I am pleased to announce the launch of the oDesk Drupal group. I have been working with the oDesk team to strengthen Drupal as a web development choice for oDesk customers.
We have started off with some straight forward criteria to accept members into the Drupal group, the Drupal qualification test. This test was recommended by the oDesk team and I reviewed Boris Mann's evaluation of the test. This new group does not aim to replace the current methods of hiring Drupal developers, the Drupal.org/services page, the paid-services forum, the http://groups.drupal.org/jobs page, and of course tracking developers by their contributions on Drupal.org. Our hope is to recruit more potential customers and make it easier for Drupal developers to connect with those customers.
It is worth stating that the Drupal association currently does not have any financial ties with oDesk, but that we are exploring a joint advertising and affiliate commission program. Our goal with joint advertising is to let Drupal developers know about the oDesk Drupal group and to let oDesk customers looking for web developers to know about Drupal.
The Drupal oDesk group is a moderated membership group. I am currently the only moderator but I am actively recruiting more moderators from the Drupal community. I am looking for members of the community that have been active participants on http://drupal.org and work well with other members of the community.
I have researched oDesk business and am aware that there are concerns with how oDesk monitors developers it is paying. We realize that this will be controversial. Please raise your concerns in this thread and I'll direct the the oDesk staff to answer directly where appropriate. Your feedback is critical. Please keep in mind that the goal of this partnership is to promote Drupal to a wider audience and to help developers connect with more potential customers.