Probably the best thing about RentACoder is that you don’t have to pay if the work doesn’t get done. I hired an Indian programmer to fix my TCP based EmailSender class to work with Gmail. I allowed him to use OpenSSL if necessary. Almost two weeks later he tells me OpenSSL can’t send email, and if he can use a 3rd party library to send email. That makes about as much sense as a graphics programmer being asked to fix shader code, and two weeks later asking why C++ doesn’t work in shader code, and if he can use a different graphics engine.
I get this feeling of annoyed despair that I’m wasting time and money, the same feeling I often felt with bad programmers while doing Galactic Melee. I’m really happy that I don’t have to pay if the work isn’t done. This was a major source of lost money on Galactic Melee. Since the project deadline is only 3 days away anyway I’ll just let it elapse and get my money back through arbitration.
My previous experience was good though. I think it’s pretty easy to tell within the first two days if a contract is going to make progress or not. In the future I’ll just go to arbitration right away, rather than giving the contractor the benefit of the doubt and waiting out the whole contract for nothing.
I have a feeling I’m going to end up posting here again how I did the fix myself in a couple of hours.