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I have setup an ideal, quiet, non-interrupting environment at home. I am extremely productive here. I dont want to leave my home, not my room, not even my couch.

I am outside United States in a third world country so a lower pay is not an issue. The issue is the work environment.

How/where do I find work online so that I don't have to travel to it? Have you done it full time from home? Where and how?

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Are you agoraphobic? –  jmort253 Feb 1 '11 at 4:59
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@jmort253 .... lolz ...ha ha ... man that was funny. No I am not agoraphobic, in fact I am quite opposite of that. I love natural, open state of things. Its just that our modern work place with its unwelcome social interruptions, rigid work timings, unrelated noise, and all the CRAP (criticisms , rejection, assholes, pressure) have turned so unnatural that I just cant stand it. I want my work environment to let me do my work to the best of my ability. I think most of the working people don't realize how ridiculous this whole thing has got. –  explorest Feb 1 '11 at 8:12
    
I'm desperately curious: Where exactly have you found to go online that you don't encounter the things you term "CRAP"? –  Cody Gray Feb 1 '11 at 10:32
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Eh, StackOverflow Careers? –  rightfold Feb 9 '11 at 23:39
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You may want to look at this: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/116816/… –  Emmad Kareem Dec 8 '11 at 9:49
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7 Answers

up vote 20 down vote accepted

vWorker is the right place.

I've been working for about two years in vWorker. I've tried some other websites, like freelancer.com with no success.

Here is a comparison between vWorker and some other freelance websites:

For employers
For workers

It has some advantages (to me) over other websites. For example:

  • When you bid in a project, other coders cannot see your bid.

    It's good because it increases (or avoid decreasing) the price of the projects.
    Just imagine some coder asked $50 for a project. Then you may ask $45, and another coder $40 to obtain it...
    In others websites, I've seen how price decreases from $500 to $150 (because of this)

  • There is a really good arbitration system.

  • When you're accepted by an employer to work on a project, he/she puts his/her money in vWorker. It means that if you complete the project before deadline, then you can be 100% sure you'll get paid.
  • There are lots of projects coming up per minute/hour. In this moment, there are 2,432 open projects.

I suggest you something:
No matter what site you choose to start working on: Be good in what you like/do.

It's true: there are lots of coders in those freelance sites, but lots of them only have the basic knowledge of a few topics. It means that they won't be able to work in a medium-difficult project (no matter if it is a small or a big project). Maybe they're not able to work on a .NET/Java project that requires modeling a really big database, working with some other websites APIs, or develop a driver to read/write an Ext2 filesystem/partition using Fuse in C under Linux ;)

Of course, there are lots of good people too, but what I've experienced is that it's not the majority.

Good luck with that.
Happy freelancing ;)

Edit:
The first time I visited vWorker, I wasn't too interested in the projects I saw. Then I didn't visit the site anymore for about a month. One day, I started visiting it again to see if there was something interesting, and I realized about something:

There are lots of new projects each day, and very often, when you visit the site, you're seeing only a few projects of that day, because lots were already awarded to some coders. The point is that you should visit the site frequently in the same day, because the projects you might be seeing, could be the less interesting projects. In fact, there are really older projects where the people who posted it won't award them to any coder, just because they don't really care about it anymore.

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Maybe it's just me, but, when I took a quick look, I saw several projects that sure looked a lot like "Please do my homework for me". –  John R. Strohm Feb 10 '11 at 9:18
    
@John: See my last edit, although I must say that vWorker is used to delegate homeworks sometimes too ;) –  Oscar Mederos Feb 10 '11 at 17:33
    
It's something of a turnoff that when you sign up, they immediately ask for your social security number. Why would I want to provide that before I have any actual work there? Just how good is their security? –  Kyralessa Feb 11 '11 at 2:27
    
@Kyralessa I can't really tell you ;(. As I don't live in US, I didn't have to provide my ssn, but there shouldn't be any problems with it. Anyway, you can always email them. The feedback is fast ;) –  Oscar Mederos Feb 11 '11 at 2:39
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This answer is obsolete now: vWorker has been acquired by Freelancer.com –  ChrisW Dec 2 '12 at 14:57
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Guru.com, and elance.com are two good options for finding online work. Realize it's not the easiest thing to do, because you'll be going head to head with people who can afford to bid a lot less than you. Pick your battles, there's no need to bid on a project that's way below what you're comfortable doing.

Find a good project that you feel you can perform well on and take the time to provide a very well thought out proposal. Make sure you highlight key points of the buyer's request so that he knows you're paying attention. And fire away. 9 times out of 10 you might not win the bid. But persistence is key and eventually you'll find the PERFECT project.

Make sure you execute well and hopefully there will be follow up work. If not, at least you have some rep on the site which will make the next client more likely to look at your proposal.

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I've had some success on oDesk.com

There is a lot of competition from Indian programmers that charge very low prices but all it takes is a regular introduction letter to reel a potential client in.

Don't be too polite or 'proper'. Casual works best and only apply to jobs you know you can finish. When you apply to these types of jobs where you are confident, that carries over on your intro letter.

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dice.com >> Advanced Search >> click Telecommute Only checkbox

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Ok, so I'm not a fan of all the sites listed above. Assuming you are a competent, productive programmer, I'd suggest twitter. Use TweetDeck to find the technologies (#python, #mongodb, #rails, etc), help as many people as you can in the stream, and watch for people looking for freelancers.

When someone looks at your twitter profile, they can quickly tell that you help others, are knowledgable and smart (assuming you are those things).

I've gotten quite a few jobs around the world like that, and it's worked out great.

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I never saw it that way ;) –  Oscar Mederos Feb 1 '11 at 6:06
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you can find a detailed review of the top freelance market places here :: freelance-market-review.

It covers almost all the major ones including detailed overview of the following ones.

  • oDesk
  • Elance
  • Guru
  • Freelancer
  • vWorker
  • People Per Hour
  • Script Lance
  • Lime Exchange
  • Get A Coder
  • ifreelance

This was earlier posted here. http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/13282/freelance-programming-sites/13370#13370

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both of your links are broken –  David Dec 7 '11 at 23:46
    
Broken by moderators since they remove the question... –  Franck Dernoncourt Oct 6 '12 at 19:21
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Most of the answers here assume you want to work as a free-lancer bidding in projects.
The problem with that is that you have to deal with getting each project, and that can be a pain in the ass.
That's not the only way to work online. You could work, as I did in upandrunningsoftware.com or a similar company, in which you don't have to worry about getting clients and projects, they just provide you with work, and you work as many hours as you can and are willing to.

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