It’s an open source world out there

Open source skills are a boost for career prospects, report finds

Jane Elizabeth
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Open source makes the world go round, from Google, Facebook and Twitter to Android smartphones and Linux in self-driving cars. The Linux Foundation’s 2017 Open Source Jobs Report confirms that the hiring market for developers with open source skills is hot, hot, hot. Are you ready?

Open source skills are becoming more of an asset in the job market. According to the Linux Foundation’s 2017 Open Source Jobs Report, organizations are looking to hire more full-time employees in order to catch the open source trend. So, it’s time to brush off your Linux skills and highlight your open source experience on your CV.

This year’s survey includes responses from nearly 300 hiring managers at corporations, small and medium businesses (SMBs), government organizations and staffing agencies across the globe — as well as responses from more than 1,800 open source professionals worldwide.

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The results from the job report aren’t exactly ground-breaking. It’s only natural that, as the world moves more onto an open source foundation, that employers need more engineers, developers, and system administrators with open source skills. But, as we dive deeper into the data, interesting results emerge.

Open source skills are a source of strength

Demand is strong for open source professionals. Over 67% of hiring managers say that hiring of open source professionals will increase more than other areas of the business in the next six months. A growing number of companies (60%) are looking for full-time hires, compared with 53% last year.

Employers are looking for Developers (73%), DevOps engineers (60%), and System Administrators (53%).


Probably the biggest shock about this report is that no one is looking for machine learning talent. (My bet? It wasn’t an option on the survey.) The skills these hiring managers are looking for are in cloud technologies, followed by application development, big data, DevOps, and security.


The most sought after cloud technologies were OpenStack and Cloud Foundry (70%), followed by web technologies.

SEE MORE: Open source your education: the best online courses for ML, AI and more

Unsurprisingly, demand for Linux skills remained strong as well. It should be noted that both cloud tech and DevOps more or less function on a Linux-based system, which is likely the source of this demand. After all, the most popular DevOps tools like Chef, Puppet, and Ansible, were all open source tools first.

Adding to the demand for Linux skills is the public cloud run by Google and Amazon. Both of which run on Linux! Even Microsoft’s Azure service is partially run on Linux with half of new workloads using the open source OS.

Who benefits from open source?

Open source is a marvel of cooperation and collaboration. The work hour alone to build a tool or develop a language would bankrupt a company if paid at market rates. So, if you’re feeling collegial and want to make sure you can give back to the community, why not see if you can join the Open Source Fridays movement?

SEE MORE: Who should fund open source projects?

Companies that benefit from open source skills should be giving back to the community that developed them. Full stop. And if they’re so desperate for open source skills, they should probably be willing to help the open source community with a regular donation of volunteer hours, no?

We can only hope. In the meanwhile, if you’re looking to enter the job market this year, head on over and take a look at the Linux Foundation’s 2017 Open Source Jobs Report for what you need to put on your CV.

Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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