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On a completely unrelated note, I'm curious if anyone has tried odesk from a developer point of view? Freelance websites like elance seem to play host to a pretty poor type of client, so I've stayed away. Curious if odesk is any bettering that way?

Problem is, you're competing with people in places with a far lower cost of living - especially in "mainstream" technologies.

oDesk clients tend to be one of two types: Skilled project managers/architects/agencies looking for subcontractors, or businesses looking to save a buck by not hiring the former.

The first group are great, they know exactly what they want and will pay for quality. The latter are hell as they often have no idea how to communicate requirements, scope, process, etc and want everything cheap.

If you live in the first world and have the communication skills, the best place to find freelance development work (IME) is still community networking.

I tried it both ways; employer & developer; both work fine on oDesk. Much better than other sites I have tried.

Basic thing is ; don't go for mainstream. You cannot compete on price doing PHP or something like that. If you have something 'niche', you can pretty much ask what you want and get it.

I've tried a few Freelancer sites and found them to be a good way to find new clients but it's been worth being very selective about clients and never competing on price.

There are actually quite a few excellent clients out there on those sites but they actively won't talk to people who bid at the level of the bid-on-everything-then-outsource "suppliers" who plague freelancer markets.

So my anecdotal impression is that the most successful freelancers learn to get very picky about who they work with---they want to see a verified payment method (esp. if the client is proposing a fixed-price contract), a history of hires and successful projects at reasonable wages and a good job description.

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