How To Post Great Freelance Gigs

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I have been trolling Craigslist and Kijiji lately in hopes of finding some additional freelance work to add to my portfolio before I become a full time freelancer/consultant. Read the advertisements has proven to be a terribly frustrating experience. Advertisers need to always remember that the more details they provide will lead to a much more realistic budget and a system that better meets their needs.

Advertisements need to be as detailed and as short as possible. If the programmer is expected to modify or write plugins for an existing application or website you need to provide details on how the previous system is implemented. Ideally, you will answer all of the following questions. What programming language? What database is it using? Who is hosting it? Is there any sort of documentation? Do you have programming guidelines?

Regarding the actual project or changes to an existing project require you to answer additional questions. Is it completely new project? Who will own the work (source code, graphics, etc)? What’s the timeline? What should the application do? What is the scope of the project?

Always remember that you also get what you pay for and that if you pay minimum wage or outsource to another country (China,India, Brazil, etc) you will likely get inflexible crap that will have to be redone if your site or application goes through some sort of expansion.

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2 responses to “How To Post Great Freelance Gigs”

  1. Of course, there are those companies that will pay that minimum wage to the lowest bidder (developing nation or not!) just to get a “start” knowing it’ll come back as crap and then pass it off to a local developer at a higher rate to …you know… polish it up a bit.

    • Of course, there will always be those companies. It wasn’t exactly my intention to suggest that the problem is created by programmers living in developing nations because I do see similar crap regularly here written by other Canadians (especially in ASP/VB and PHP.) Sadly, the code I often run into suffers from code smells and usually requires heavy refactoring.