Four Kitchens has remote workers in South Africa and Australia. They don't hire remote workers in the US, instead preferring that employees come into the office, though employees can work from home when they need to. Mr. Nienkerk feels that their workers function better with face-to-face interaction. Obviously this is not available to their people in South Africa and Australia, so they have Webcams with video chat set up on the water coolers and coffee machines. Four Kitchens does not use contractors in the US because they feel that workers are better off being on payroll. One of their more unusual policies is unlimited paid leave. This sounds like an invitation to abuse, but it has its advantages. It's less overhead and management hassles, and it's healthier because employees can take care of themselves. Naturally it requires staff who are self-disciplined and responsible, which emphasizes the importance of hiring the right people. It also helps to have managers who set a good example by actually taking time off.
Metal Toad Media
Metal Toad Media, in Portland, Oregon, looks for talented Drupal developers in Portland because they also hire only for in-office positions. Joaquin Lippincott, President and Founder, explains: "We find that our employees really enjoy the stimulation and help from other talented developers." They value Drupal experience: "As far as skillsets go, Drupal experience is a must, which is often seen in length of time on Drupal.org and the existence of committed code. Drupal.org is really the only place we post jobs anymore because Craigslist doesn't attract the right type of person. The market for Drupal development is growing tremendously with new companies coming to us asking for work on a regular basis."
Metal Toad has built sites for Sony, Cisco, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (the Emmys),Verizon, and a number of non-profits and wholesale and retail sites. Their own site was recently rebuilt to be mobile device-friendly -- check this out by resizing your browser to a narrow width.
Angela Byron, Drupal Core Maintainer
The Drupal community is large, and Angela Byron is its face. She is a Drupal 7 core maintainer and "open source evangelist who lives and breathes Drupal." Ms. Byron works for Lullabot Consulting Group. I asked her what the Drupal job market looks like, the freelance market, and what kinds of skills are in demand.