Leaving Codeable Behind

For a good few years, our experience at Codeable was awesome!  Their promise of a “stopping races to the bottom” platform in regard to price really excited us when we joined.  When it was a couple hundred well-vetted developers on the site things were going amazingly.  Then, without much growth to the customer base, they started to bring on new developers continuously.  Essentially, flooding the site with more talent (and it seems to be less qualified than previously vetted people) without any real demand to support it.  What this did was cause developers to flood workrooms and create fewer quality conversations with the customer posting the job.  In turn, this puts some customers off because they’d have five developers rushing to get their first comment in.  In Codeable, it is encouraged that only five developers engage in the first round so as to not overwhelm the customer.  However, when so many people see a ticket they go wild and ask a slew of random questions just to get started.  For example:

Q:  What is your hosting company?
Q:  What is your time frame for this project?
Q:  Do you have a budget you are looking to stay in?

And very basic questions like that are typically asked by 3 or more developers just in slightly different ways.  This also can put a customer off because it doesn’t show team behavior or professionalism, but rather shows a vulture-like mentality of birds circling their prey.

The Race to the Bottom

As stated above, the real reason Codeable was so alluring in the beginning was it deliberately upended the Fiverr or Upwork models where developers are not only cheap rates, but cheap quality, not vetted at all.  One of our favorite sayings that has proven true time and time again is:  “If you think a good developer is expensive, try hiring a bad one.”  At first, it appeared Codeable agreed with that philosophy, actually requiring developers to charge at least $80 to $120 + per/hour.  Another of their mottos is “Whistle while you work”.   Which is a great motto!

But there are some hidden problems with this requirement, namely when you account for economies of scale and purchasing power parity.  In Nepal, you can live as a single person on $379/month.  However, in the US that same person would need $2213 (https://livingcost.org/cost/nepal/united-states). And on Codeable, the Nepali developer charges the same as the American. Codeable’s entire system is in American dollars.  Every developer makes $80 to $120 per/hour, which is really great for our theoretical Nepali developer. At least in principle, though we’re not going to cover the acts of certain governments to stifle this type of activity and the pressures they impose (like huge taxation, etc).

All of this is to explain how it has become difficult for an American company to compete on Codeable.  For example, in the Codeable workrooms, Mr. WPress would submit an estimate for ten (10) hours of work.  Another developer from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Slovenia, etc etc;  would submit a quote for less time and give a vague description of how they can keep the cost down.  The reality couldn’t be further from the truth, though.  What’s usually happening is the non-American developer would take the same amount of time (like ten hours, from our example) or maybe even more. But they could still make a really good rate due to the currency conversion.

Looking Back

This was the main reason Mr. WPress decided to leave Codeable, and we felt the nature of the direction the platform is taking was worth sharing. If you would like verification of our prior existence on the platform as assurance we don’t write this page for any other reason as an update for our own personal website usage then please visit our archived page on the Codeable site.