Sometimes the big name companies are not so great in terms of a good workplace. Usually you must use the forced template imposed to you. Its good when you don’t have something else or you need a good experience to start but most of the time it will not feel so motivating.
That’s why is nice to have a look at start-ups, they don’t offer too much security apparently, tomorrow they maybe gone, but its good to investigate.
Here is a nice list I found on http://scobleizer.com/2010/01/01/part-i-hot-startups-to-watch-in-2010/. Most of this companies have fixed location now and not too open to position like testing or outside contractors, but in today’s world if they want to survive they will have to consider it. So here is not names like IBM or other super-brand, but nice friendly or family environments. It companies like Boxee, Vark, Foursquare, Nextstop…
From my experience for example a smaller company is much better than a big brand.