Rentacoder Removes Offensive Message and Applogizes

RentACoderAfter a week of online protest due to  an inappropriately worded warning about  working with Pakistanis, the owner/CEO of the web firm RentaACoder.com finally came out on the official RAC forums to announce that the message has been removed, and apologized for any loss of business. He said:

All,

This is from Ian Ippolito, the owner of Rent a coder.  My sincere apologies if your business was negatively affected in any way.  The message had been removed.

A number of Pakistani coders had claimed that the electrical situation had recently gotten out of hand and asked to be excused from their projects without a poor rating.  We researched the situation on the internet and it appeared true and did so and then posted the warning on the site.  After posting the warning, we then received a number of emails saying that the electrical situation is no different than it used to be for many years, and that competent coders have already made other arrangements and are not affected. Since there is a big conflict between what different people in Pakistan are telling us, we have removed all messages until we are able to sort out exactly what is happening.

Again my apologies.

Ian Ippolito

RentAcoder did the right thing to finally take notice and and take the notice off – hats off to them for creating a happy ending – but Ian’s post raises an important question. RAC are looking for precise information on the infrastructure available to the Pakistani IT workers, which is not the same as the one available to the general Pakistani population. Lacking any official source of information, they had to rely on a couple of generic news sites. Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of a body like the PSEB to act as a watchdog and make sure that a truer picture is available to the world regarding the current energy crisis and how we are dealing with it? They don’t need to lie, just acknowledge the fact that even though we have an energy crisis going on, we have enough practice to effectively deal with it.

PSEB should get involved in incidents like this one, and start the re branding process by updating their website’s “Why Pakistan” section, which is very outdated. They should also add a regularly updated source of news on the current infrastructure situation in Pakistan, so that solo IT workers and the smaller IT shops can point their clients to it to verify the existence of the small bubble of relative stability that we are successfully maintaining in the middle of this crisis. Such a measure would also help in retaining existing business streams and alleviating the concerns and apprehensions of potential clients when it comes to Pakistan. After all, PSEB has the slogan: “Promoting the IT Industry Locally and Globally”.  They can start with getting in touch with Ian directly. Any PSEB person reading this?

Facebook comments:

14 Comments

  • Team Pakistan is back on the scene :) Well done to the guys at G&W for making our voice heard and presenting the case with dedication and total professionalism, and a big thank you also to Ian and his team at RAC for listening and caring. Pakistani coders… make us proud! :)

  • Sohaib,

    Did you write this article, if so, then good job.

    Harris

  • At last a happy ending.

    Appreciations for G&W as well…

  • Sohaib – the real question is how much effort is PSEB and PASHA and other industry orgs making to represent the little guys and freelancers in the industry.

  • That is a question that has been on my mind lately. There are a number of freelancers or 2-3 people teams I know who can’t afford the membership fees of any these organizations and groups at an individual level.

    IMHO, this solopreneurship / small freelancers’ team trend is here to stay, so our organizations should actively encourage and appreciate the small guys, and capitalize on the phenomenon.

    Approximately 1000 guys on RAC x 1000$ worth of work per month is 1 million dollars. Not a huge amount, but add ODesk and Elance and similar platforms and the figure starts becoming more significant, and that is without counting repeat clients/direct business deals by the solo guys.

  • I can’t afford it too. Most of the money go to petrol for generator.

  • Appreciating is the simple part of the task – but for PSEB to officially handle situations like this and take it up with rent-a-coder as a platform they’ll need to assign dedicated resources looking out for things affecting them.

    Thats the really outfit missing – someone who’s looking out for the interests of the solopreneur community and presenting them officially using political / democratic means as needed.

    Its not just the solopreneurs too – smaller IT firms are also in need of this.

  • Thats a great news guys. Thanks to everyone who contributed. However, need is now being felt for a group that can represent and safeguard the interests of small organizations and freelancers!

  • @Zeyad
    I agree – a P@FA (with the F standing for freelancers) is needed, even if it is only to start with networking. Infact, Badar Khushnood (our Google guy) started a Facebook group “Pakistani Freelancers” http://tinyurl.com/5jkenc a while ago that everyone is welcome to join. If enough interest develops, we can think about moving it to its own domain, and can have an FAQ targeted at potential clients for everyone’s benefit.

  • What’s wrong with doing that now? Set up a wiki that freelancers can manage themselves.

  • Yes!
    Why not now?
    Wiki or a website for Pakistani freelancers can be a great source of information for both new entrants & a hub for existing gigs.

    I’m in for this one. :)

  • Maybe if fewer Pakistanis bidded on manifestations of algorithmically undecidable problems (Halting Problem), then they wouldn’t come off as grossly incompetent in the eyes of the RAC community. Don’t say that you can do the impossible out of greed. If you want the job, then you need to be more professional. Instead of giving a cut and paste response saying that you can do something, ask relevant questions and do a little research first. Yet, so many people do not follow these simple guidelines.

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