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I've found odesk.com to be heavily favored towards cheap labor, is that just because I haven't established a portfolio there yet?

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I started doing part time (15 hours per week) freelance work on odesk around a year and half back. I was working on a startup and we had almost run out of our savings. My starting rate was 10$ per hour . (am based out of india). Currently I charge 25-30 $ per hour. So, if you work full time i.e. 30+ hours per week on a freelance project you can make more than 1000 euros per month.

Now, its true as your hourly rates go up you will have fewer potential employers on odesk. But the few employers who are willing to pay your rate are looking for higher skilled devs. for example, the current project i am working on on odesk, we have some really really devs who are ex google guys, MIT grads etc. And they all work over odesk.

And in case you reach a point where you are not able to get employers over odesk at your hourly rate, you can use youur odesk profile as portfolio to attract potential clients outside odesk.

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Thanks. I have a full-time job and am only looking to freelance here and there, and I've had a harder time getting rates anywhere near my full-time salary "rate". I've used it as a way to get into different types of technology and create a portfolio, instead of a real income. However, I won't spend my free time dealing with a difficult client for relatively low pay - I'd rather work on a personal project for free...

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Sites like odesk.com are fairly well arbitraged, with a sizable portion of workers willing to work for very cheap. Workers with a significantly lower cost of living can afford to take less for the work they do, bringing down the average cost. Great rankings and a good portfolio might help push up your potential project prices, but probably not significantly.

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When people say weekend project, do they typically mean this took 20 hours or so? About how long did this take you, mping? (Just wondering, because I feel I'm very slow with personal projects - mostly because I usually work in 2 hour blocks or so)

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Not even remotely close to 20 hours. I used this proj to learn rails and mongodb, I had a previous project that went nowhere to learn rails, I had a previous css scheme (before twitter's bootstrap came along), I used KnockoutJS intensively (only to learn I didn't need it that bad) and I had to learn how to deploy to a server (linode, dns, setting up nginx, etc).

A good estimate would be like 100 hours or more; I'm guessing if I handled the screents to a Rails expert, he would do it in ~20 hours.

If I were to repeat it, I'd probably give backbone.js a try (and spend another 100+ hours...)

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OK, thanks - makes me feel a little better. I was originially thinking "Where do people get 100 hours in a weekend? Wives/children/pets must be on vacation...". But I realize it's probably more like weekends, plural. I've got a side project going to learn Django and Python - you're work inspired me to throw Bootstrap in there too.

Anyway, nice job!

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Agreed - that would be interesting to see cost of living weighed in. Speaking from experience, Suffolk/Nassau counties in NY may have higher salaries - but the cost of living is rough (e.g. property taxes).

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Campbell County, Wyoming. Just as I suspected!

This is great, thanks. What technology did you use for the map and parsing the census data?

UPDATE: Looks like this js library was used http://mbostock.github.com/d3/ex/choropleth.html

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This is a completely serious question: does mobile opera have a large enough user base to include support for at the MVP stage?

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