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My first experiences with Connect

Discussion in 'Unity Connect' started by eatsleepindie, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  2. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

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    I'd also like to add that the forums had a rule: you can only bump your thread once every 3 days. This is not the case with Connect. I have seen the same job listed 2-4 times, one right under the other. How can you say that this is supposed to fix things when you aren't even trying to prevent something that the forums they are meant to replace successfully prevented?
     
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  3. markp-unity

    markp-unity

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    Hey @eatsleepindie

    We're always actively trying to improve the service - would you be open to talking with me over Skype so we can discuss how exactly the forums prevented the problems you're having with Connect? Please email me at markp@unity3d.com.
     
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  4. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

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    I have been swamped with work since I turned to reddit, so scheduling a Skype meeting is a tall order. Also I think the community would be better served if we had this discussion in a forum where others can contribute and share their experiences as well. That being said, I personally haven't had issues other than tripping through an interface that needs a lot of work. The problem is that would-be clients seem to be having a ton of issues, and since these are people who do the hiring, their issues become the issues of us freelancers.

    What's changed for me mostly is that I can no longer easily message someone about their project. With the forums I could PM the user with a friendly message that made it clear that not only had I read their request in it's entirety, but also that I have the experience to do so. This coupled with the fact that the it takes to go from finding a project that I feel I would be suited for to actually making contact with the poster seems to have been increased exponentially. Scrolling through jobs is a nuisance with this setup; each job takes up too much screen space, whereas with the forums I could read the titles of the postings and within seconds eliminate any that at first-look seemed to not fit.

    Not only that, but since Connect, job offers seem to be inundated with people offering up a false impression that they are a "studio", when further research into them and/or their project proves otherwise. There are countless jobs posted marked as "paid" that serve no purpose other than for someone to try and recruit workers at no cost to them until the game they haven't designed yet meets its crowd-funding goals. I can't say with any certainty, but I would venture a guess that this is due to the fact that you gave them an incredibly simple way to make their Connect profile look professional in just a few minutes time. With the forums, I could visit their website and get a good feel for how serious they were about their work and make decisions about contacting them accordingly; now it all looks the same.

    What bothers me the most is the notion that a payment system is coming to Connect, and while some may see my views as cynical or pessimistic, I only see more problems when that day comes. First off, if Unity is going to take a cut out of each job posted, then that fee is going to trickle down to us developers in the end. There is no argument one could make that would convince me otherwise; I have been in this business a long time and I know how these things work. So, not only will I be paying a monthly fee to use your software that I could have purchased outright in the past, but I will also be taking a hit on my hourly rate due to the fact that those offering the jobs are paying fees.

    That is just my end of things. From the perspective of those posting jobs that I have had conversations with, things look even worse. For me, at least for now, the worst case scenario is I don't get a gig via Connect. For them, it's theft, as now anyone can give the impression that they know what they are doing in just a few minutes time due to the fact they can easily setup a profile with some nice screenshots.

    As I've said, I've been freelancing for almost 2 decades now; I've been freelancing full-time for about 14 years. Before Connect I had heard more than my share of terrible stories in which people had offered up their services under the guise of being a programmer. Whether their intention was theft from the get-go or they ran into the wall of realization that they didn't have the skill necessary to fulfill the task is debatable, but what is not up for debate is the fact that they received payment for a set of services to be delivered and did not deliver.

    So now, from the perspective of those hiring, there is very little to distinguish between someone who legitimately wants to help someone with their project and those who are seeking to earn a quick buck. Our profiles look the same. We both now serve up cookie-cutter cover letters or resumes (by the way, why do I have to upload the same file over and over again?).

    And I can venture a guess at what anyone who is reading this is thinking: these problems are small and intangible, but when they are compiled one on top of the other there is only one result, and that result is a system that feels broken and slow. With the forums I often went from PM to Skype meeting within 24 hours; with Connect it seems as though it would improve on that when the opposite is actually what happens. Reason being there is no way for me, as a professional who actually does the work they are paid for, to stand out from those who have nefarious intentions out of the gate - something that I could have easily done via a PM.

    All of these things have compiled to one end, which is a broken process. And I am all about process. My process is how I earn what I earn for a living. I do not have the time to sit here and have conversations with people who forgot to check the "paid" box when they posted their gig in which they seek to "hire" a modeler, an animator, a UI artist and a programmer while offering no compensation to anyone. Connect is flooded with these jobs and they are not marked accordingly. They are right there, alongside legit paying jobs, and there are several more times of the latter than the former.

    Paid work and non-paid word need to be separated, as well as offers for on-site employment. These are 3 incredibly different beasts and they are all listed together. My time and how it is spent is currently contingent on one thing right now, and that is in the posters ability to check the appropriate boxes. This issue is unique to Connect insofar as the forums/sites I use to find work.

    We didn't need a LinkedIn, it already existed. We didn't need a Twitter, it already existed. We needed the forums but with some class, and Connect falls very short in those regards. It's all facade, and the minute you try to get to the meat of the matter with someone red flags start going off one after the other.

    Either Unity saw fit to improve upon the forums with Connect and fell on their faces in that attempt, or Connect does not serve as a replacement for the forums, and considering the consensus, the forums should be brought back. I walked away from a career in back-end web development because I believed in Unity and their software. My career is partially riding on how your company conducts itself, and from what I have been seeing with regards to all of the issues with Collaborate (while simultaneously getting rid of Asset Server before Collab was bug-free) and then doing the same exact thing with Connect, it seems to me your company favors serving investors now much more than it does its customers.

    I am not saying this to attack you or the company you work for, I am just giving my honest opinion. I don't feel served, I feel herded.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  5. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

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    Mark, you had asked for concrete examples, insinuating that I hadn't provided any.

    I just browsed Connect again, and once again had both Paid and Remote ticked. Over half of the projects I have looked at in the resulting list are either not remote, not paid, or both. They do however list this in the description, so luckily that saved both parties some time. I would guess that about 2/3 of the projects I do end up chatting with the poster about are in the same boat, but they don't come out and say it in the description. It takes a lengthy chat to get to the point where they admit the gig is a non-paying one.

    That leaves me with scrolling through an unnecessarily long feed of projects that the overwhelming majority of are not being categorized properly. Of the small remaining fraction that I have to spend a very long time locating, only a small percentage of those apply to me. With the forums I could see an entire page's worth of projects without scrolling (on a portrait-oriented screen), immediately eliminate any that didn't apply, and move on. Didn't take me long at all to do this after I got a knack for spotting legit jobs. The skip option would be nice, but it takes longer to skip than to scroll, but that also leaves the disadvantage of half of the title being cut off. It is much quicker to simply Ctrl-Click a title and continue scrolling so I don't lose my place. The jQuery effects are nice and all, but they hinder efficiency. Granted, I was mostly a back-end web developer in my younger years, but the list of Web Design 101 rules that Connect seems to have missed is pretty extensive. From the misuse of screen space to how long animations take when I click a button, it is a frustrating interface to use.

    I've been working since we had our chat, so at the moment this is the only concrete example I have to share with you, but I have also reached out to the client who had their money stolen 3 times in a row via connections made on Connect before hiring me. I will provide as much information on that as possible if he gives me the green light to share. But rest assured, I will be sharing the concrete examples you've requested whenever I have free time.

    I will also jump on Skype later this week and chat with the Unity customers who have been commiserating with me and would be happy to send them your way.

    I'll touch on the annoyances of adding a game/showcase next, followed by the confusion that both myself and one of my clients experienced when simultaneously trying to find our way around. Last but not least, there seems to very little actually pointing to Connect itself when you visit unity3d.com. It isn't even listed when you click Community. Granted, I just skimmed the site, but the only link I found was hidden in the footer. I can only imagine there would be both 1) more work listed and 2) less need for moderators to threaten deleting job offers in the Connect forum if the site itself were easier to access.

    Edit: A massive difference could be made if you offered a distinction between "paid" and "royalty-based". I also think there may be some confusion when it comes to what "Remote" means, so maybe there is a clearer way to word that option(?).
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  6. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

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    A few more points:

    I am not sure what the options "Remote" and "Paid" actually do behind the scenes, but I am certain they do not do what they are intended to. I think the problem may lie in how people post jobs/tasks.

    I went to post a job just to see if I could wrap my head around what is going on, and it's pretty clear that setup is far from optimum. First off, Revenue share should be a payment type, not it's own option. Most people on my side of the aisle do not consider revenue share as a form of payment, and most would not consider performing a task for rev share alone. (It baffles me as to why you put SO much time into keeping revenue share/hobby projects out of the paid forums but have done next to nothing insofar as keeping them separate from the paid jobs posted to Connect)

    You should then provide those of us seeking to be hired options that work directly in-line with the options given to those posting the jobs. I should be able to check on/off whether I want to find hourly work and long-term contract work but also keep out those jobs that are unpaid and/or revenue share. With the forums I was able to post every three days that I was looking for work; there is literally nothing akin to that with Connect. So again, your claims that Connect is a substitute/replacement for the forums is blatantly false.

    The budget inputs are just confusing to those posting the job. Provide a single input for budget and give the option of negotiable. In my many years experience freelancing, those who hire do not normally have an in-depth understanding of how much time it would take to perform the task they are offering. By simplifying the budget, it puts those of us who actually do the work in an informed position of saying "Yes, I can get that work done in that amount time and for that amount of money." This would not only make things easier on my end, but would alleviate those who hire having to sift through applications en masse. You seem to be favoring those posting the jobs and doing very little for those of us seeking work; I thought the purpose of Connect was to provide both sides of the aisle a way to do just that, but I absolutely feel as though my hands are tied.

    Last but not least, every single field/radio/etc. in the "post a task/job" form should be defaulted to nothing. This ensures that the end-user filling out the form goes through every item. Provide an error message that states what they forgot when they try to submit. Filling out information for them only encourages mistakes that end up costing everyone else a lot of time, when had they been forced to spend the grueling few minutes of double-checking their options before submitting the data they post to your site, said data would be accurate.

    PS. I would also suggest not cutting off the title of the post. Either add a line-break or shorten the max character limit on the title field to match the way it is displayed. The title is pretty important information and your understanding of that seems prevalent in that it is the largest font and in orange. Why is the most important info being cut off halfway through?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  7. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

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    I feel I should add that I've met some very nice people in my time on Connect. None of them ended up as gigs; for instance I had two job offerings if I was willing to move to Canada.

    The biggest thing I notice when first discussing a project I found on Connect: everyone is confused. Who made the mistake seems to be the topic. Did they forget to check off that it was not remote? Did the system simply show me remote work even though I had the checkbox ticked?

    This goes for Revenue Share projects as well. I state my rates and am immediately met with confusion as they "meant to post" that the gig was unpaid.
     
  8. Karsten

    Karsten

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    I agree 100%, this is all so terrible, in the past it was relatively easy and straightforward to communicate and find tasks and jobs, since this "connect" thing i dont find any work anymore, i am very sure the people that want to hire someone are very confused
     
  9. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

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    I've been texting with my ex all morning. It's tough to explain to her what has happened as a result of Connect, or more accurately, what has happened as a result of Unity taking down the forums that were working well for a lot of us. This was the best I could come up with:

    "But if you really want to understand, just go visit Connect as an everyday person looking to hire a dev to help make your game idea a reality. Seriously, go use the site and see what I mean. See if it shows any promise. See if it is something you would be willing to drudge through every day to find a candidate. See if you can even make sense of their god-awful layout.
    That's my point. They've deterred everyday people. And that leaves a market that is saturated with revenue share projects posted by studios who have released nothing in the past and have zero funding."

    "I just checked it out and I'm already confused by it..."

    "Now consider that if you posted in their forums you'd immediately have a moderator up your [backside] and would be told that your forum post is against their rules and will be deleted. Would you stick around?"

    This is what I find so frustrating: the hindsight of realizing I should have learned Unreal instead of Unity. They are not deterring people from posting in the forums that they're looking for someone to help make the game that has been rattling around in their head for the last 2 years; the game they now have funding to make. Not everyone who wants to play a game that doesn't exist wants to put in the time to learn how to make it. And if I were one of those people today, one look at Unity Connect vs. Unreal Forums and I wouldn't return to Connect, especially if I had posted in the Unity Forums and the first response I received was a moderator telling me that I'm not allowed to use said forums to find someone to make my game. It's illogical to an outsider, it's unnecessary, and I will never wrap my head around Unity's decision to force every one of their users into a broken beta.

    Here's screens from my phone (I am terrible at typing on a touch screen, so forgive the spelling errors. My ex is used to them by now).

     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  10. Bamboy

    Bamboy

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    I'm also extremely unsatisfied with Connect vs. the old job forum. I have posted looking-for-work on the old job forum in the past. Up to a year later, I would still sometimes get people who would find and contact me even though I hadn't been bumping my thread.

    I recently decided to take on freelancing as my main source of income without realizing that the forums were gone. It has been over two months and I have had more serious people contacting me from Reddit and else where than I have from Connect.

    Pretty much everything that eatsleepindie has said, I have also experienced. I would like to additionally add that people frequently just post to the wrong channels (Job Offering vs. Job Seeking and vice versa) and that just further adds to the difficulty of the service.
     
  11. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

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    While I will be working with Unity for my current personal project, I am moving to Unreal professionally. I don't expect it to be a simple transition at all, but I am no longer willing to stake my career on the decisions Unity is making. The Unreal forums are full of paid job offers and Connect is full of revenue share projects by start-ups. While I understand Unity making the effort to make game development more inclusive, this feeling of myself and others being set aside is a common theme in 2017, at least for me personally.

    I have literally seen code posted in the for-hire section on Connect, and people are constantly posting that they are looking for work in the wrong sections. Discord is following suit; inundated with people who apparently are looking to be hired but cannot take the time to figure out the correct place to post.

    I don't blame Unity entirely - my gripe with them starts and ends with forcing this on us by removing the forums - and I believe a fair share of blame extends to the community, at least those who are too "busy" to put in the time to use Connect correctly.

    All-in-all, Unity seems to be playing to the studios that want to make money via crowd-funding before putting in the effort and it is becoming incredibly clear to me that I no longer fit in.
     
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  12. grizzly

    grizzly

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  13. afkdevelopers

    afkdevelopers

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    Agreed. Old forum was way better than connect.
     
  14. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Agreed with OP.

    But aside from the issues of connecting with people, I've found the UI frustrating and confusing to use. For instance, I spent a good half hour filling out a job posting, but forgot one drop down selection. After giving me a message that I needed to fill out that drop down item, all of my input was erased. No bueno!

    For now, I'll be looking elsewhere.
     
  15. laur2000ad

    laur2000ad

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    In the past on old ,,looking for job '' forum i bump once and i get 2-3 clients , now from a month i don't get nothing for work . I think old forum was best choice.
     
  16. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

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    This is just so sad to read: A community crying out for water in a desert and Unity refusing to do something so simple as to pour a glass. For a lot of us, I am sure that the forums were how we put bread and water on the table, and without them we are sinking.

    I would like to add yet another experience on Connect, but I would like to preface it by extending an apology to the person I am referencing. I will not use names and I mean no offense, but this is a perfect example of how Connect is not doing what we need it to do.

    Today someone accepted my application for a job. After accepting it they were kind enough to send a "welcome to the team" message. I applied for this quite a while ago, and looking back at the job now, it states in bold that the job is revenue share only.

    Whether it was a mistake on my part when I first started using Connect or whether they have made changes to their offer since then is unknown to me. But the revenue share part isn't even what has me feeling odd, it's the fact that there has been no discussion since between me and the person looking to fulfill the position.

    This simply could not be done via the forums. Some sort of conversation had to transpire on jobs posted in the forums. With Connect it is so often broken down to me clicking an apply button and the person on the other end clicking accept. This is just not how things work, this is not how positions are filled, and this is only causing confusion and a lot of wasted time.

    This should not be a match-making service for those in the industry. This should be a tool that assists us in finding work or finding help, and it couldn't be further from fulfilling either of those roles. Everything about this application process feels like some weird version of a dating site where my profile is there to entice someone to swipe right and we'll hash out the details later. And while I understand part of the blame falls on the community, a very big part of that is due to the design of Connect itself and our inexperience/confusion concerning it.

    I can't speak for everyone who has been kind enough to take the time to share their experience here, but this is not what I want or need. This is my career and this whole match-making system leaves me feeling very uneasy about my future with Unity, if there is a future for me and Unity at all. Skip this one = swipe left. Apply to this one = swipe right. Then boom, I have a date with a stranger, but it's not a date, it's a damn job. Money will be exchanged, likely a fair amount of money, and we haven't even said hello yet? Connect not only encourages this sort of interaction but makes it difficult to traverse around it. The whole experience leaves me feeling absolutely disconnected in a way that the forums never did.

    Maybe I should be sending an introductory message to each job I apply to like I did with the forums, but the process of applying feels so much like spam - along with the notion that I am sure the recipient is getting bombarded with applications - it feels unprofessional to reach out preemptively. This is my job, and I don't want this job if I am going to feel like a telemarketer at the end of the day, and that is exactly what Connect instills in me. Spamming my PDF application is not how I do business, and if Unity is going to continue to make that the only way I can conduct business, I will go elsewhere before I participate.

    Let's call a spade a spade: Connect is Tinder for start-ups offering revenue share. That's it. And while I have not spent my time looking through old forum posts to see if anyone has ever requested such a service, I am still 100% confident that nobody ever has.

    Your direction is misguided in the worst ways Unity. It's time to admit you have made a huge mistake, admit that Connect needs to be redesigned from the ground up based on all the feedback you have received, and most importantly, it is time to res the forums.

    You have two options: keep pressing forward against the wishes of your customers and risk losing them to competition, or put us in a position where we will be praising you for your decision to bring back the thing we need most: the job forums. I promise we will forgive your mistake if only you would come to terms that it is indeed a mistake. I promise we will help you make Connect a better service in the long run, but this is the most corporate way you could have possibly conducted yourselves and that is not the Unity I fell in love with years ago. In fact it is the antithesis.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  17. witcher101

    witcher101

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    Unity connect is a mess. you cant find anything there. ppl post their bios on job offer section
    Just bring back old job and collaboration section
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  18. Bamboy

    Bamboy

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    I'd like a response from Unity on this matter.
     
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  19. TBUA

    TBUA

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    Dec 12, 2016
    Posts:
    13
    Couldn't agree more with the replies over here. I genuinely like the idea of Unity Connect and by no means am I against it by the Jobs section is an utter and complete mess. Honestly, if I wanted to find jobs with no payment or even slave charges I would turn to Upwork. Yes, it qouldn't entirely be Unity's fault if there are bad clients but when the forums were around it was a guarantee we wouldn't find these jobs in the Paid section.
     
  20. toukairin

    toukairin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Posts:
    19
    I personally feel the Old version forum works better especially for Job related stuff. I really would love to see it come back =)

    Too many times have I seen users abuse sections and post wrong information.
     
  21. imerso

    imerso

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Posts:
    273
    I will post just to add another voice. I simply don't like the new format. Won't even care to list the bugs. Please bring it back to forums, it was better.
     
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  22. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Posts:
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    Unity's response thus far has been "We don't care" delivered through silence and disregard.

    I've started a Discord server for those affected by this forced beta to organize and hash out plans either for constructing a forum replacement ourselves (I have nearly 3 decades worth of experience in back-end web development) or for discussing ways to get Unity's attention since they seem keen on ignoring us all. If nothing else it will serve as a place to commiserate, which I feel we could all use.

    I think Unity is underestimating how much this means to a lot of us; how many of us put food on the table that no longer can because of a broken system that was shoved down our throats before it was given its fair share of testing by the community.

    https://discord.gg/jkWRrDs

    Come and hang, share your experience, share your ideas. Vent your frustrations and reminisce about the forum days and how we were ignorant enough to think we had a voice.

    Edit: PLEASE share your experiences here before joining the Discord server. We need to keep this thread alive and well and in Unity's view at all times. Invite others to share their experiences here.
     
  23. Ony

    Ony

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Posts:
    1,809
    I quite literally just went into Connect to hire someone, and left almost immediately in frustration. Result: I will go elsewhere to find people.
     
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  24. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    It's probably a good idea to reinstate the old jobs/collab board on this forum like before, and leave them open for business. Is there a reason there can't be both?
     
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  25. Leopotam

    Leopotam

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Posts:
    3
    Today Connect admin with nickname "Mark Poeppelmeier" started to send spam to emails - lot of guys received it. Just. Stop. Doing. This. And bring forums back!
     
  26. MaciejKrzykwa

    MaciejKrzykwa

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Posts:
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    Thank you so much @eatsleepindie for telling out loud what we all have in our minds. I really appreciate your determination here!

    @markp-unity as I am very sad to say that - you as Unity team are just ignoring us and our problems with Connect and closing Unity forums. By the end of November we already speak out loud what we think about it in this thread: https://forum.unity.com/threads/retiring-the-unity-job-forums.501647/
    Also I was reporting some issues in a separate thread with Unity Connect with my good will to help to improve it but none of them were listened or implemented.
    Sadly you do nothing to improve Connect for freelancers since closing jobs forum and that was 3 months ago! And I am not suprised because Connect just do not work out for freelancing jobs. It is clear by now.

    Also @markp-unity do not act like you need more informations about the whole situation. You have this thread, you have that thread (https://forum.unity.com/threads/retiring-the-unity-job-forums.501647/) and some more on this forum, and it is impossible that you haven't heard the voices here and on Unity Connect's discussion channels.

    Below, I state some of my opinions again, but tl;dr - I DO NOT HAVE ANY JOBS FROM CONNECT. That is the most important part...



    I agree that Unity Connect is great for someone who wants to find a full-time job. It's like a portfolio page but even better because it gives an opportunity to reach out employers.

    For freelancers it has some flaws. For example, forums are a well-known place to look for a freelancer to do your job. Something new called "Unity Connect" is not so obvious. That is why I would like to see a link from forums to Unity Connect in a place where "Commercial" always was.


    It surprised me how it makes CONNECTion with clients harder!

    Here is why:
    1) It breaks a space for connecting with clients into two different places: commercial channels and job section.
    2) Commercial channels problems:
    1. "Commercial: job seeking" channel.
      Theoretically: I can advertise myself only once in a history. It means that I'm invisible after few days to the rest of my life.
      Practice: It is just a spammed place. Unclear to read.
    2. "Commercial: job offering" channel.
      I cannot reply to the messages there because it is forbidden. That's not so bad. The bad thing is that it is unclear how should I reply to a job offer. One possibility is to "connect" with a client and send him a message along. The second option is to "Apply for a job" at the link to his offer in a job section (because he should link to that in the channel).
      From a bussines perspective it is always better to have an immediate touch with a client. So I would vote for "connect" option. But then, the link to a job in a job section is redundant. And a client loses a handy place where all candidates sends their "applies".
      Maybe it seems weird that I have a problem with these things but the whole point is that it is Unity CONNECT. I shouldn't have headaches with connecting to people there.
    3) Job seeking problem:
    When I apply for a job I can attach documents (pdf, txt, etc.) and/or highlight my projects that I have on Unity Connect. Where is a place for saying "hello" and tell someone that I actually know something about a task? Yeah, I should attach a document (Resume and/or Cover Letter), but that's an idea of someone who is not familiar with freelancing at all. The direct message is always better. Client wants to reject spammers or people which don't understand his problem right away. Client doesn't want to download a resume / cover letter just to realize that it is another generic message from someone who didn't force himself to actually read a job (task) description.
    I, as a freelancer, also don't want to create a new document every time I apply for a new task.

    Now when Commercial forums are gone, and problems described above are existing, Unity Connect is rather DISCONNECTING people in a bussines area.


    Another thing. I didn't post my own topic in the job section on forum so I don't how how much impact it has on job offers.
    But I found many job offers on forum in the past one and a half year and... while it is good to keep things organized I think that job offers (tasks) system on Unity Connect is not flexible enough. It is much simpler when a client can just describe his problem (like in the post on forum) and see if any freelancer is capable of doing the thing.

    Job offers system on Unity Connect is too complicated to express your needs without mistakes (because usually you don't know your needs in 100% when posting a task). On the other hand it is too complicated to reach a client as a freelancer because you don't know if he post a job in a right way and also there is a lack of direct contact to him (something simple like starting a conversation where you can ask about details instead of sending a cover letter that is not needed for anyone and just overcomplicates the whole process). Maybe the job system is good for finding a full-time job but it is awful for freelancers.
     
  27. Bamboy

    Bamboy

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Posts:
    39
    I'm so frustrated and tired of people just posting their stuff on every channel. PLEASE unity, have mercy on us. This isn't complicated. If the problem with the old forum was moderation, choose some active individuals to help moderate it? Connect has zero moderation.
     
  28. kayy

    kayy

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Posts:
    52
    I (and maybe all others) received that message too. It forced me to have a look at Connect again after I gave up quite a while ago. That way I stumbed upon this thread here and that's the best about Connect since its start :)
     
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  29. Matthewdeargameaudio

    Matthewdeargameaudio

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    Posts:
    115
    My main issue with Connect is that it simply is not a fit for purpose replacement for the old Jobs forum.

    Before I was able to maintain and update my job post, it evolved over a period of years and readers could see that.
    With Connect I'm limited to posting about individual projects, often months apart, rather than doing weekly updates. The format of the jobs forum allowed me to boost my post as and when I needed work, Connect is everyone shouting at once.

    Ultimately, Connect does not offer anything that isn't covered by other social media platforms, like linkedin. Is there any reason we cna't have both Connect and the jobs forum? They seem to serve pretty different needs.
     
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  30. ClintSuttonIllustration

    ClintSuttonIllustration

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Posts:
    1
    I absolutely agree with everything that has been pointed out by eatsleepindie. I have also been at this for a number of years, about 17 years freelancing running my own business online. I have been part of numerous freelancing sites through the years, and have seen a similar trend of spammy buyers and providers alike posting on forums. I think there is a basic issue that stands out the most here.

    There is a big difference in the types of people using the job connect system. One side is starting out, and are looking for rev share, both providers and those looking for providers. And on the other side, you have professionals, like me, who are doing this as a living. We are looking for serious buyers/clients/businesses who need professionals with experience. I feel there needs to be some kind of separation, so that anyone coming to connect has to go to either of these "areas" before being able to post. So if a guy looking for rev share programmers/designers won't end up in the serious paying jobs section and waist everyone's time.

    I have stopped going to look on the connect pages, as they are just inundated with a mess of wannatrepreneurs hoping to be noticed, or start the next big studio without offering remuneration in actual real payment.
     
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  31. Diviner

    Diviner

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Posts:
    676
    I have been a freelancer for the past 5 years now, and 80% of my contract work has been generated by these forums. Unity Connect has shut down 80% of my business (and income).

    I don't mind getting certified if that's what it takes for clients to trust that I own my skills. I didn't have to, and my body of work speaks for itself, but a certification is a small price to pay given the fact that sites like freelancer charge you 5 dollars per skill certification.

    The problem is that Unity Connect requires active participation. In a first come / first served environment that is the freelance field, the forums (and the ability to receive email notifications whenever a new post is made on the jobs sub-forum) gave me the chance to get jobs idly while working and relying on my smartphone to notify me when I have to log in the forums for a job posting. Having reviewed the notification settings, this is currently impossible for Unity Connect.

    Additionally, my CV is quite aggressive, meaning it contains almost my entire body of work coupled with video and reference links. This is deliberate as it aims to overwhelm the client and choose my services instantly instead of looking for more options. Currently in the Unity Connect site, I only get 500 words to describe my skills, which is not even close to the 2 pages that my CV takes up. I feel crippled.

    Finally, a message reply to a client containing the CV is more personalized and can be tailored to the project at hand (adding or removing info as needed from it). Believe it or not but this affects conversion rates, especially if you have even the slightest form of charisma and can turn a maybe to a yes. Unity Connect is soulless as it treats both clients and freelancers as objects on display.

    As Hippo said, bring the forums back and keep Connect active. I realize you won't be able to funnel all the business traffic through your company if you do so, but you will have a much happier community, which is way more profitable.
     
    Bamboy likes this.
  32. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    Anyone trained knows concepts like feasibility studies, and parallel running really wouldn't have done this. It's user pain management 101. Should have more respect for customers than that.
     
  33. Tiki

    Tiki

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Posts:
    299
    Here's a story that should put a rather hefty nail in this coffin.

    The day before Unity Connect went up, the company I was working for had discontinued funding, and I was back in the freelance pool. That day, from the Job Forums, I received two paid positions, one of which I am still working on - Masters Of Conquest. Both of these came from the Job Seeking forum. People saw my post, saw all the projects I've been working on over the past few years, watched some videos and look at images, and decided to contact me regarding a task related to something they just looked at.

    The next day I find my post is gone, and more importantly, the whole forum is gone. In a slight panic, I google the disappearance and find that I was fortunate enough to be back to freelancing while a brand new system for job searching is being implemented. I think, this is great! I'll be able to set up a profile and advertise the same way as I had with the Job Seeking forum, but with more style and a better UI. Since Unity Connect has gone up, I have received two responses total, compared to the two responses in a day. Not only is there no realistic way for companies to search my profile relevant to their needs. There is NO way to search currently active developers for hire. In the forum, those who reposted in the last day or two were clearly active and looking. So the significant number of views I would receive from my old thread, is replaced with a big old 0 here.

    Except of course, for the discussion channels. The place with little to no moderation in which a constant stream of unorganized chat messages display a short blurb that is almost impossible to make eye-catching and requires scrolling to reach after a mere hour or two. The number of views this reaches compared to the old forum is also startlingly low.

    So the only real way to get myself seen on a guarantee is to apply on the Jobs section, which has a very small number of paid positions for any given job due to the difference in ease of access. Where small task related jobs were easy to make a simple Job Offering post. Several steps are involved that often drive theses task givers to seek solutions like the channel, where it is cluttered and often difficult to understand who's replying to you, at least until you figure out how the right side chat panel works.

    In short, the real problem, to me, isn't that Unity Connect is a bad idea, it's that the implementation has not taken into account what made the forums so effective - the freelancer's ability to get as many employer views as possible. Instead, it has become the opposite, with employers being viewed by as many freelancers as possible. I'm sure that this story is not entirely unique, there must be experiences just like it. Please share.
     
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  34. Tiki

    Tiki

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Posts:
    299
    I want to second this. I can see potential for the Connect system, but I don't see a reason to remove the forums. They are both useful tools. Freelancers can utilize the forums better while employers can utilize Connect more.
     
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  35. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
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    People can still put offers in their signatures though for example a link to For Hire or We're Hiring in a signature is not against forum rules, I know it's not much help I'm afraid.
     
  36. LaneFox

    LaneFox

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Posts:
    6,434
    I've hired people through Connect but I think that just like virtually all of Unity's attempts to create new systems they have completely missed the UI/UX mark.

    There's too much focus on looking pretty and not enough focus on practicality. For example everyone actually kind of liked the Job forums, and what were they?

    Jobs Previously:
    Literally just a list of people with no pretty pictures. Click the link, get their more detailed page, message them if you're interested.

    Jobs Now:
    Make a Job/Task page and sift through a scrolling page of oversized people descriptions with annoying expanding sections and too much information in them with slow folds that shift the page and don't consume enough screen space for the information they're trying to express.

    The fact is that the UI/UX is really bad. Theres not enough focus on function in any of Unity's recent attempts to do anything. But how can we say that with confidence?

    The New Forums
    A disaster so bad that they reverted it due to community upheaval.

    The New Store
    Disliked for all of the same reasons by the vast majority of people trying to use it.

    The New Jobs
    Same pattern - people are super vocal about disliking it. While it "works" and has some nice features (even I like the tags, filters, etc) it's fundamentally bad because of the same issues that plague everything that they try to overhaul. Why are there chatrooms? Why are there chatrooms? Steve, why do we have chatrooms? I want to email my candidates Steve, I don't need chatrooms.

    So whats happening?
    Unity's clearly trying to update their stuff to look more modern, but is missing the mark by miles because they focus on form over function. They did the right thing by aborting the new forums like a mutant alien war-baby from Omicron Persei 8 but can't seem to understand that nobody is going to like the new pretty-boy layouts they're trying to push. This is work, we need function, form comes later.

    On that note, pretty much everybody views pages in 16:9 landscape - why the heck is everything so vertical!?!?
     
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  37. alexcg

    alexcg

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Posts:
    37
    I think same, Connect simply doesn't work.
     
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  38. eatsleepindie

    eatsleepindie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Posts:
    348
    I can't thank you all enough for the input. Thanks to all of you, we at least feel our complaints are being heard; if not by Unity, then by each other.

    Unfortunately I have a strict deadline in the next few days so I won't be able to contribute much right now, but am off Sunday and hope to be able to put effort into the Discord server then. I'm not sure its purpose yet, but it's at least a place where we can gather and chat in real-time. Unity is ignoring us, and I feel the least we can do as a community is listen to one another.

    I think we can all agree that nobody is here to simply trash talk Connect. We want it to work in the long-term, but in the short-term we need what we know works back at our disposal. We're all here because we are customers, and I am sure a lot of us (if not all) love this software.

    I did not receive the email that everyone else seems to have gotten but would be interested to read it if anyone would be willing to forward a copy to info@eatsleepindie.com

    What we need right now is as many voices and shared experiences here in this forum as possible. Let's get this thread to the point it cannot be ignored any longer. So please, share this with as many people as you can; I am sure there are still plenty more people out there who have had similar experiences and we need to encourage them to share theirs.

    To Unity, I say this: We are customers crying out for change, and those cries feel as though they are falling on deaf ears. If they are not then it's past time you say something beyond spamming an impersonal email. We are paying for subscriptions, paying for assets in the store and supporting other devs work, and you are cutting the means by which we were able to do so. This is already hurting your bottom line, regardless of whether you and your investors realize it yet. We don't want to hear that you're planning on fixing it; we need action now - not promises of actions in the future.
     
  39. Bamboy

    Bamboy

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Posts:
    39
     
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  40. AlanMattano

    AlanMattano

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Posts:
    1,044
    This is a hot topic

    I think an Asset Store with CV with the same tree style of the asset store where you can purchase artist time and where the buyer can add stars, feedback and comment can be better.

    Yes... I know we are like ADAM... but with an organic body.
    Unity can call it the Organic Store or Developer Store :p

     
  41. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    6,434
    I would also like to have old job forums back. I've been working with old clients lately, but I'm not a fan of what I know about connect so far.

    Reddit, huh. I'll keep this one in mind.

    I'd like to thank @eatsleepindie for insightful information in thsi thread.

    Basically, at the moment I'm contemplating this option:
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
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  42. Zahidylin_Marat

    Zahidylin_Marat

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Posts:
    111
    Hey
    On unity forum - they deleted Job topics
    can someone explaine me please how should we now search fo job?
    after discovering Connect for some time - i still dont see good way to post my CV resume (as i did before on unity forum)
    it was much easier to do on unity forum - you just post new topic with your CV and get responces
    why UNity team deleted Jub sections from forum?
     
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  43. Karsten

    Karsten

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Posts:
    102
    Dont start trolling, Son. The case isnt very funny for those that fill their fridge with Unity jobs and yes ,Son , im serious : - /

    Edit: The idea with the Assetstore "buying" devs is bad, i dont want to go into detail why .
     
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  44. whassim

    whassim

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Posts:
    3
    Hi,
    I agree with above, Unity Connect is a mess. I don't think further explanation is needed since it's quite obvious if you actually try to use this service to find a professional gig. To the Unity team: please do some roleplaying and act as if you are a freelancing developer looking for work. You may only use Unity Connect. Good luck and have fun browsing through garbage each day. Seriously, use your own service and you'll see the obvious flaws.
     
  45. JessieK

    JessieK

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Posts:
    148
    I have nothing major to add to this discussion that I didn't already say when they announced they'd be shutting down the job forums. For context, I used to use Unitys forums to get a fair amount of work as I could easily browse the "looking for talent" section of the forums during my lunch breaks and make a note of them, then when I got home contact them privately with my CV/details.

    Connect is just a mess to use as everyone has said. I'm not saying get rid of it. Keep it, improve it, develop it. But it's not READY YET. And removing the forums where most of us seemed to be getting work from and no one was complaining about seemed like a really strange move to me and I still too this day can't figure out the thought process. Even when Connect is ready, don't remove the forums, users on the forums can POINT TO CONNECT for work if they want. Removing options from users is never a good idea. Give us all the options you can possibly provide.

    I heard the Unity team was looking in to maybe bringing the forums back, and I hope this thread with all these unhappy users is enough to motivate them to reverse there decision.

    Unity connect simply isn't a better service than the forums were, so you've reinvented the wheel in to a square, sure it's new but it doesn't do what it's meant to.
    You're turning people away from your services. Unity Connect does NOT put Unity as an engine nor a community in a good light.
     
  46. kalamona

    kalamona

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Posts:
    725
    I am just here to show that I agree with most of the critics. Please bring back the old Jobs forum! As others already mentioned, it was easily browsable, and because the nature of the forums, people available were near the top. I really can't add anything more, since people already made very long posts explaining the issue.
     
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  47. alexcg

    alexcg

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Posts:
    37
    2 more cents. That "bug" with "you have a msg on Unity connect" brought me to Connect chat. Which is huge discord basically, but an absolute mess.
    My main point about Connect chat channels is - Unity team should actually be able to see how DEAD community is right now, and that majority of professionals are sitting aside and waiting for solution of this situation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  48. MaciejKrzykwa

    MaciejKrzykwa

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Posts:
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    Unity team can we hear your voice in this discussion (full of professional freelancers driving business into Unity)? @markp-unity maybe?
     
  49. Meltdown

    Meltdown

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Posts:
    5,420
    It's clear what happened here...

    Unity designed a system they 'thought would work' without doing any user acceptance testing or creating various personas and taking these personas through their user journeys.

    Once this half-assed system was completed, they closed the job forums and forced everyone to use it.
     
  50. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    6,434
    Isn't this how it went with Beast-->Enlighten switch?
    (And something tells me I may have mentioned this particular situation during the time Connect was announced).

    ------
    I believe @Buhlaine and @aliceingameland are also good candidates to possibly get a response from.
     
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