Freelancer.com — my horrible experience
Short intro about me;
I have 3 years of experience as a fullstack c# developer. I work on few sideprojects so I have touched alot of known technologies, stacks and programming languages.
A few months ago I opened a Freelancer.com account to hire developers to speed up my side projects.
I have had 4 projects on auction during this time;
- Android port of my iOS app (closed source)
- Node.js port of C# snippet (github)
- Java port of C# snippet (github)
- Apply new theme (templatemonster) to an existing ASP.NET site (cancelled!)
All 4 projects were horrible experiences, 3 of them completed but who completed it? in the end i think i wrote half the code myself!
The last one had such a bad start that I had to cancel it in the early stages to avoid wasting more time.
1. Android port of my iOS app (Indian dev)
The app itself is pretty simle. Take a picture from thecamera, send it to a REST endpoint, receive the text and display it in a text field. + add in-app purchase functionalty.
The freelancer here not only used alot of time but the end product was absolute junk. Felt like the guy had no common sense, like a robot developing. The buttons were simple but he managed to make them square instead of having round edges. I had to command every little detail. I kept telling him I wanted it to look exactly like the iOS version. I am not a java developer but i know a bit and looking at it I immediately realized how poor quality it was. There were loops on unecessary pre-processing of image captured that caused memory heap to accumulate. Taking 5–6 pictures in row cause memory exhaustion. Like someone building a floor so barely 1 person can stand on it, if 2 people or 1 person were to jump on it, it would fall apart. This was a common pattern through all my projects, the freelancer would always make a code that would take the example inputs I gave them and produce the expected output that I also gave. But if tried to randomize or make a variation in the input the app/product would totally crash. I approved the project but the android app never launched and won’t do it either. I just cant publish such junk to Google Play store, its a disgrace to the community.
2. and 3. Node.js and java ports of a C# snippet
The original code I wrote is @ ProxyController.cs
Its a proxy to relay a REST API call and reply with the response.
Node.js port was written by a chinese developer, my God he was annoying. Constantly nagging me every 3 hours to “check” the code and tell how far away from completion he was. I was going forth and back 20 times atleast! The guy I think barely knew node.js but still claimed to be experienced. I had to explain him alot of basic things. He had no clue how the HTTP protocol worked. All he wanted was to work towards the example output I sent him. I really wanted him to understand what the code did, and write code from this understanding but no. For him was getting to approval and project money 1st priority.
During our teamviewer session where I was supposed to “approve” the code I found so many bugs, I ended up programming on his machine through Teamviewer and at same time teaching him node.js and the HTTP protocol!!! In other words I paid him to receive node.js lessons from me.
In the end I was so tired of this, I just approved his project just to make him stop bothering me for approval.
4. Apply new theme (templatemonster) to an existing ASP.NET site
I had to cancel this project in theearly stages because I saw the pattern from last 3 projects emerge and decided to kill it off early.
Once again I put my trust on an asian developer from Bangladesh. My website is pretty basic, written from scratch in C# / Razor. You can see the site here www.cosmetico.no (still running old theme). What I wanted is for him to integrate a new theme I bought off templatemonster. I told him only to change 10 views of my page and nothing more. The site had 5 days project delivery time. Already after 1 day he wanted me to review on teamviewer. What he had done was add the bundled.css and bundled.js from the new theme+ change the navigation bar.
The navigation bar looked good, but to my surprise the rest of the page looked similar to my old theme. So I got into his Visual studio and there I see the old theme with its css and js is running in parallell! I ask him to remove the old theme and refresh the webpage and boom. It all came crashing down. Text, tables, margins padding, h1,h2, label, input fields all looked “unformatted” and in disarray. Upon confronting the dev with this he tells me he is almost there and starts asking me what I meant by “you are far from completion”. At this moment I knew he didn’t have the competence or understanding to complete my project. So I asked if I could just cancel the project, pay him 50$ for the work, and told him to keep whatever work he had done. He got really upset and offended. He claimed I owed him almost thefull project fee because he was close to finishing. In my opinion the work he had done I could do it in few hours, its the converting class names, re-writing the html to match the new theme that is the hardest part. I cancelled the project, he didnt want the money because according to him “Allah would protect him and punish me”.
You think you are going to save time by outsourcing the development? well guess again, you will end up spending more time telling them how to develop, answering the questions and “approving” the projects. What a waste of time and money. Freelancer.com is a cesspool of low-level coders who says yes yes yes when you ask them of their skills and knowledge of frameworks.
Developers here will be nagging you so much that you will just pay them off to escape it.
The app or whatever they develop will maybe work with standard inputs, but as soon as you try to test it with different inputs of variation it will fall apart.