From what I can tell, here's what Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and all the other big-name tech companies of today do: Keep a lean force of developers on staff. The hiring process is very selective. While these workers will have amazing pay and benefits, they also will work long hours. Have all the extra work and the grunt work done by a temporary staff employed through a 3rd party (some "technology solutions company" or "consulting firm" or whatever guise these gloried temp agencies go under). These people usually wear a different color of badge, get paid anywhere from $15-30/hr and in general feel like second-class citizens at the client company.