Friday, July 18, 2014

I'm looking for a (freelancing) job

After 1.5 years an Italian period of my life is about to end, since I'm moving from Milan to Cracow, Poland in September. After working from home as a web and Android developer and then doing the European Voluntary Service project for a local NGO I'm ready to finally move on to do something else. I'm not sure what that "something" will be, but I'm hoping to find a job related to game development, Android or both. I tried to look for online gigs that I could do from home, but it didn't really work that well. Here's what I experimented with along with the results.

Freelancer.com

It's one of the biggest freelancing portals with lots of projects and categories to choose from (from software and design to data entry, sales, marketing, engineering, accounting, and translations). It has changed a lot, mostly for the better, during the last year, but still there's a lot of space for improvement. Projects on Freelancer are usually poorly described, which makes it very hard to bid. Other than that, there's always tons of people from Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Indonesia, etc.) who are willing to work for $2/hour, which is probably not a salary suitable for Europeans or Americans. There exist premium accounts and specialized tests that you can take to increase your chance of being selected, but most of them are paid (usually $5) and I didn't feel like spending money on something that I wasn't sure would even work. My final balance is about 50 bids and never being selected... Perhaps you can be more lucky or find your niche. The most popular categories are very difficult to compete in.

Elance

Another freelancing portal from the big trio. Mostly IT centered. Project descriptions seemed to me more detailed than on Freelancer, but again the competition is quite fierce.

oDesk

The last from the best known freelancing portals. The least known by me. Perhaps I made a mistake by not trying it out more thoroughly, because it's the most restrictive (you can't place so many bids), which prevents people from spamming every project they can possibly find.

Rent a Coder

It's a small, software-oriented freelancing site. Being less known might be an advantage here though. There's much less projects than on Freelancer, but also much fewer people to compete with. I managed to get a response from some employers once or twice, but the negotiations never got very serious. I haven't used it for some time, because I thought it had been bought by a biger portal and not being updated any more. It turns out that I was wrong.

TopTal

I practically just got to know about it. It's an elitary portal with 4-step recruitment process - you can't just sign up and start looking for projects. I'm on the third step now. If they let me in, I'll make sure to tell you more about it. Almost for sure being part of it gives you the biggest probability of finding a job to do. They even insist that you work full time. They use Codility for their programming assessment, so you may want to give it a try beforehand. Oh, and they also have a blog where they published quite an interesting article with possible questions you can encounter on your Android job interview.

Fiverr

Have you ever been curious about what you can buy for five bucks? Well, now you know... Pretty much anything, from simple logos, illustrations, to apps, voiceovers and pranks. I was helping people to add ads to their Android apps and I managed to get to know a guy who was giving me more work afterwards (reskinning apps bought on CodeCanyon). After that I wasn't so lucky though, so I decided to take down the gig and replace it with new ones. Check them out here.


The point of the above rant is that freelancing is not an easy thing to do, even if you're a fairly good programmer. That's why I'll probably be looking for something more stable this time. As a side thing it can be interesting though and I'll definitely keep trying alternative ways of augmentig my income. By the way, if you have something to do for me, let me know :P


2 comments:

  1. As much as I like Freelancer, I think that the best freelance job board is https://www.xplace.com/ XPlace. It has higher hourly rates than the majority of other online marketplaces, doesn't charge a commission from freelancers, and there are a lot of job opportunities (entry-level and more complex ones). An excellent website to make a freelance career!

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    Replies
    1. XPlace seems to be paid though. Is there a free plan, at least to check it out?

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