Sifting through the noise on Upwork

There are certain kinds of tasks for which Upwork is the perfect place to find help. And from personal experience, you can find some absolute gems! For example, there’s a girl in Dublin, Ireland that I discovered on Upwork, with whom I’ve been working for all kinds of administrative assistance for over five years!

But to find those gems, you have to be willing to sift through a lot of noise. Here’s a conversation I had yesterday with a guy about conducting some pre-release testing of ChessDrop:

Me: Hello Dimitry, can you please confirm that you have access to the following four devices for testing: iOS iPhone, iOS iPad, Android Smartphone and Android Tablet?

Dimitry: Yes, I confirm access to iPhone and iPad.

Me: Can you also confirm access to the other two devices I listed?

Dimitry: I confirm access to all required environments.

(At this point, I’m thinking a trial task would be prudent, before jumping into anything semi-permanent.)

Me: Dimitry, rather than jumping into the testing right away, I was thinking it’d be a good idea to organize a quick “get to know each other” task. If you look at this page, you’ll see that I’ve started to document the ChessDrop functionality. This list of functionality, when complete, would later be used as a reference for identifying test cases. How about, as a first task, you explore the product and try to complete that functionality list, for a fixed price?

Dimitry: Good idea, but it’s hard to estimate.

Me: I agree. How about this—Your hourly rate is $6. Why don’t we set a fixed budget of one full day of work, for $48, and see how far you’re able to get in terms of identifying the product’s functionality?

Dimitry: I confirm agreement to work for $48 per day.

Me: Ok, I wasn’t really asking for you to confirm that 6 times 8 is 48, but rather asking if you agree it’d be a good first task, for you to work one day on identifying the product’s functionality—i.e. working towards completing the list I started—so that I can get a feel for how you work, before moving further?

Dimitry: I agree.

Me: Ok, great. Just to make sure we’re on the same page, can you please repeat to me your understanding of the task?

Dimitry: I must test product in all environment.

Me: So, Dimitry, I’m still interviewing other candidates, so I’ll come back to you if I’d like to proceed. Thanks!

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?

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