re: Have you used a paid on-demand expert help service to screen share/pair program/review code with someone? VIEW POST


I strongly believe in this type of thing, and I think it will be mainstream in the future, but it is definitely a tough nut to crack.

I think this works best if it is efficient to the point where it can be priced at a discount. Efficient, meaning the pairings are accurate, the overhead is straightforward, and the supply and demand match up well.

In my mind I've invented this service as "AirConsult" where experts can volunteer their availability in straightforward ways with no negotiation, and an obvious user experience in terms of scheduling and/or notice of who's online and available now.

The chaos of ecosystems like this cannot be underestimated. This service needs to win on user experience, user habits, irrational biases towards face time and contact for earning trust, etc.

It's incredibly difficult to bootstrap this. And I think some of the best efforts found that they eventually had to shift their focus towards enterprise and more traditional forms of software consultancy because the dream service is just a bit too hard.

Hard but exciting!


I wanted to create something similar to this with on demand help and I definitely agree with your comment.

I created a scrappy mvp called just to get something out there but quickly realised that there's a ton of issues to overcome:

  • Having the right kind of help on demand when it's needed
  • Creating awareness of the product, I had no idea pull existed and would definitely have used this by now if I would have known about it
  • As you mentioned pricing is also an issue, if a Dev has a bug that they cannot fix it's not always obvious what the solution is. I've thought about this with code mentor, what if I request help and after an hour the issue I had isn't resolved because it's not possible to fix within an hour?

Very cool! Out of curiosity: what kind of help have you seen folks requesting during your beta? And how did you determine which experts you needed in order to seed the “marketplace”?

The site itself has only been live for just over a week so I haven't had anyone request help (yet) unfortunately. This is my first attempt at building something as a service as opposed to having a client and charging to build them something so I need to work on my marketing and promotion skills!

I think my next step is going to be to try and focus in on specific problem areas such as build systems failing to answer e.g "Webpack won't compile..." and so on

Sounds good! I’ll definitely keep an eye on the service and would be happy to help re-tweet/etc. anything if you do some social promotions 👍 (I’m @lostintangent on Twitter as well)

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