vWorker - Project Discipline Focus
As I mentioned in the overview, vWorker began as RentACoder.com in 2001. The word “coder” is a fairly common synonym for “programmer”, and so it’s no surprise that computer programming and similar projects were the focus of the site for many years. The name vWorker was adopted in 2010, because the company recognized that it had moved beyond just coding, and likely wanted to encourage further diversification in its offerings. However, the site’s legacy persists, with a heavy leaning towards technology continuing to this day.
vWorker officially has six categories: Administrative Support; Business Services; Design Arts and Multimedia; Technology; Writing and Translation; and Other. The company doesn’t provide statistics on how its new projects are distributed among these groups, so there is no definitive data on it. Estimating is difficult as well, because the site doesn’t require projects to be strictly listed in one category—rather, a project can have up to 20 broad or specific project areas associated with it, and these can overlap. A project could, for example, be listed both under “Administrative Support”, and also “Data Entry”, which is a subcategory of “Administrative Support”. It could also be listed in subcategories of several high level categories simultaneously.
This is a bit of a mess, but I really wanted to see how common various projects were. So, what I did was to take a snapshot of the number of currently open projects that were tagged in each category and subcategory across the site. I then rolled up all of the subcategories within each of the six high level categories to get a total figure for each. The results, in percentage form, can be seen in Figure 12. There’s of course a lot of overlap here, but it still gives you a reasonable idea of what the site contains.
Again, vWorker’s long-time focus on programming leads to a heavy technical orientation, with a full three-quarters of the projects being associated with technology in some fashion. While this is clearly higher than some of vWorker’s competitors, it’s worth noting that even more generally-oriented sites still have a high percentage of jobs in the technology field: both Elance and oDesk are close to 50%. Actually, given how many of vWorker’s projects are in one category, I’m surprised that they don’t break this category up into several high level categories, such as Web Development, Databases, etc. But again, the site is based on subcategory tags rather than high level categories, so perhaps it doesn’t matter.
At any rate, if you’re a programmer, vWorker is a great place to consider; if you’re after non-techie projects, you’ll need to be a little more patient. I believe the company is continuing to work to expand its offerings in fields such as design and writing, but these sorts of trends change only slowly.
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