Stack Overflow is a great way to have "community help" on programming questions. The entire model is free, and it adds value for everyone. You give and you get.
What I'd like to know is, would the developer community here be interested in carrying this over into a model where you could be compensated as well for doing actual development work? I'm going to ramble a bit here, but I need to get it all out there so you can get a picture of what I'm really asking.
First off, this question isn't asking anyone to work for me or anyone else on a free or speculative nature as you sometimes see on craigslist. This isn't a "that guy" thing, but rather just a general question. Specifically, would you as a developer be interested in having a place (maybe within Stack Overflow) where you could just log in, see a spec, code up a few portions of that spec, and get paid for it?
What I've often found is that I will be offered a freelance project, and I don't want to just sit there and work on it in my spare time all by myself. But the 2-3 other developers I often do things with may be busy, so I end up just turning down the work so I can maintain my own sanity.
In the past, I have gone on craigslist or guru.com and searched for other contractors who might be interested in subbing out for a portion. I've had success with that about 3 out of 20 times. The 3 times were awesome, and I still work with one of those guys on an regular basis today.
But I thought alternatively, it would be very very cool to post a project spec, and let the community handle the project from start to finish including design, documentation and implementation. Ad hoc teams could spring up to work on components, and the Stack Overflow community could develop solid bonds between developers who work well together and make good teams. As developers we could naturally gravitate towards who our best team leads are as they would have the most successful projects. If we didn't (as developers) like working with one team, we could just jump over to another team and try them out.
Also, I would guess that some large percentage of us here have jobs where we could occasionally post a project to the "community development teams" and be able to have our company pay a reasonable price to get the project done. The teams could/would already have a bit of reputation established just on the basis of their StackOverflow rep. Successful projects could additionally add to a "team rep" score.
Personally, I would love to be able to do this. I think it would be great to be able to quickly elect a small team to work with, take a 2 week side project, get my part, code it, get paid, and be done. Even if it only netted me 300 bucks for side money at first, I would like being able to interact with lots of different people, without the stress of having to worry about a long term job, and get paid.
That is the overview of the idea, so I'd like feedback please. What do you think? How could this work better? Would this be a good way for Joel and his team to highlight their FogCreek software for managing software projects? Is SO the right place for this?