The Way We Work
May 25, 2011 by Tamara Rice

We’ve selected two burning questions, chosen from a recent conversation about the most frequently asked remote-work questions. Community members whose questions were chosen will receive oDesk t-shirts.

Esteban S. asks: “Is there a way to connect oDesk to a version control software like Git or SVN? How can I use these tools to make my team more productive?”

oDesk: Esteban, you are in luck. It just so happens that Codesion has partnered with oDesk to offer version control software to oDesk users free for one year. It’s easy for oDesk users to access. Simply click on Manage & Work from your home page at oDesk, then under “Team Tools” on the far right, you’ll see Subversion (SVN) listed. Click on it for a free download of SVN from Codesion. As for how version control can help, check out this post, which will explain more. Version control is an important asset when developing software, as it allows you to revert to the former code when you encounter a problem.

From an agency perspective, Nilesh asks: “We have a team of talented [remote workers] on oDesk … The [worker takes on] 4-5 tasks and makes his or her profile stronger, then suddenly has to leave the company. We hire [another worker] of the same caliber, … [with the] same skills but we have to make new profile and start from zero. We can’t use other’s profile even if he has the same [experience]. So what is the solution for this situation for a company?”

Nilesh, unfortunately, it would be dishonest to allow any worker to claim the profile of another — the hours worked, the experience, the skills tests scores, etc. It is oDesk’s policy that profiles must belong to individuals and the hours worked cannot be transfered to others. However, we can appreciate that losing a team member is an inconvenience for you, so we offer two solutions:

  1. Make being part of your team more lucrative and beneficial than going it alone, so team members are less likely to leave. (Bonuses, ready access to work, or career guidance for team members are examples of great benefits for your team members.)
  2. Rather than starting from scratch with someone new to oDesk when a remote worker leaves your online team, recruit an established oDesk user with a similar work history and skillset.

Again, just so we’re clear, you are doing the right thing by being honest. Profiles belong to individuals not teams, because (team or no team) it is individuals who get the work done.

Got a question for oDesk? Let us know! You just might get your question answered–and receive a free oDesk T-shirt, too!


Tamara Rice

Freelance Writer and Editor

Tamara Rice is one of several freelance writers on the oDesk Blog team. She joined the oDesk marketplace in 2009, after more than six years on staff at an award-winning national magazine.