Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

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#1 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 07 January 2011 - 03:45 PM

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POPULAR

Volunteer work for a business... does anyone actually take these people up on their offer? Is there a magical pot of gold at the end of the death march that I am too pessimistic to see? I really would like to know.

I get the economy sucks but really what people are asking for is just ridiculous. As the saying goes time is money, and if I am not making it then I am losing it. Frankly it's just disgusting. I have been approached at bars, by friends of friends, and family members... all asking, pleading, and pulling the emotional heart strings to get what would amount to be thousands of dollars of development work done for free.

I mean I get that no one really understands what I do. They know developers ask questions, stomp off, come back later with an application. Yes we are just that mysterious, but why does that mean I work for free? I don't have a Turing Machine in my apartment that I whip with a belt while yelling at it in German until it produces any application I desire. I mean that would be cool and all, but I am not quite there yet.

Sure I get that having a portfolio is important in a down economy (sort of), but at what cost? Perhaps the people taking these jobs are the 'give me teh codez' bottom feeders? Sure I can see how a sea of these maggots give the rest of us a bad name.

Ugh.. I am just tired of seeing these posts.. getting into fights over contracts, business plans, being insulted for my years of school and dedication, and finally being told the person approaching me could totally do it but they don't have the time...

Let me know if these things pay off, if you have horror stories, or feel like building a list of the most common archetypes that assault us for free work.

VOLUNTEER Developer needed for website startup

Gist:

Quote

we will need a developer to join the team to take what we have and turn it into a functional site


Required gaming site rehash of the same type of sites that exist in droves:

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The site's end goal will be to serve as a one-stop-shop for gaming needs.


Of course this can't be a fast template job:

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We're currently looking for someone who can create the website from the ground up.


Oh, and we want experience... oodles of it:

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We have some design ideas that may be a bit of a challenge, so we're looking for someone who knows quite a bit about website design.


We want to suck you dry for a long, long time. A vested interest means you can't leave!

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We're not looking for a one-time development of the site. We are looking for a developer with a vested interest in the website to work only during his or her spare time.


Oh, and we have no money:

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Currently, no one on the team is receiving payment for their efforts,


... but we will!:

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but all members will be rewarded once we get the site on its feet.


pooh-pah the situation.. they *understand* you:

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I'm aware it's a lot to ask, but I assure you that your contributions will be well compensated down the road.


it is hurting us more than you:

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I'm also aware that this method isn't a popular one, but all expenses for the site are currently coming out of our pockets (including URL, server space, accountants etc) so I'm afraid funds are limited.


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Replies To: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

#2 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 07 January 2011 - 03:59 PM

Nicely researched! If I had more spare time I would like to get involved with a worthwhile project like Mozilla, but building websites to make others money for nothing more than a promise of payment down some proverbial road? They can bash that up their asses.
I have a brother in law who's been trying to get me involved in a business idea for a couple of years now, wants me to write a pretty intense sounding app from scratch. Except one day he accidentally let it slip that he has been quoted over 100k by a software developer, so I'm sure I would have no problems writing it in a month or two's worth of weekends!
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#3 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 07 January 2011 - 04:03 PM

Absolutely not. My time is very limited. I've got a million things I can be doing. If I really wanted to volunteer my efforts, I'd do so at a local nonprofit organization where it would really benefit others, not for some guy over the internet who (let's face it), is going to move on in a month to something else.

Besides, if someone doesn't have the funds to put up and offer me a retainer, they probably don't and will never have the funds to pay me. Honestly, if they want to post for a group of people to work on a hobby project, then sure, fine. But be up front with it. What these people don't understand is that they're not going to be the next big MMORPG since WoW. Kudos if they have fun with it for a month.
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#4 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 07 January 2011 - 04:42 PM

I also wouldn't give of my time with out something up front, or a weekly salary. Then again, I'm well established and I can be picky on what I choose to do. If somebody who has no experience chooses carefully and finds the right project it could be worth it. I will stress the carefully though. Just answering a post on a forum and committing yourself is never a good idea. Research the project, talk with the team, determine if it is worth the time that you may be investing. Make sure that it is more than just a couple friends who have an idea they want to bring to life. Do they have a business plan? Do they have a good solid plan for developing the project? Do they have realistic milestones set? Are they biting off more than they can chew? Perhaps while they are working on the main project they are doing freelance work to bring some money in. But, be very, very picky when you select a project. Getting in on a free open-source software project could look impressive on a resume if it comes to fruition.

Caveat emptor!
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#5 ccubed  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 07 January 2011 - 06:25 PM

I had a guy ask me to do that once. I told him that i'd only do it if he signed a contract that was notarized by an attorney and stated i would get 5% of all profits for the first 12 months they received profits from the website. It wasn't a lot considering the work they wanted done and it was even his idea. He refused and I told him he'd need to find someone else then, because my hands don't type on a promise.

But seriously, I have done websites as volunteer work for community leaders. If it's someone I know and see and interact with daily, I don't mind. I'm going into it full well knowing all I get out of it is a portfolio kick, but that's okay with me. It's just that these always sound seedy. Like you're going to be arrested by the FBI or something for money laundering.
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#6 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 07 January 2011 - 08:17 PM

I don't do anything without some form of payment up front. I learned this a long time ago from working as an electrician full time for so long. You'd be surprised just how many people out there would happily screw you over just to get what they want. The world is a very unkind place. We actually had one company screw us out of 8000 USD a few years ago, which would've made a decent holiday season, but instead we barely had enough money at that time to get by, and luckily we had a few other small jobs to pay the rent. After that, I refused to do ANY job unless I could get at least 1/3 of the payment up front, and the rest upon completion. Then, it's at least worth my time to see the job through to the end. There are times when I'd require 1/2 up front, but it all depended on the customer and whether they were referred to me by a friend.
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#7 calvinthedestroyer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 07 January 2011 - 09:41 PM

I did a lot of volunteer work in Boy Scouts, but I at least earned rank for the work I did. Plus since I received my Eagle Scout award I'm shown more respect.

I have free hosting for my web sight, but that's because I did a lot of work for the guy. Including a lot of auto repairs, for example: Gore's 3.4L conversion

I wouldn't work for free unless it was The LEGO design studio, or a toy testing company :)
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#8 raziel_  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 08 January 2011 - 04:33 AM

I can answer this easy. NO because if i want to help someone for free i do it here on DIC. And most of all ppl that i will help will eventually learn something and can make profit of it if they want.
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 08 January 2011 - 11:55 AM

Outside of personal volunteer work, does anyone else think that taking 'for profit' jobs for free (or on the promise of later income) cheapens our collective selves?
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#10 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 08 January 2011 - 01:21 PM

It's the MBA/sales/marketing weasels -- who see everything development-related as simple (oh, you can just add that little feature in there for me, no problem, right?) -- looking to exploit young, eager programmers looking to pad their portfolios. It's pure capitalism, which I guess is fine if you're willing to be exploited, but it's a drain on the rest of us because then the weasels have someone to hold up and say "See, he/she did this for him/her for nothing but equity" -- which of course never came, but they don't mention that -- "we can get him/her or someone else to do the same".
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#11 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:19 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 08 January 2011 - 10:55 AM, said:

Outside of personal volunteer work, does anyone else think that taking 'for profit' jobs for free (or on the promise of later income) cheapens our collective selves?


Damn straight it cheapens our collective selves.

JackOfAllTrades hits it on the head. And it's not just those schmucks who don't respect our job. I could get done with a all day balls to the wall coding session and be wiped. All I want to do is smoke a cigar, have a drink, and lay in my bed with a book or a video game controller before passing the fuck out. When someone calls, knocks on the door, or just walks in my room... they want me to do something. May it be leisure or work. It might be driving 45 minutes south because they don't own a car and need a favour. It might just be they want to see a movie. And I tell them I'm wiped, I just want to lay here and play some god damn ecco the dolphin and relax for craps sake.

"Relax? You sit all day. What could be hard about your job."

What could be hard about my job? Fuck you you latte serving cunt. Eat this you pot dealing shit bag. I will pull your prostate up and out via your mouth Mr. collects unemployment and only has to clean their house for room and board. Oh and don't forget about Ms. "I'm poor" who goes to the night club 4 nights a week and gets hammered... poor? That's not poor. You might be broke because you spent all your cash, but poor means you never had cash in the first place.


But because my job doesn't consist of going out and dieing in the sun all day. Then it's easy. Ok, I have full respect for the hard labour jobs. I've done them, I've done more of them then these idiots telling me I have a lazy job. And when I got off of work from them I was wiped... a different kind of wiped. The kind where I couldn't walk.

But getting off of a long coding session... that kind of wiped is a completely different thing. It's the kind where you can't think. I'm fine with out being able to walk. I can still coherently explain to assholes coming over that I just can't walk so it's a no go.

But when these butter brains show up and I'm mentally wiped. It's all:

"But ergh, tired... brain no worky... you want wha? Not safe... need rest... I work... no me no lazy... just work."





...

but yeah just wanted to also bring up the lack of respect out side of the professional realm. In the professional realm it is bad as well... I have a few bad stories. But nothing none of us haven't heard before. My fav's are when I was a freelancer. And I'd be 2 months in a project, for long term projects you pay me bi-weekly. That's that... I don't just wait for one big check at the end. Either you cut me real big up front, or you cut me partial every couple weeks.

Well dude man ran out of funds. He had to scrap the project. No big deal, I can find other work... but oh wait.

"Could I get that money back that I paid you up until now?"

"Ummm... no, that's my money."

"Yeah, but you didn't finish the project."

"That's not my problem... it wasn't me that backed out on the deal. It was you."

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 10 January 2011 - 11:23 AM

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#12 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:38 AM

Wow, tell us how you really feel.

It does seem to me, especially in the web development area, that people think they can take software developers for granted when they're working on a free-lance or contract-to-contract-basis. I don't understand the lack of respect.
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#13 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:58 AM

Quote

I'm also aware that this method isn't a popular one, but all expenses for the site are currently coming out of our pockets (including URL, server space, accountants etc) so I'm afraid funds are limited.


It's interesting that they wouldn't dare ask an accountant to work for free.
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#14 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 10 January 2011 - 12:15 PM

View Postxclite, on 10 January 2011 - 10:38 AM, said:

Wow, tell us how you really feel.


How I really feel... HOW I REALLY FEEL!?

...

Meh, it actually doesn't really bother me that frequently. And usually when it happens it makes me just laugh a little.
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#15 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Does anyone bite for these types of posts?

Posted 10 January 2011 - 01:52 PM

The truth is, people don't understand computers yet. They understand how to use them, but they don't understand how they work, and that includes how programs work, and that includes how programs are built.

And therein lies the problem for anyone who's ever worked helpdesk, or done web development, or is a programmer. We all have this reputation that we like what we do. Which is good, I guess, that we enjoy our jobs, but at the same time, that makes people think that we like to work extra.

Also, they remember us as 15 year olds, or if they didn't know us, they remember other computer nerds at that age, who were eager for chances to work on computers or programs.

However it comes, there's an expectation that we'd jump at the opportunity to help them out with their project or computer. As if it isn't really work to us. Which is why friends so rarely offer to pay us, and shitty companies can get away with offering what amounts to an internship to professionals.

Look, I don't want to be paid in food. Breakfast tacos aren't worth my time, yet you offer them to me like you're doing me a favor by letting me work on your computer and feeding me a meal! Fuck that. At my previous job, I was on the loading dock fixing some printer or something, and one of the loaders catches me and says "hey, my computer at home has a virus. You think you can take a look at it, maybe fix it up? It wouldn't take you any time, and I know you like that stuff. I'll buy you breakfast." I said, "sure. By the way, I've got a trailer full of heavy shit parked outside my apartment. You mind swinging by and unloading it for me? I know you like that stuff." He got it, and left. I felt bad, because I liked the guy, but for fuck's sake, my time isn't worthless, and I'm not going to do hours worth of work for an acquaintance for free. Maybe for a good friend, but not for just some dude that works at the same company.

And for the same reason, I'm not going to work on a project for the hope of future profit, unless that project is mine. I'm not going to spend 200 hours developing you a site or program for you to tell me to fuck off, or to find out that your idea sucked and nobody wants any, or for you to waste all the profits on blow and hookers and leave me in the dust.

I don't even do contract work. I prefer employment. It pays less, but I know I've got a job tomorrow.

This post has been edited by insertAlias: 10 January 2011 - 01:53 PM

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