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  Programming freelance on the internet: compete with cheap foreigners  (Read 1120 times)
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Offline Cero
« Posted 2014-08-21 18:46:25 »

(Without getting too political)
For those of you who did or tried to do freelance programming work on the internet:
I have noticed, kind of unsurprisingly, that if you try to offer your services online you're competing with a lot of mostly Indians who do everything at a bargain.

So how would one compete ? Just by having a name/image and people wanting more high quality work ?
Does anyone have some experiences there ?

Offline Mac70
« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-08-21 19:13:06 »

I was thinking about similar thing few days ago as well and found this article:

http://blog.jpl-consulting.com/2011/12/why-i-will-never-feel-threatened-by-programmers-in-india/

Europe/North America just have different culture - programming is seen as a job as well as hobby here and hobbyists tend to be better at their job (and therefore write better quality code). India surely have some hobbyists as well, but I think that ratios of hobby/"just job" programmers in our cultures are higher. In case of any problems with their programs, programmers who are not on the other side of the world can respond to requests much quicker as well.

In addition, culture differences might lead to misunderstandings, especially if freelancer must show some creativity.

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Offline lcass
« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-08-21 19:39:14 »

I was thinking about similar thing few days ago as well and found this article:

http://blog.jpl-consulting.com/2011/12/why-i-will-never-feel-threatened-by-programmers-in-india/

Europe/North America just have different culture - programming is seen as a job as well as hobby here and hobbyists tend to be better at their job (and therefore write better quality code). India surely have some hobbyists as well, but I think that ratios of hobby/"just job" programmers in our cultures are higher. In case of any problems with their programs, programmers who are not on the other side of the world can respond to requests much quicker as well.

In addition, culture differences might lead to misunderstandings, especially if freelancer must show some creativity.
I would also say its the language barrier , its often the issue with international things , there is an episode of the it crowd that shows this perfectly (although satirically).
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Offline princec

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-08-21 20:14:04 »

There are some interesting cultural barriers with the East as well which are very awkward; for example, a "worker" (for want of a better term) will smile and nod and say "yes" if you ask everything's ok, even when it's utterly irredeemably f**ked, which seems to be a cultural issue.

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Offline PandaMoniumHUN

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-08-21 20:41:44 »

If you do your job well people won't care if you create what they need with a $100 extra compared to the other cheap people out there, if that means that they get a quality product in exchange.

But to land jobs you'll need a good portfolio and solid references, and to get references first you'll have to apply for some jobs with a pretty cheap prices.

You can definetly earn a living in the freelancer market, question is, is it worth the trouble? It is not so hard to find a job in the IT field if you have some sort of qualification and usually they result in less headaches and more salary. Pointing

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-08-21 20:58:04 »

There are some interesting cultural barriers with the East as well which are very awkward; for example, a "worker" (for want of a better term) will smile and nod and say "yes" if you ask everything's ok, even when it's utterly irredeemably f**ked, which seems to be a cultural issue.

Cas Smiley
Many higher level engineering jobs make you take classes to learn all these little quirks that people from other cultures have.

I've had many experiences with people of other cultures never saying "no" even when its so obvious that they can't do what you are asking for. Above that they rarely even ask questions. I had one guy I was working with build something for an android watch for me. I asked him if he could do it. "Yes". The next day, "what do you have done?", "oh I will have it done soon". A week later I looked over at his computer, asked him to show me something. He avoided it, later I found out he was still trying to set up the SDK.

One time at a big tech meet up, some guy from Adobe that I was talking to gave me his business card. I took it and put it in my wallet in my back pocket. He stormed away furious. Later I learned that what I did, in his eyes, was take his business card and wipe it on my ass. I was supposed to take it, and put it face up on the table in front of me.

Cultures.. great stuff...

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Offline Rayvolution

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-08-21 22:26:44 »

One time at a big tech meet up, some guy from Adobe that I was talking to gave me his business card. I took it and put it in my wallet in my back pocket. He stormed away furious. Later I learned that what I did, in his eyes, was take his business card and wipe it on my ass. I was supposed to take it, and put it face up on the table in front of me.

Cultures.. great stuff...

When I worked with Lockheed Martin we had a lot of international work because the Airframe I was trained on (the F-16) is used all over the world. We would take trips to other countries to do business with them one way or another. They told us all kinds of stuff like this in our various ethics trainings we'd do before going over there, and your story was used almost as a verbatim example. We were warned that putting someone's business card in your wallet without looking at it was basically the equivalent to throwing it in the garbage right in front of them and blowing them off.

But really though, on the flip side, the guy should also realize he's dealing with international people as well, and should assume as long as you continued to be polite that it was just *your* culture to put it in your wallet and get it out of the way, because you're talking. So the level of expected understanding/consideration should go both ways. I never had any "international incidents" because all of their professionals were given pretty much the same/similar training we were about how Westerners act. The guy from Adobe should of known better. :/

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Offline gouessej
« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-08-21 23:52:17 »

(Without getting too political)
It's political. There are different cultures all over the world but in my humble opinion, there is no deterministic link between the color of the skin, the nationality and the abilities in computer science. If you want to earn much money, rather concentrate on tasks that fewer people can do. Moreover, people aren't forced to study in their country. I don't see why an Indian would be obviously worse than me if he can make the same studies, obtain the same diploma and access the same knowledge. The living standards are different but tends to become closer which will reduce social dumping on the very long term. Outsourcing can be a complete waste of money, not mostly because of the abilities of the workers but rather because the necessary efforts to outsource have been underestimated by the decision makers and the managers.

Offline Cero
« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-08-22 00:58:15 »

But I'm not here to politically and economically discuss the issue of outsourcing and foreign workers. Just how the state of things effect us programmers if we wanna do this type of work.

Portals like Elance, odesk, guru and Freelander.com among others seem like popular portals for this type of work - I was just interested if some of you guys, do this on a regular basis

Offline gouessej
« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-08-23 12:51:35 »

Ok but some replies weren't politically neutral, maybe a bit racist even though it was probably not intentional.

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