Guru, from the other side
If you have been visiting this site for a while you know that the layout has changed. I have redone the site to be more friendly and accommodating to different resolutions. In addition I changed around some of the menu structures and color schemes. I also took the time to make the project tracker resemble the main site a little more. Because of the different functions of both sites they will never match 100%, but now you get the sense that the sites are related.
At the same time I was redoing the site, I decided to get the logo professionally done. If you have been here in the last few days you know that the logo has been changing around a lot. The final version is now up.
When looking for someone to do the logo for me, I had a few options. I have a designer on staff that could do it, I had offers from a few others I know that wanted a chance, but I decided to go with finding a pro on guru. I had never used guru before as an employer and this provided me an excellent opportunity to get some first hand knowledge from the customers point of view.
First, registering the project was pretty simple. I just stated what I wanted then filled out a few of the billing details. It took a while for my project to be reviewed and accepted (a process that ensures only serious projects make it to the pros to bid on), but once that happened, I had selected a pro and the project was moving forward in less the 24 hours.
Next, selecting a pro was pretty interesting. I had gotten 18 or so responses in the short time that I had the project open for bidding. 15 of the 18 were just copy and paste responses, so I ignored them. The other 3 were at least modified by hand a bit before they were submitted. Of the three I chose the one that had the profile and examples most like what was looking for.
Communication was pretty much the same as when I am the guru. Email or web form, both worked pretty well, however, the images would corrupt when I got them in the email (from guru), and I would have to download them from the website (bug on guru or my mail server). This was interesting considering I rarely send code via the web form and either give it out via the project tracker, svn, email, or just install it on my customers servers.
Completion of the project was pretty straight forward as well. The images were delivered in the format I requested in the project. I was asked to pay the SafePay Invoice and give feed back. And the project was done. I was able to get my new logo without spending much of my time on the project.
My over all experience was very positive and it has taught me a few things about offering my services on guru.
For my customers let me give you a few tips, as I see them at least.
Watch for form letters. Make sure the bid has some proof that they actually did read your project. 15 of 18 of the bids on my project were just copy and pastes. Even if the pro just restates your request, that means they read it and know the requirements.
Location is important. Of the 18 bids few were in the US. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t have very good luck outsourcing overseas. Timing is odd and the conversations don’t work out very well.
Cost was surprising. The selected bid was not the cheapest but the price did play a factor. I got bids ranging from $15 to $750. Now that’s a huge range for a simple logo. Both the high end and the low end bids told me me that they really didn’t read my requirements.
Previous experience, to my surprise was not that great a factor. I did require something to look at (their portfolio) and their feedback on guru was important in making me feel comfortable with my choice, but I didn’t sort by feedback, or their “quality score”. I did however look at the amount of money each pro had made using guru. Oddly enough, the vendors with really high numbers scared me off a little bit. I wanted more of a personal touch.
When all was said and done, I selected my pro based on a personal response, location within the U.S., an average cost, and their portfolio. I was very happy with my selection and, therefore, urge my potential customers to do the same.
Coteyr.net Programming LLC. is about one thing. Getting your project done the way you like it. Using Agile development and management techniques, we are able to get even the most complex projects done in a short time frame and on a modest budget.
Feel free to contact me via any of the methods below. My normal hours are 10am to 10pm Eastern Standard Time. In case of emergency I am available 24/7.
Phone: (813) 421-4338