We Are Being Blackmailed or: How Not to Hire a Contractor

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2024-07-04 16:30:09

Recently, we employed the services of a contractor on Upwork to help us build our private, decentralised CAPTCHA service, Procaptcha. The contractor seemed nice enough via chat and he agreed to a very reasonable rate. His profile showed him as being a Ukrainian national, which was a plus for us as we wanted to support the Ukrainian tech industry. Let's refer to the contractor as Artur from here on in (not his real name).

We'll now highlight a series of mistakes we made that led to Artur blackmailing us. We hope that by sharing our story, we can help others avoid the same pitfalls. And hopefully not make them again ourselves!

Initially, things got off to a slow start. Despite the ad being for a TypeScript developer, it seemed Artur had mostly worked with PHP before and was unfamiliar with the monorepo structure we use at Prosopo. We spent a lot of time helping him get up to speed with our tech stack, which was fine as we expected this to be the case. We were happy to help him learn and grow.

Our first mistake was failing to check Artur's technical capabilities thoroughly enough. We should have asked for proof of his crendentials and maybe for him to complete a small test task before hiring him. We were in a rush and didn't do this.

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