The popularity of freelancing websites is so immense that we are now seeing the emergence of websites dedicated to specific niches. CodementorX is one such service. It is an on-demand website for freelance software developers.
In this article, we compare CodementorX against a freelancing marketplace behemoth, Upwork. We aim to help software developers decide whether to join or spend more time on a general marketplace like Upwork or a more focused website like CodementorX.
Here’s a quick comparison of the two:
A brief overview of the two websites
Upwork was formed in 2015 after the merger of two then-popular freelancing websites, Elance and ODesk.
Currently, it is one of the most popular freelancing websites out there, with 16 million users from over 170 countries. In 2018 alone Upwork facilitated over $1.66 billion worth projects.
Codementor was formed in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Weiting Liu. It is a community meant for software developer mentorship. They offer 1-on-1 live coding help, long-term mentorship, and more.
They launched CodementorX in 2016, as a freelance platform for clients to hire proven, world-class freelance developers. CodementorX features senior engineers from Fortune 500 companies, tech leads at Silicon Valley startups, popular open-source contributors, and so on.
Codementor’s global community features more than 400,000 developers and 12,000+ expert developers.
1. Job categories
You can find all sorts of projects on Upwork from SEO to accounting as it is a general marketplace. Overall, they have around 103 job categories.
Unlike Upwork, CodementorX focuses on a particular niche, software development. So, the number of job categories is significantly lower.
Upwork being a general marketplace has a lot more job categories, including software development.
2. Quality of projects
Upwork doesn’t offer the same quality of projects as CodementorX. You mostly have short-term and medium-term projects. The expertise level required is also comparatively lesser.
The quality of projects on CodementorX is significantly higher. You have projects that require you to join as a resource to an existing engineering team or build a standalone project from scratch by yourself.
Moreover, the clients on CodementorX are mostly well-funded tech companies, startups from top accelerators, and Fortune 500 corporations.
CodementorX is the clear winner as they have higher quality projects.
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3. Approval process
Upwork’s vetting process
To start applying for jobs on Upwork, you need an approved profile. Or else, your profile won’t be visible on Upwork. The approval process involves steps such as:
- Finish your profile to 100 per cent. Be sure to fill every field descriptively.
- Prove yourself by taking a few relevant skill tests on the platform.
- Be sure you add enough work samples.
- Integrate your social media profiles with Upwork.
- Upload your Government-issued ID card or passport and Residency verification document.
- Verify your identity by getting on a video call with an Upwork agent.
Upwork takes a maximum of 24 hours to review and approve or reject your profile. If your profile doesn’t get approved, work on making your profile even more descriptive. Add as much information as possible.
CodementorX’s vetting process
CodementorX is as an exclusive group of developers. So, their vetting process is way more strict compared to Upwork. You have to complete a 5 stage vetting process to become a member of CodementorX. They will test you on your technical skills, communication skills, and project management skills.
Here are the steps involved in the verification process:
- Fill up and submit the application.
- Resume and portfolio screening which will be followed by an interview.
- Attend a coding challenge.
- A behavioural interview.
- Complete a small project.
- A final round of technical interview.
CodementorX runs out the winner here; their verification process eliminates all the junk and scammy profiles, maintaining the quality of the network.
4. Bidding process and landing jobs
Upwork works like a typical job website. Clients with projects can create a job post detailing what they are looking for, which will be visible to freelancers. If freelancers find a project relevant, they can place a bid for it.
You must have tokens to bid for projects. These tokens are called Connects. Each project costs around 1-5 Connects. Every month, 60 Connects will be credited to your account. Before you submit the bid, you will have to draft a project proposal and also, enter your pricing structure.
If the client is impressed with your proposal, they will shortlist you for an interview. It would happen over Skype, Upwork Messages or on the phone. In some instances, they may ask you to complete a test project to see if you are competent enough.
Should they think you are good enough, they will send you the offer letter. If you are to accept the offer, you will have to create a contract on Upwork.
CodementorX doesn’t work on a bidding system. Instead, it starts with the clients discussing their requirements with the CodementorX team. Based on that, they will run an AI-powered project matching algorithm. It will shortlist a few highly relevant freelancer profiles within 24-72 hours.
Clients are then allowed to interview the shortlisted candidates. If they are impressed with you, you can start working with them on a trial basis. They will get a maximum of 2 weeks to decide if they want to continue with you or not.
Unlike CodementorX, on Upwork, you are in charge of the whole job search process.
5. Getting Paid
Upwork lets clients hire freelancers on either hourly contracts or project-based contracts.
In the case of hourly contracts, you can withdraw your earnings within ten days of the completion of the billing cycle (every Sunday).
You will have to download their timesheet app called Team App. It tracks your billable hours and also maintains transparency by taking screenshots.
As for project-based contracts, you will have to discuss the payment structure with the client and come up with milestones. For every milestone, the client will pre-fund your payment which will be accessible five days after its completion.
Once you finished the project or completed the required number of hours, the client has 14 days to either approve the work and release payment or to request revisions. If they don’t respond, your earnings get automatically added to your account.
The status will change to close only when the client reviews the work and pays you.
CodementorX has two payment options, retainer contracts and hourly contracts.
In the case of the retainers, you will be contracted with the client to work for a minimum number of hours per week. The client will also specify the total number of weeks involved.
CodementorX handles the logistics part of it; they will send invoices to the client every week. It is the same with hourly contracts; the invoice is sent to the client at the end of the week.
In both cases, you will be asked to log your hours in the CodementorX system. However, if clients insist, you may have to use a time-tracking tool of their liking. Typically, they appoint a dedicated engagement manager to ensure each contract is successful.
Most CodementorX developers charge between $60-100 per hour.
It’s a tie, as each platform have their own set of advantages.
6. Service Fees
How Upwork charges you?
Upwork’s service fee is levied based on the total amount you bill each client for. Here are the rates:
How CodementorX charges you?
There is no service fee as such. However, clients have to pay a markup as ‘platform fees’ along with your hourly or weekly rate.
CodementorX is the clear winner here.
7. List of special features
- Payments are protected under Upwork Payment Protection
- A mobile app that supports chat and file sharing
- Ability to add video intros to your profile and create a visual portfolio
- Private and public feedback
- Programs like Top Rated Program and Rising Talent Programs
- Payment verification for clients
- Global payment system
- Dedicated engagement manager for each project
- Risk-free trial period
- Strict vetting process
- Supports all the major credit cards and ACH wire transfer
- Access to mentors on Codementor
- Highly experienced and specialised freelancers
Upwork certainly has more features compared to CodementorX.
8. Membership plans
Plans available on Upwork
Upwork has two membership plans; Freelancer Basic and Freelancer Plus. The former is free for all, while Freelancer Plus costs $10 per month.
Plans available on CodementorX
Unlike Upwork, CodementorX doesn’t have different membership plans. But, CodementorX evolved from the Codementor community, which is a community for software development mentorship.
By being part of the Codementor community, you will get an opportunity to mentor others as well as learn from others.
There is no clear cut winner here. Both websites offer you different types of advantages.
9. Payment options
Available on Upwork
Upwork lets you withdraw funds directly to your bank account as well as through third-party vendors such as Paypal, Payoneer, and M-Pesa.
Also, you can set up automatic withdrawal schedules. It could be weekly once, monthly twice, once in a month, and quarterly.
Available on CodementorX
They support direct deposits along with third-party vendors such as ACH, PayPal, Payoneer, and TransferWise. On CodementorX, freelancers generally get paid weekly.
Although both websites offer the same level of options, Upwork does provide more flexibility in terms of payment schedules.
What is the alternative?
Do check out TapChief, it is a platform where freelancers can share and monetise their expertise on their own terms. We let you collaborate with organisations in a variety of ways, including consultations, projects, workshops, training and many more.