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Proof that I can code faster than the best iOS developer on oDesk

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A few months ago I taught myself to integrate revmob and chartboost into iPhone apps. Its pretty easy once you’ve done it once or twice. At the minute I’m looking to hire another app developer or two to help me with some new apps I’m doing this month. So off I went to oDesk.com, my favourite outsourcing site.

I wanted a highly skilled and fast developer, so I was searching for devs who ranked well in the Objective C exam. This is the language you code iPhone and iPad apps in. Well, turns out I found one guy who actually got #1 in the Objective C exam. Cool, I thought, worth having a chat with him.

So my first question to him to see if he was honest was to ask him how long it’d take him to integrate revmob & put chartboost into an app. Here’s how that went:


Crazy stuff.

So it looks like I can code faster than the top iPhone dev on oDesk. Who knew?

I’ve greyed out his name so he doesn’t get embarrassed.

Have you any funny stories from your adventures on oDesk or eLance? Let me know in the comments!

Chocaholics – Thanks for reading this far! If you found this useful please do share this blog with your friends.

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Elaine Heney is an online entrepreneur, triple #1 best selling author and international keynote speaker. Elaine is an Amazon FBA ecommerce advisor, investor, Hollywood movie producer, online business consultant and CEO of Chocolate Lab Cashflow. Elaine has also published over 300 mobile apps across Amazon, Apple & Google, and enjoyed over 20 million app downloads and over 50 #1 apps worldwide.

{ 30 comments… add one }

  • brandon norris May 30, 2013, 9:45 pm

    I have a wonderful app Idea . Never heard iT will go global in matter of seconds . 330-780-7606

  • Steve Phillips August 7, 2013, 6:46 pm

    Ha! We went through four (4) developers in about two weeks. The first one “helped” us set up our app, but made several spelling errors, including the name of our business and the name of our app. He then went ahead and submitted our app with incorrect and incomplete information. Thankfully, the app was rejected and we were able to fix and re-submit.

  • Elaine Heney August 14, 2013, 8:44 pm

    It can take a bit of effort to find a great dev, but it’s worth it, definitely.

  • Yohann (twitter @Yohann305) August 16, 2013, 7:39 pm

    I object! :)
    This is how you should read this freelancer’s work:
    “You’d have to pay him 5 hours of work for him to integrate your ad banner in about 5 minutes.”


  • David L December 12, 2013, 1:37 pm

    Thank you so much for this tip Elaine. You won’t believe how many people quote “two days” as the answer…absolutely pro tip.

    I’m finding it really difficult to find a good developer personally!

  • Teevus December 19, 2013, 12:15 am

    I am a mobile app developer and app entrepreneur so I can see both sides of the story and it’s not quite as simple as Elaine would have you believe. There are 2 additional factors to consider:
    1) When a developer gives you a quote, he has to factor in risk. In every business transaction there is a certain amount of risk, for example that the person you are doing the work for refuses to pay you, or changes their mind about what they want. In software this is particularly bad, I mean it’s only 1’s and 0’s inside a computer so why can’t I keep changing my mind? In other industries like construction, the engineers work to precise blueprints and any deviation involves hefty fees charged to the client. In software we often have to develop to a few vague sentences, and then keep tweaking the design until we get to something that resembles what the client really wants.
    2) There is no such thing as a piece of work that takes half an hour. I always work to a minimum of 2 hours for each requirement. The reasons for this include factoring in the time for communication with the client/developer, understanding the requirement, setup of dev environment, research of latest trends and alternatives for the functionality you are trying to develop (as the software development landscape is ever changing).

    My guess is that any developer who quotes you half an hour is trying to impress you in order to get your business. I would personally prefer to pay for 2 hours work for a well thought out and researched solution, than half an hour for a cobbled together fragile solution that will likely cause issues down the track.

  • Elaine Heney January 18, 2014, 6:33 pm

    New comment, lost due to server issues & reposted now:

    Author: Monica

    Hello guys,

    I am a beginner in the app business and Would like to know what device do I need to test the apps? I have a Samsung Galaxy phone, would it work on this or do I need to buy an iPad, iPhone? Would an iPad mini be good to test it out? Does the device need to have a specific configuration so it can download the SDK file and play the game properly?

    Thank you so much, Monica

  • Elaine Heney January 24, 2014, 8:37 am

    @Teevus thanks for the comment :)

    @Monica – hello, you would need an Android device if you are making Android apps, and at least 1 Apple device if you are making iPhone / iPad apps. I like to test my apps on iPhone and iPad, as many devices as possible TBH as sometimes there can be issues on one, but fine on the others. Good luck!

  • Krish Kumar February 1, 2014, 11:22 am

    Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Krzysztof Zylawy April 28, 2014, 1:09 pm


    Do you assume that developer will check out existing code, learn how your app works, make themselves familiar with the libraries you need to integrate, spend time with you discussing the requirements, write tests is needed and run the existing tests for you all for free, and charge you only for the 30mins at their lowest possible rate?
    Of course the developer should tell you this 5h would include the above, but then you asked for a quick quote and you got it.

  • Kimberly jones August 1, 2014, 5:37 pm

    I have a good app idea please contact me asap.. :)

  • Roger October 14, 2014, 10:48 am

    I hired a developer from Odesk who claimed he was a Unity 3D senior developer, So I thought great, I wanted a 2D game made in Unity and I know how to use this program but wanted it done faster than I thought I could make it.
    This turned into my biggest nightmare. This unskilled developer made a 3D game instead of 2D like I wanted and charged me double from the original estimate, now HERE IS THE KICKER. After he finished the uploads to Apple/Itunes he decided to AX my site once his check cleared. So to sum it up it cost me thousands of dollars for NOTHING and Odesk has done NOTHING about it! I won’t even tell you the story of the other developer I hired from there who duplicated a site he made for me and reskinned EVERYTHING.

  • Roderick January 10, 2015, 4:10 am

    I just checked this site, and just curious as a freelancer who works on oDesk.
    However, I don’t think there will be a perfect man in freelancer world.
    I also feel lack of knowledge anytime even though I say “I am an expert!”.
    So insisting 30mins is not a good idea, and I agree with @Teevus.
    Finally, I claim honesty of developers.
    Maybe you will have to check their honesty in work first, and then ability.

    I don’t have any experience in outsourcing, so feel free to correct me please.

  • Iain Fletcher February 21, 2015, 7:59 pm

    Hey everyone … I made a zombie board game that would make an amazing app. The board game is on kickstarter right now http://kck.st/1Dv3NK4 so you can check it out. I’m trying to make it into an App by myself, but it’s proving very difficult. I’ve been using Unity, but the scripting for the C# or Java code is way beyond me. If anyone wants to partner up, then I’d be interested. Check out the game :) This is my eighth board game, and it would monetize easily. Feel free to contact me via email.

  • chris March 11, 2015, 9:17 am

    I have an idea for a phone app and would like to speak to someone about getting it off the ground.

  • Jason corbett May 14, 2015, 3:42 pm

    Hi I have a idea for a app and would like advice of how to make this app and would like help making the app please email me if you could help thank you

  • Nicole Knight June 8, 2015, 9:38 am

    hiya am having trouble finding someone to help me with app . I was wondering if you could help and give m some advice.

  • Richard August 23, 2015, 7:41 pm

    Great app idea…get in touch ????

  • Orla Cotter September 7, 2015, 9:15 pm

    Hi I have an excellent app idea and would love to get in contact with someone who could help me develop it.

  • Rob January 10, 2016, 4:34 pm

    I have an excellent idea for an APP that millions of people would use in the UK and many millions more worldwide. Can anyone assist?

  • Heather Daniels February 27, 2016, 6:21 am

    I have a pretty cool app idea and want to learn how to implement it. It’s kind of like craigslist, but on a very smaller scale.

  • samuel March 29, 2016, 5:49 pm

    I have an amazing and very brilliant idea, I stumbled upon it. Personally I would like to use it as of right now this is why I know it will be sucessfull. I m looking for a team I could talk to and work with to make this happen!

  • Graham Fletcher September 2, 2016, 10:27 am

    I have an idea for a game, have no experience in developing them etc. Would like meet up with someone in Dorset if possible to discuss this.

  • Nita September 14, 2016, 6:28 pm

    Hello. I have a great idea for an app, I am currently looking for a developer, seeing as I am illiterate in that department! Anyone interested feel free to email me. This would be a wonderful app for kids and adults. Help…!

  • Diana October 26, 2016, 4:33 pm

    I have an idea for an app that we will all love to have! A got the idea and I want the money but do not the skill to build it!! 😉

  • Adrian Fielding November 19, 2016, 4:03 pm

    Hi All,

    I’ve been sitting on an idea for a month or so and like many others can’t believe that no one has done something similar yet.

    I really don’t want to leave it in my head and then see someone else produce it in the near future.

    I have no experience in this sector but would really like some ideas of if we could make it work. Could genuinely save some lives.

    If your interested, please get in touch.

    Thank you

  • Nadiath Adjibade July 15, 2017, 5:43 pm

    Who’s a programmer here?

  • Ryan October 19, 2017, 6:52 am

    I have an idea for an App looking for partner with app development skills anyone interested please email me.

  • Ryan October 19, 2017, 2:33 pm

    Looking for someone with app development skills I have an idea and will to make you a partner or you for your help

  • Robert Duff November 3, 2017, 11:47 am

    I have an app idea,bit absolutely no idea how or what to do as my next step,I am also limited financially,please let there be someone who can help me

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