Due to the incredible amount of our members’ private information and content we handle, and the number and nature of people who want it, trust is a real issue. Consequently, NearlyFreeSpeech.NET operates under the Keyser Söze school of management. (Albeit with a lot less bloodshed and arson, most days.) We strictly compartmentalize projects and ruthlessly limit access to our production databases and systems.
To give a contrived example of how this works, if we needed member files backed up, we would not hire a system administrator to backup member files. We might hire someone to develop and maintain an automated system for backing up files. That system would be developed in isolation. Then, after code review and testing, we would deploy that system to back up member files. The person responsible for the system would thus never gain access to member files, even though that task can’t be completed without that access. The end result is a lot like we bought an off-the-shelf system that does exactly what we need from a vendor with really good support. (Which is also an option we pursue, on those rare occasions when it exists.)
This means that we do not have any traditional employees. Almost all of the day-to-day operational work is (where possible) done directly by the owners or by select highly-qualified vendors. When additional work is needed, we work with equally qualified independent contractors. In order to do this, a high level of information isolation is used. Although we joke that this means a person could be doing work for us and not even know it, in practice it means that they may be doing the work under an agreement with an intermediary, and they will typically be working on testbed systems with no real data on them.
Where work opportunities exist, we do not post them on our site. We prefer to identify and recruit specific individuals, often based on their relevant open source work or other demonstrated expertise. Sometimes we also make small, isolated projects available in venues where good candidates are likely to be found in an effort to flush them out. So, if you have exactly the mix of expertise, incredible skills, steadfast discretion, and willingness to work for fair but not lavish compensation we need for a specific project, you don’t need to apply. Mr. Kobayashi may be in touch.