North-by-South, is an open source company based in San Francisco and Sao Paulo (Brazil), is getting work from the Bay and organizing teams of open source programmers from Central & South America to do the jobs.
North-by-South, officially started in July 2006 in Sao Paulo at a developers get-together organized for open source veterans, currently have about 30 programmers in its open source developers network and it is planning to expand to 100 developers by January 2009.
We’re in touch with the marketplace through local innovations like Craigslist but mostly we get work through the extensive contacts of our San Francisco team. We have 4 people working in San Francisco on getting jobs, organizing them, etc and we’ve all been working in SF through the first dot-com bubble and now in the “web 2.0” resurgence. So, we commercialize via word of mouth, web, local conferences, local internet gatherings, etc. It would be much more difficult to get work if we were not located in San Francisco and hadn’t been working here since the mid-90’s.
Brazil and South America as a whole have an absolute advantage over USA in producing open source software, and as a matter of fact what is going on with the free software movement in Latin America is pretty peculiar.
I wish Ryan and his latin American friends happy hacking!