My project is not starting from scratch. I need to ask the freelancers to review the existing code and give me a quote before we start the contract. Therefore, I want to invite them to share my repository on Bitbucket or Github.
However, a freelancer turned me down when I asked about his Bitbucket username. He was afraid to violate TOS.
According to this article on UpWork, under Other Exceptions, we are allowed to share access for Project Scoping.
Can an UpWork moderator clarify whether sharing code access before creating a contract violates TOS?
Upwork TOS allows you to do that for the purpose of having a freelancer review source code in a code repository.
As long as you do NOT use that contact information to communicate. Communication must remain on the Upwork platform until a contract is in place. But you may exchange information necessary in order to access a code repository.
Thank you for your message. Yes, Preston is right. Requesting GitHub credentials from freelancers is allowed. Please remember to keep the communication on Upwork until there is an Upwork contract in place.
If they are still reluctant, and you find them qualified create a $5 project to look at the code and hire them.
But don't take this opportunity to pick that guy's brain and ask how he would do that. It should not be a 'FREE' consulting session.
In addition many may not agree to that either. If the code is complex and poorly written without proper documentation it would require fair amount of effort to estimate the effort.
If it was me, I would not give a fixed price estimate. Hourly would be my choice.
I believe if you are executing the project than you must consider another important aspect - NDA. I believe their is no harm in going for a small contract as mentioend by Prashant and have simple NDA done even if it is on email. It is very important from the security and compliance perspective and if not done than can have consequences in long term.