Personal Outsourcing

Posted on August 4, 2005

Offshoring, where companies outsource work to cheaper overseas labor, is a growing business trend that is causing major problems for tech workers in many western countries. In an article for The Guardian author and technology writer Ben Hammersley explains how people can get cheap offshore help for things like coding, web design, instruction and transcription just like the giant corporations can.

The first is computer code. The idea of hiring a programmer to make that little widget you are desperate for might seem decadent, but it is very good value for money and remarkably easy. I needed a selection of little programs to do things with my email. But I'd never had the time, or the patience, to write them myself. After a visit to, I was able to file a request for bids from programmers around the world.

Prospective coders can view all the requests on the site, and bid for the ones that interest them. Once I'd accepted a bid - it was less than �200 for a fortnight's programming work - I paid the money to the site, which placed it in escrow. My coder, a young man in Belorussia, completed the work, and once I'd checked it was up to scratch (it was), I instructed the site to release the cash.

None of the blog responses to Hammersly's article seem to mention the downside of the article which is that it is now difficult for western workers to compete for the smaller jobs as well as the corporate staff jobs.

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