, since it emulates "real life" in that specification changes don't make my face explode.

One downside is that there are not many one-off jobs on oDesk that might take ~1 week to complete. That's not really a problem for me since I'm not picky if a job is long-term or short-term; just as long as I get paid, you know? Small hit-and-run jobs would have been pretty useful when I was just starting out on oDesk, though. I'm not particularly interested in them now that I've established a "quality" (for online, anyway) pay-rate, but, you know.

Let's see, back in September I landed an ASP.NET 2.0 job that serves up $25/hr. Quoth the buyer, "Since you were already light years ahead ... in simply understanding the project..."

Great buyer, by the way -- knows exactly what he wants and where he wants it and how he wants it.

I applied to another job at the same time as the one I have currently, and the guy riddled me with a bunch of .NET API questions like he was trying to strafe a battleship with his Japanese Zero fighter-craft. He totally sunk my battleship because my brain just isn't In The Code unless I'm in front of an IDE or something. Also, he kept asking questions which implied he though I was mainly a WinForms guy (dunno where he got that from).

Curiously, he popped up a couple of times on Skype afterwards asking for a resume' I didn't have (in retrospect, should have linked him to my oDesk profile) and wanting to know if I did WinForms / etc work. I didn't really expect much from him at this point and didn't really persue the issue after answering a few questions.

The job he opened never closed (but he still appears to be interviewing coders after 4 months?!). I never got rejected from the job, either, although 34 other people haven't been so lucky. He seems to be trying to get Professional Quality Work at McDonald's Quality Prices, which in my opinion doesn't really work.

I like exciting and innovative stuff as much as the next guy, but I'm only going to work as much as you pay me too, you know? Still, these guys -- what are they, Styler Design? -- had a pretty awesome setup for their ASP.NET website. I'm still scratching my head and wondering why their tiered an XML layer on top of the ORM (Gentle.NET, NHibernate) layer, but other than that it sounded really sweet.

Outside of oDesk, been working sporadically as I deal with some personal stuff. Trying to get my groove back, but the funk-u-lator is totally busted.

For some reason I'm in popular demand, so I've been thinking of wrangling up my coding homies (still in college / high-school) and pimping them out. We could have an awesome name for an affiliate group; they'd work uber-cheap to get their names out there and attached to some quality work and I'd Get Rich Quick.

Oh, this is a cute story I'll share: worked with a small, recently started firm that was looking for some QuickBooks .NET API integration work. At first all they wanted out of me was research, prep-work as it were, so I pulled a few hours for them, reported back to The Mothership. Then... ... ... nothing happened. Four months passed, incommunicado, and then he pops out of nowhere and startles me with, "You still available for the QuickBooks integration stuff?"

I had to let him down easy with an, "Uh, that was four months ago, I've got priority jobs right now." He seemed genuinely surprised, as if he couldn't understand why I didn't reserve time to work with them on this project, even though four months had passed since we talked about it last. What, my professional life on hold for him?

Anyway, I suppose I miffed him because he Ninja Vanish'd on me and I haven't heard from him since, but I'm not really expecting to.

The firm still has an outstanding balance of $150, but I don't think I'll chase it.

Anyway, that's my blog post.

Deal with it.


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