Last month we tracked that 38 out of the 42 developers that have contributed committed code (which does not even begin to cover our translation work/website/documentation). It means that Sun employees who contribute to Drizzle make up today about 1/6th of the project today. There is plenty of active work going on with Drizzle right now, and the effort is growing.
What are we, Sun, looking for? People who already contribute to Drizzle. Not because we are going to hire up all 42, but because people who have already been working on Drizzle are a known quantity. If we have seen their work, and we have seen how they work with others in the community then we have a pretty good idea about who we are hiring and what we can expect from them.
Looking at the contributions and the companies wanting to go live, I believe we will be seeing more full and half time people this year both at Sun and other companies. The distribution of the development across multiple companies not only leverages more talent then what we will/can hire directly, it also means that we are targeting problems that existing companies need. In our world, if you need a problem solved you not only have the option of hiring out the work, but you have the option of hiring in the expertise if our work is critical to your infrastructure.
Two days ago I gave my first recommendation to a company who wanted to hire someone for Drizzle, I expect that will be the first of many.
A very long time ago I did an interview for Robin Miller on Finding an open source programming job when we were ramping up hiring for MySQL. It sums up a lot of what I believe developers should be doing today. Another piece is one written recently by Tim O'Reilly on Work on Stuff that Matters: First Principles. I would really recommend anyone who is looking at their career and asking "what next" to consider reading both articles.
If Drizzle is not your passion, go find something that is. If what you do is write code, go find a job, or make a job, that lets you write what you want to write.