Software development companies that I recommend hiring or working at

People often ask if I can recommend companies to work on large softwareprojects. Just as often, people ask me if I can suggest companies they shouldapply to work at. I've always listed a few solid recommendations, and then acouple others that I think might be good based on people I know that work thereor have worked there.

I'm changing my policy as of today. I'm only going to give the solidrecommendations - the recommendations I can give based on my personalexperience. With that in mind, if you are looking to hire a company to work onyour software project, or you are looking for a place to bring your talents, Isuggest contacting:

The answer is the same for both questions - who to hire, and where to work -because a place that does the best work is where the best people want to work -and they do.

I have worked for a client of Pivotal Labs, and worked for Pivotal as acontractor. They have perfected the art of constructing effective software. Theyalso have created a work environment that I think is just killer - smart andfriendly coworkers, a commitment to best practices, predictable SANE hours,regular learning opportunities, and oh yeah the amazing breakfast every morning.

I've known the brains behind Thunderbolt Labs for several years. They take ascientific approach to software development, and cut through way more bullshitthan you're prepared to throw at them. As far as work environment, they workmostly remotely and have the smartest people I've ever seen on one team. Workingfor Thunderbolt got my fingers in two of the biggest software projects to happenin 2013 in my opinion, in terms of visibility and coolness. Perhaps they'll giveme permission to reveal the clients' names... :)

The rest

I'm sure there are a lot of wonderful companies out there that will do a greatjob of building your software, or be a great place for you to grow as adeveloper. At this point, I can only honestly recommend places that I havedirect experience with - and I have lots of direct experience with Pivotal andThunderbolt Labs.

HOWEVER if you think your company should be on this list, we can absolutely makeit happen. All we need to do is arrange for me to spend 2+ days working withyour team in an ordinary work environment (other than the fact that there's anoutside observer who's apparently doing reviews on his blog?). You don't pay me,you just cover my travel and accomodations. If I choose not to recommend you, Iwon't ever say anything about my visit. If I do recommend you though, you willjoin the list of what are - in my opinion at least - elite software developmentcompanies.

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