Hi everyone, I've been a freelance Unity developer for quite a while now and wanted to share my experiences with Connect now that the job forums I used to use are gone. First and foremost, I'm finding it to be awkward. Very little of it feels intuitive. But my big question: is this a social network site or is it a place for recruitment? If the former is yes or the answer is anything other than only the latter then why are the job forums gone? I know, I've read all the posts that the mods couldn't keep up, etc. But your answer to that is to create a team to manage a website that trips over a very thin line between freelancer.com and twitter.com? My first impression is that Connect is loaded with people seeking to form a studio without any capital to back up their endeavor. I am all for that, but those searching to do so should not be thrown in with those who are seeking to hire a professional. I have nothing against those seeking to form a studio when the only payment is in the form of profit-sharing for a game that doesn't even have a completed design document yet, but they are right there with the few jobs that are legitimately looking to hire someone. It doesn't matter that I have both "Paid only" and "Remote OK" ticked every single time, every conversation ends up the same: they have no working capital, the game is still an idea, and they seemed to think getting a bunch of others on board was a prerequisite to hashing out details of mechanics, gameplay, etc. We needed Connect, but not for the purposes Unity seems to think. We needed Connect as a place for those I mentioned in the previous paragraph to do just that: to connect. It also seems to serve well as a portfolio for those who don't have means to setup their own website. So hats off to Unity insofar as those two are concerned. Before Connect, I would use the recruitment forums and would go, at most, a week before finding a new project. That week consisted of conversations where the potential client was unwilling to pay my current rate, where I had very recently taken on another project and simply couldn't schedule them until a time that wasn't early enough for them, etc. But it was a very rare instance in which the job didn't pan out because they assumed I would work for free. This is my job now: All day I skype chat and explain to people that although I wish them the best with their project, that I do work in exchange for payment. And again, I have no ill will towards those trying to find a programmer willing to work for profit-sharing, but I am knee-deep in my own project that I am hoping to release this year. I am taking a chance on myself and on my project and so I cannot do so with others. This did not happen with the job forums because those forums served a single purpose, one that was outlined clearly and concisely in pinned threads. Those seeking to take on a programmer for profit-sharing had their own section completely separate from the one in which myself and those seeking to hire me used. These "jobs" are not jobs, they are hobby work and should not be bundled with legitimate, paying work. So it seems that not only has Connect failed in its efforts to provide a safer place for recruitment, but it has created (at the very lest) several other problems. I opt for reddit these days when seeking to fill my schedule each week. I have had one 3-hour gig result from Connect - after countless conversations via Skype and the Connect chat - and the gig almost didn't happen. The gentleman who hired me had been taken advantage of by those working under the guise of being a "developer" not just once, not twice, but three times prior. In all my years of working as a freelancer with Unity, I had never heard such a story - I suspect that this is because after having their money stolen 2 or 3 times people tend to give up. I 100% believe him; he has not only proven to be a man of his word and to be what he said he was, but he also went out of his way to send me an email stating the following, which is a direct quote: "You've been a pleasure to work with and perhaps in the near future I will seek your help once again. You have shown me an extremely professional understanding service and have restored much of my faith after my previous bad encounters." I share that not to toot my own horn. I am and will always be a modest person. I share it to highlight two things. First, you (Unity) have not fixed the problem you claim Connect exists to solve. No matter which way you look at it, it has made it worse. Second, these are customers, and they are being taken advantage of time and time again by using a service you provide; a service that claims to be there to help them get their project completed by assisting them in finding legitimate developers. Customers (eg. myself) are restoring faith in your product to customers (eg. my recent client). Not you, not your staff, but us. If this was your intent - to pass the burden on to us - then I applaud you in achieving exactly that. Your team can now focus on bringing this service out of beta and you can delight in taking a cut from every payment once your payment wall is in place, and you will profit off of the victims of fraud. If this wasn't your intent then I urge to reconsider not only what your goal is here, but to consider how it affects those of use who have used your product/services for years and earn a living by doing so. When I started with Unity you seemed to be a company that was all for the little guy. A "gaming engine" that revolved around learning as much as it did quality, with community being center stage. That seems so far removed from the company I have experienced in 2017 and it pains me to say so. I have had countless conversations via reddit and Skype to this effect from both sides of the aisle (those who hire and those who seek to be hired), and the consensus is the same: this is not working, and until it is working, we need what we know and what we are familiar with back. For me, I've been lucky enough to find web-design work via reddit, but the majority of those who've staked their freelancing career on you and you alone are not so lucky. They have pleaded with you via forums and I assure you that if you would just stop and listen to them then you will see what I am seeing. They cannot just go use Unreal or some other game engine because the time they would need to invest in order to do so is extensive. And with the job forums gone, their options are to once again take the risk of falling prey to someone who is now using Connect and has a fancy page with pretty pictures to take a payment and run, to take "code examples" and run, etc. I am lucky enough to have the experience, references, and a portfolio that allows me to seek work through less than optimal means. But there is a massive community out there right now that feels betrayed by you, or at the very least left to float in the breeze while you work out the kinks in your beta. Nobody expected you to get it right on day one. But to yank away the means by which so many of us found work while you get it right is a complete disservice to those who trusted both you and your product. Personally, I had developed a system - gained through bad experiences back when I worked as a web designer - with which I operated using the jobs forum, and next to none of that system applies to Connect. Not when the majority of my time is being spent doing what a sticky thread in the forums did. Yes, there were scammers before, and there always will be. But I can't help but wonder why it is you handed them a better set of tools to do what they do without providing better tools for us to protect ourselves against them. PS. I did not even touch on the subject of how applying for jobs on Connect feels like I am spamming my resume. From my end, this feels incredibly unprofessional and makes a career I worked very hard to find success in feel akin to dropping off resumes at every department store within a 50-mile radius. When it comes to my career, I do no opt for simply rolling a handful of dice and hope one comes up a 6, I program them.