Blue Bridge is based out of Portland, which has a thriving technology scene. We know lots of other graphic designers, developers, and web specialists. I regularly hear complaints about working with developers. A few weeks ago I was talking to one of these web designers about a site she manages and she made that common complaint and then asked me, "Why is it so hard to find a good WP developer?" It's not just the WP market where it is difficult to find good development help, it's the whole open source ecosystem, including Joomla.
This is what I told my designer friend: "It's tough to find a good developer because the market is low-end and talented developers want a better return on their skills." Because open source is often free, as in beer, most of the ecosystem is composed of smaller organizations with limited budgets- mom-and-pop's, startups, and other small businesses. The majority low-end market demands budget offerings from a large mediocre talent pool, making it difficult to find the talented developers in that pool. Meanwhile, those developers seek out the minority high value clients and are kept busy serving those clients (and the ones unsuccessful in matching their skills to these clients generally quit the market.)
The low barrier to entry is one aspect, however another is that most freelancers are substandard entrepreneurs. Freelance developers are generally worse than their peers in this area. Other disciplines – design, marketing, copywriting, and etc. are all people oriented, but development is problem oriented. This commonly makes developers more insensitive to the innate personal dimension of business. This manifests itself as a general lack of professionalism as the freelance developer cares primarily about coding and getting paid, with the client's situation and producing results taking a backseat.
I'm very passionate about business and I'm constantly trying to refine Blue Bridge's marketing message. What we do that is valuable and scarce in our market is simple: we provide reliable and skilled Joomla! development help. This isn't the greatest marketing pitch because people generally assume competence and reliability. However, for veterans of the market who have been burned by unprofessional developers several times it seems to strike a chord.