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Polcode - The Web Development Company Review

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This is a full description of our first-hand experience with Polcode.com / Polcode.pl - a web development company based in Warsaw, Poland.

Information about Polcode and Our Final Review

We hired Polcode.com web programming contractors through Odesk. They are also active on Elance, Guru, LinkedIn, Freelancer, Goldline, and other freelance programming websites. It was the first time we used a Poland-based (offshore) web design company; we worked with "Russian" programmers and agencies in the past. Our project was to develop a moderately complex custom website using PHP/MySQL/CSS/Javascript/Ajax technologies. We spent a few thousand dollars with them to create a new website. Was it a good investment and experience or it was rather the money pit and waste of time? Come back soon to find out.

Web Development Review


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Polcode is a web design agency. As such, they "hire" programmers and pay them a percentage of what the client pays (or - from the other point of view - a programmer pays them a percentage of the earnings). The agency rates vary, but our belief is that Polcode may receive between 15% and 30% of what the client pays. For example, if you hired a programmer through Polcode and pay him $25 per hour, the programmer may actually receive between $17.5 and $21.25 (minus the fees charged by platform providers like Odesk or Elance).

There are both positive and negative aspects of hiring a programmer through an agency. The programmer and designer hiring process of web application agencies varies. In general, programmers working through an agency aren't the agency's employees; they are independent contractors. That means, they work on per-job basis and the agency cannot fully control the way their work, their 'tools', their time, etc. Most of the web design agencies try to get as many programmers and designers as possible because with every hour spent on project development they make money. For example, if an agency like Polcode has a client who wants to do database programming, it is very likely this client will want to complete a related project, eg. graphic design. It is then natural for the client to ask the agency if they have someone who could do their related project, so it is in the agency's best interest to have a full range of contractors who can work on different jobs. The problem is - the number of GOOD web developers is limited, so it is tempting for web companies to work with cowboy programmers because excellent programmers usually have plenty of jobs and work individually for better rates.

We chose to go through the Polcode agency because we didn't have a lot of experience with web development agencies in the past and we planned to develop a complex website. Our hope was to put Polcode to the test for a smaller project first and then hire them for a big project because it would be hard for one programmer to complete the big project on his own. We also hoped that working with Polcode would save us time and money while delivering a quality product at the same time. We picked Polcode because our ethnicity is also Polish and Polcode had a number of positive reviews on Odesk.

We contacted Polcode's staff directly via Odesk and we also visited their website: Polcode. and chatted with one of their online chat persons. At first, everything went well - we asked questions and received responses written in eloquent English. Obviously, the most important questions were related to the cost of the project, the process, bug fixing, and post-completion support.

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