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Making Your Project a Success at Rent A Coder
By Michael Sharp
Rent a Coder Top 10 Coder

Rent A Coder offers an exceptionally diverse pool of talent for you to choose from – coders from every walk of life, working in virtually every programming language and platform are available to work closely with you on your project. Combine that with RAC’s secure, escrow based transactions and project management tools and you have a formula for success that’s second to none!

Whether you’re a first time buyer or a veteran at Rent A Coder, I would like to share some tips and strategies with you to help you make your new project a resounding success!

Preparing Your Bid Request

Your bid request is the single most important step you’ll take here at RAC. While preparing it, always keep in mind that the successful bidder you choose is bidding on what he or she reads here.

State your project’s objective clearly and in plain language. If you’re unsure of the terminology, don’t worry – the coders will most likely understand the gist of it and ask for clarification where needed. Also remember that not everyone is a native speaker of English, so try to avoid using obscure phrases or slang that might be misunderstood or misinterpreted by a coder.

It’s easy to include attachments, so if you have a sketch of what the final interface should look like or other related project files – upload them with your bid. This helps expedite the bid process and saves you the effort of sending them individually to every bidder.

It’s also helpful to prepare more detailed specifications beforehand. Usually, if this is done is done in MS Word and attached to the bid request, you can avoid having to answer a lot of redundant questions about your project.

Next, state your deliverables as clearly as possible – these are what you expect to receive from the successful bidder. For example, if you need a setup program, then this is the place to mention it.

Choose a realistic project completion date – in many cases buyers are in a hurry to get their project finished, but you may want to consider this - “am I rushing the project unnecessarily?” Quite honestly, a coder can only deliver top quality work if you give him or her the time to do it. The deadline can also affect the cost of the project – if you need it in the next 24 hours, it may cost more for the extra effort.

If you have any special conditions be sure to list them clearly. For example, if you need a Non-Disclosure Agreement signed, then tell the coders now.

Be sure to set a maximum price for your project. This tells coders exactly what your upper limit is and avoids a lot of misunderstandings later on.

One last thought on bid preparation – depending on your project you may want to consider breaking up into smaller pieces and hiring several different coders. For instance, if you want a website built in ASP with high end graphics, you may want to post one bid request for the ASP work and one for the graphics. Not every coder can deliver high-end graphics, just as not every graphics artist can deliver top quality ASP work – although this may take slightly more work on your part, it allows you to obtain the best of both worlds!

Selecting a Coder

Now that your bid has been posted, you’re no doubt being inundated with bids from all over the world. How you choose a coder is of course entirely up to you, but before making a coder selection, it’s time to do a little background research on the bids you’re considering.

Use the tools at RAC to help you make your final decision. For example, RAC offers an online chat area for every bid request. Here’s your chance to meet prospective coders and discuss your project in greater detail. It’s also an opportunity to “get a feel” for who you’ll be working with.

While reviewing the replies to your bid request, take the time necessary to review the coder’s profile. RAC provides an excellent system of coder profiles and performance appraisals to help you make your decision. Past clients rate coders, so you’ll have an opportunity to review their projects, performance (including how long a project took) as well as a variety of other factors.

Don’t automatically reject a coder who doesn’t have a rating. This only means that the coder is new to RAC and hasn’t started/completed a project yet. If an un-rated coder is in your price range, you can bet that he or she is anxious to do the best possible job in the hopes of getting that first rating from you!

Occasionally, I’ll see a bid request that restricts bids to coders from a certain region. Consider this carefully – are you missing out on better quality or price for the project because you restricted the work geographically? Thanks to the Internet, this has never been a problem for me. Although I reside in Greece, I’ve had clients all over the world and have never had difficulty communicating with them despite the time differences. In most cases, it actually pretty interesting to make friends from different cultures – makes for some fascinating email!

Still undecided? If all else fails, you can turn to a Rent A Coder Facilitator for help in selecting a coder. They will help you make a decision on a coder with a proven track record.

I’ve Awarded the Bid – Now What?

Once you’ve awarded the bid to a coder, you will have access to the coder’s email address and vice-versa. Hopefully, the coder will contact you with in 24 hours to discuss the project, but just in case, feel free to contact the coder directly.

Depending on the size of the project, it may be completed in an hour or take several months. As your project progresses keep communications open with the coder. I prefer to email my clients at least daily with progress reports. I also like to hear from my clients with their feedback as it helps the project move forward smoothly. In any case, this is your project, so you should decide how you want to proceed and communicate this to the coder.

At this point about the only crucial issue that may come up are changes to the scope of work. In my experience most coders are pretty flexible and accommodating – but, if you need a major change to the original project, you may need to renegotiate the price. This is why preparing the bid request is so important.

This Isn’t Working Out – What can I do?

Most coders will work diligently to complete your project as rapidly as possibly, but unfortunately sometimes things just don’t work out the way a buyer or coder thought they would.

Remember the RAC tools I mentioned earlier? Another tool to use is the private messaging system. Make every effort to communicate the problems or your concerns to the coder through the original bid request “private message” area. This documents your efforts to resolve the difficulty before turning to RAC for assistance.

If you feel that the coder is not being responsive or meeting the project’s objectives, you can involve the RAC facilitators to step in and arbitrate a solution to the problem. The RAC Facilitators will make a conscientious, unbiased effort to resolve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction.   They can be reached at

The Project’s Finished – Where do we go from here?

Terrific – if you’re like any of the thousands of satisfied buyers at RAC, you’re no doubt thrilled with the finished project!

The last couple of things to do are easy – you need to return to RAC and accept the project as completed. The coder can’t get paid until you do, so please attend to this promptly – you’ll have a very happy coder on your hands!

Don’t forget to rate the coder on his or her performance on your project. This is very, very, important to the coder because it affects the future projects they receive. A few kind words here will really make the coder’s day!

Did the coder exceed your expectations on the project? One great way to reward coders for exceptional work is to send them a bonus – you can do this from the coder’s profile page.

I’ve Got Another Project – Can I use the same coder?

If you’ve established a good working relationship with a coder, you can set up a private project for him or her through their profile page. If the coder isn’t available, you can always set up another public bid on your project.

One last tip –To protect your own interests, it’s always a good idea to let RAC handle the transaction in escrow. Although you may be tempted to work directly with the coder, you’ll have no recourse if something goes wrong! With RAC’s secure, escrow-based transactions, you can proceed with your project comfortably, knowing that your project fee is safe in escrow until you decide the project is completed.

I hope you find these tips helpful for creating your own bid requests and I want to wish you the very best of luck on your own project!

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