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Re: oDesk is the land of Digital Poverty....where every Jack and Jill is an expert!

Community Guru
John B Member Since: Feb 20, 2009
1 of 18

I am willing to pay higher rates for the most experienced freelancers - budget $10 - WTF?!?!


This has got to stop.


It's happening way to often.


You should not be able to post a job with that clause and then put a miniscule budget!!


Okay it might be a placeholder but majority of times it's not.


It's also happening on hourly jobs - I am willing to pay higher rates for the most experienced freelancers - interviewing 3 - average $7.41 per hour - WTF again!


You should not be able to - A.) interview people below a certain hourly rate on those jobs and B.) not be able to bid below an expert rate per hour on those jobs.


Bring back the Feedback forum, it's so needed.







Community Leader
André U Member Since: Dec 5, 2013
2 of 18

Hi John


I can understand your point, but need to point out that it is not that easy at all. From what I see in your profile, you are living in Australia, a 1st world country, and you work as a programmer.


It is just logical that the costs of living are very high in Brisbane. Also, programmer usually charge extremely much compared to other freelancer groups. You simply live in a world where 10$/h is next to nothing.


I am a German myself and have a similar point of view, don't get me wrong. However, I have lived in Mexico quite a while and know people who earn 0,50$/h in a 12h working day. There are countless other countries where 10$/h would be a huge salary.


It might just be that your clients are either from these countries or, alternatively, seeking freelancers from such countries. After all, oDesk is all about outsourcing - flexible, fast services online at possibly cheaper rates.


What I want to say: as an Australian or German you will always have a different understanding of "higher rates". Ask a Mexican or Indian what a high budget is and you will probably see different rates. It's simply a matter of perspective and I would not like to see oDesk getting involved in this. Honestly, it's already quite confusing to understand what oDesk is doing. Please don't give them any more incentives to react. Smiley Wink

Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
3 of 18



It is true that in some countries, making $10/hr would be a good salary; however, I doubt if that salary is for programmers (I lived in and visited more than 20 countries). In the Philippines, the programmers we hired are at about $15 an hour. Those who charge lower are typically wannabe programmers. I'm not saying all but my point is, experts command the prices no matter where they are from. Experts and those who hire experts should know this, otherwise they are most likely wannabes. Case in point, when I got to the Philippines, I charged $35-$50 an hour for speaking engagements and lectures and no one batted an eyelash although university professors here only make $500 a month - Why? because they need what I can provide. Sometimes I charge more and yet, I still get lecture requests despite of that.


More so, John has been around since the dawn of oDesk and is well aware of rates (he posted about that somewhere like a year ago - maybe I'm mistaken). I also think that people from countries  in which rates are a lot lower won't go to oDesk to find someone they need to pay a lot more money as compared to hiring locally.From what I've observed, countries with much lower rates have a huge surplus of professionals. You don't need oDesk to find someone to work on your project, you simply need fb Smiley Tongue


I do agree that we shouldn't give oDesk more incentive to mess up with our rates and categories Smiley Tongue

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
Community Leader
Gabriel B Member Since: Nov 25, 2014
4 of 18

I'm not really worried. You get what you pay. It's not like somebody living under a rock, knowing he's good at something, will continue to charge $5 just because he only has that one rock. He'll increase his price to match his skill.


$5-$10 per hour gets you code valued so much and the Internet is riddled with people complaining about bad work. Hell, some people don't even complain because they can't make the difference between an excellent, a good and a bad piece of software.


Most of the descriptions here are in the line of:

Wanting <<some technology written with spelling mistakes>> developer, must speak fluent English (really, why? Are there people here not speaking fluent English -wink, wink), for <<some obscurce piece of software that maybe 1 000 people use worldwide>> project. Must finish in 3 days.


And end up in an ironic: "Happy bidding!"



Now, given that an US-resident developer makes on average $50 per hour, then paying less than 20% of that is just bad, 33% is good and 50% is excellent. And everybody is happy. (Of course, code quality in this case should be the same)

Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
5 of 18

haha John, I talked about the bait and switch clients too. 

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
6 of 18

I agree with you, I also see it all the time -  offering $5 per hour for experts.


But how would oDesk define what the minimum rate should be for experts? It's a worldwide platform. Should the expert rate be on par with Australian experts, English experts, Nigerian experts? That's the flaw I suppose.

Community Leader
Gabriel B Member Since: Nov 25, 2014
7 of 18

Experience is experience. No matter the country you come from, gaining experience is done at the same pace.


A doctor from South Asia or Eastern Europe should cost less? Why? Did he finish his medical school in one year as opposed to 10?


Yes, if he did 1 year of medical school he should be paid $5, and the quality of the service would be at that level.


Here in Romania doctors are usually asking lower rates, but when there's a serious case, pacients either go to Austria or pay tens of thousands of euros for real medical talent.


Let's talk about equipment. X wants a good developer: What kind of a computer would somebody at $5/hour have? Maybe a Pentium 3 with 512 megs of RAM. He/She starts Skype and gone is the RAM.


And I'm sure AMD/Intel sell their CPUs at 20% of their prices in the US just because it's some 3rd world country.

Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
8 of 18

Gabriel, you obviously misunderstood. I'm not disputing people aren't experienced; I'm stating that oDesk cannot possibly implement a "minimum wage" for experts.


And I strongly disagree. Experience differs depending on where someone was schooled/employed, unless every single university, college, school and workplace teach the exact same curriculum or offer the same work experience - which they don't. If I held a law degree in England, would that mean I could go over to America and practise law?


Community Leader
Gabriel B Member Since: Nov 25, 2014
9 of 18

Law is an exception, but that's going to change as well.


But when talking about software development, it's not like data types/structures/Object Oriented Programming is/are going to be used in a different way by country/university.


Code syntax is strict and there's only the abstract layer that differs.


But then again, having experience is not about knowing everything by heart. It's about the ability to adapt to new paradigms/situations.



As for implementation of a 'minimum wage for experts', that's easy. Take the medium for the last 6 months. Let's say it's $20 pe hour. Then under $15 is the beginner section, $15-$25 is for the middle level of expertise, and the experts start from $25.


I'm sure it's not the best solution, but it is A SOLUTION. That over time can be improved.


But then again the definition for an 'expert' is difficult to pinpoint. And these tests on oDesk don't reflect the level of a particular developer at all.

Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
10 of 18

Gabriel, there are hundreds of jobs that differ between countries, and perhaps programming isn't one of them; but oDesk can't just offer a minimum rate for expert programmers - they'd have to do it for every skill.


Also, I still stand by what I said. Experience differs between countries. How is the law going to change? There will never be the exact same law in every country.


To get an average of an "expert" programmer’s rate - you'd need to research every country's expert programmer's wage, add them all up and divide it by the countries, no? 


And let's say this system was implemented, what then? You get unskilled, unqualified programmers applying for the job, too. What difference would it make? The only positive is that people charging more than the typical $3.33 p/hour would have a better chance of landing a job if the client's focus was strictly the budget. That said, if a client's focus was budget, then they won't advertise for "expert programmers". 


You're right, who and how does oDesk or the freelancers define themselves as experts? 


Anyway, I'd like oDesk to implement such a thing (not just for programmers), but there are too many variables to make it possible. I'm not negative, I just don't see how this could work.