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Not sure about hiring side (about quality...), but from the contractor side - stay away from these sites. It is the race to the bottom...

I have to respectfully disagree in the context of my post:

- I think you're coming from a North American perspective

- OP is not from North America.

- I have received a few emails to my post above I've encouraged them to build a history and not worry about what they lose. Long term clients understand value and they do exist on oDesk.

- Increasingly on oDesk, for software development, there is more and more of an appetite to pay. I certainly am open to it.

Regarding the North American race to the bottom: The race to the bottom is happening in every industry. There's a book called "A Whole new mind" that might interest you.

There are lots of North American developers charging NA rates for those who are inclined. I have hired and found some great folks from there.

Anyone who has been hiring long enough knows that paying a few dollars gets you what you pay for... work that no other developer can work in, and takes longer and longer (and more money).

While I've heard good things about oDesk(I think there was another one, eLance?), I have to agree with the sentiment of this. I spent several weeks trying to get some simple work on freelancer.com so I could build up some credibility, and every project was either not worth your time("please create a site just like Facebook, I will pay $100"), or someone who had more projects completed will come in with a modest offering and be the one who gets approval for the work. It was pretty irritating. I tried to take an exam for C# that was offered by the site, but the payment system kept crapping out on me, and I'm pretty sure I got charged for it without being allowed to take the test.

I want to do remote work, but going through these sites makes me grateful that I'm actually part of a company that pays me a salary.

Rentacoder, freelancer, etc are definitely bottom of the barrel in terms of income and quality of projects.

I've always found the quality and cost of eLance and oDesk to be higher. Now that they've merged, I think there is something there, the development talent in Eastern Europe is excellent.

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