Freelance job sites are a very good way to test if there is a market for your product (see also my answer on this in the business of software forum) and even to get some clients.

However, what surprises me most from these sites is the low hourly rates many customers are willing to pay even for complex tasks. They should remember that “If you pay peanuts you’ll only get monkeys”.  If you assume that software engineers should make less than cleaning ladies (nothing against cleaning ladies but if that was my target goal/income I’d not have prepared myself for so many years) then one of us is completely wrong (and I hope it’s you!).

Next time you post a job, remember that you’ll get what you pay for. For short jobs with a low hourly rate, even answering to your proposal (e.g. to negotiate a more decent rate) is not even worth the time.

Unfortunately, I’ve to admit that there’s always somebody (should I call him/her “software engineer” after this?) that will take the job (e.g. if you’re curious, see What (some) programmers offer to do for just 5$).  As we say in Spanish this is “pan para hoy hambre para mañana” (not sure about the best English translation, maybe “Laugh now, cry later”, the Spanish sentence refers to the fact that if you eat your bread today you’ll be hungry tomorrow ) for our whole community.

What are your thoughts?