Rent-A-Coder will never happen!


Article originally appeared in Wired 03.06, June 1995

Wired has never been afraid to predict the future. This one from June 1995, on the future of software, is not far off target in general.

'Software Superdistribution' is what we today would call Software as a Service, and even Platform as a Service., arguably the biggest success within SaaS so far launched in 1999 – the prediction says 2005, so that’s a bit off, but at least the trend was spotted.

Offshore programming, however, is completely off. 'Our novels will not be written offshore, nor will our programs'. Oh, phhleeease... Offshore programming took off in a big way in the early 0’s – I remember how we had a branded popup blocker made in a day for $10 through Rent-A-Coder in 2002 – we were amazed, and realized how much of a threat this was to our local rock-star attitude coders.
Not saying offshore programming can’t lead to epic fails – but overall, it’s been successful enough to make a huge impact on how software is made today.


Comments (3)

Hi, this is Nicole from Rent a Coder.

This post provides quite a trip down the memory lane. And things have certainly progressed since then. Thank you for making this point so prevalent and clear.

I invite everyone to compare Rentacoder to 6 other major services through this link to learn even more about the many unique features at Rent a Coder:

If anyone has any questions, please let me know. You can also call in to talk to a facilitator 7 days a week, or email us (see


The prognosticators were so wrong in so many ways about what the Internet could do. They under-estimated the Internet, the free market, and the entrepreneurs who made innovative use of both. RentACoder is a great example of this--thanks for showing everyone this flashback.

I couldn't help but notice that Nicole from Rent A Coder (vWorker as it is now called) failed to mention a major flaw in their system. So, please allow me to do so...

Nicole says that you can call in and talk to a facilitator 7 days a week... I have to disagree. I have tried to call in numerous times and not been able to reach anyone.
Additionally, if you decide to work through vWorker (Rent A Coder's new name), don't be in a hurry to get paid. Their pay periods end on the 15th and the end of the month and then they have 7 days to get your money to you. So, lets say you finish a project on the 1st of the month. That project will go on the pay period ending the 15th. And then it very well may be the 22nd before you get paid. So, almost a month has passed since you finished the project.
Additionally, when getting paid, even though vWorker has already charged you 15% of the amount that you bid on the project, they still will charge you 2.00 more to process the money for you.
During these possible 21 days, where has your money been? My guess would be in vWorker's bank account drawing interest that you will never see.

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