Saturday, May 11, 2019

About people who say Upwork is BAD

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Hi everyone!

I'm a .NET Engineer from Eastern Europe, non-EU area. Living 20 km away from Poland and some 15 km from away Lithuania.

Look at those unprofessional articles:

And so on and so forth: search results. Yes, by the way you can also find those articles here on reddit. Dozens of them!

Let's be concise and get straight to the point

So, okay.

A huge amount of decent developers who are truly skilled experts - they DO NOT HAVE DIRECT ACCESS TO FOREIGN MARKETS such as USA, Canada, EU, UK, Australia, New Zealand.

My personal experience: it's extremely hard to obtain Work Visa if you live in CIS countries like Russia, Belarus, Ukraine.

Perhaps it's stupid to mention this. But let me say I'm of German origin myself. Born in Belarus. Even my nationality hasn't helped me to get a job anywhere in EU.

Most of the companies would offer you low paying jobs in EU. If you want to get a decent salary in EU you must be Senior Engineer / Lead Developer. Full-Stack developers who gained their experience by working remotely are treated as middle devs and mostly viewed as cheap IT labour. For the most part you can reckon on Poland or Czech Republic - but that's the extent of it. Chances to get a mid-developer job in USA, Canada, EU, UK, Australia, New Zealand are next to ZERO.

What's left?

Of course the answer is REMOTE WORK.

Finding remote work

There are a few options. Not many. Websites like,, LinkedIn, and so on - vast majority of the companies are looking for US-based developers. Go ahead and try to land a job. I embarked on programming career in 2008 and have enough experience, plus fluent English - try applying to a hundred of positions and you'll see nobody reaches out to you.

I had about the same experience when applying to Visa Sponsorship jobs in EU - hundreds of applications sent and nobody contacted me.

Of course there is a chance to land a job this way - no doubt. But the chances are WAY smaller than on marketplaces like Upwork.

Simple Truth

Upwork offers you:

  • ability to see feedbacks about clients
  • ability to see feedbacks clients leave to freelancers
  • ability to see how much clients paid to freelancers
    • you see amounts per fixed-price projects
    • you see hourly rates clients pay to freelancers
    • you see the amount of hours clients allow for when paying low / average / high rates
  • finally, the ability to see if clients have money at all
  • flexibility - only you choose projects (unlike where their managers find projects for you)
  • ability to grow as a small business

You think all of this is unimportant? Okay, keep applying to remote jobs where you don't even get a picture of your potential client.

About those who say UPWORK IS BAD

Criticizing something? Share a better alternative. And DO NOT just mislead people.

I'm not canvassing for Upwork. Of course not. I assure you Upwork certainly hasn't paid me a cent for this article.

Moreover, just to be completely frank - I'm not denying the fact sometimes it's too easy to get negative feedback on Upwork even for very hard work. Too many hot tempered clients and clients interested in free / cheap labour.

But in order to avoid this you should avoid clients who have no respect to freelancers. Again, it's amazingly easy to get a picture about potential clients on Upwork.

But let's look at those people who say Upwork is bad...

a few aspects:

  • When I read those articles on the web - I understand the fact those people are from USA, Canada, EU, UK, Australia, New Zealand.
  • They have a better alternative and they are protected by the government / labour unions.
  • Those people never mention that the info they provide applies to the aforementioned countries.
  • It's very costly for the companies in the West to violate rights of employees.
  • People from these top countries have ability to easily relocate without visas.
  • They stand an easy chance to finish some western college / university and get a degree.
  • They speak their languages naturally / natively.

Hence, it's easy for them to land a job - be it a REMOTE or an ON-SITE one. They have a lot to choose from.

I imagine, if you start a conversation with those people telling them you are from a second- or a third-world country and the situation in your country is too different (e.g. you don't have direct access to top foreign markets) - they'll reply with one simple phrase:

- "Who gives a s...".

Still worth listening to those people? I don't think so. But you know better...

Submitted May 11, 2019 at 07:09AM by alexherman_rdt

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