What employers look for and more

Linux is the number one in-demand skill: Open source career trends

Sarah Schlothauer
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Stay on top of the latest trends and top skills in open source careers. The 2018 Open Source Jobs Report has some interesting takeaways for open source professionals and their employers.

The Linux Foundation and have released their annual Open Source Jobs Report. Over 750 hiring managers and 6,500 open source professionals were interviewed about the challenges they face, what they look for, and what technology affects hiring decisions.

The pulse of the professional open source world is beating strong and open source skills are clearly rising. Let’s take a look at the trends and figures and see what key findings stand out.

Challenges for developers

For open source developers, there are some consistent challenges seen across the board. While 72% of hiring managers say they are looking for open source developers, developers have some concerns that they wish employers would address.

49% of developers said that their biggest challenge is the lack of training opportunities. Developers are also looking for paid-time to attend conferences and events to grow their skills, and desire more time at work to spend on open source projects. Employers should take note about these concerns to create a better work environment, and thus, better production and results.


Source: The Linux Foundation

SEE ALSO: The growing appeal towards open source

Top sought after skills

What are hiring managers looking for in potential employees? Linux tops the charts with 80% of employers ranking it as an in-demand open source skill. This is a dramatic boost from the 2017 report (65%).

Cloud technology has dropped a bit in popularity, however it still takes the number two spot. Next is web security, which then networking, and finally container technologies. All of these skills have been seen in other similar reports, proving them to be part of a strong skillset.


Source: The Linux Foundation

Top skills affecting hiring decisions

The technologies that most affect hiring decisions closely aligns with what managers look for in potential employees. The number one tech that affects a hiring decision is the cloud, followed by containers. Containers have seen a continuous boost year after year in the OSSJobs report, jumping from 27% in 2016 to 36% in 2017 and now at 57% in 2018.

Will this trend continue in 2019? It is clear that employers are hopping aboard the container train and that employees who excel at this skill will continue to be in demand.


Source: The Linux Foundation

Why work in open source?

Money talks, but open source might speak even louder. While 13% of respondents cited that money influenced their choice to work in open source, there is a more vocal position. 65% claimed that they wanted to work with the latest technology, 64% enjoy the freedoms of open source, and an inspiring 62% of professionals stated that is their passion for open source that motivates them.

SEE ALSO: Linux Foundation wants you to share data as easily as you share open source software

Diversity in tech

The OSSJobs report also states that: “Hiring managers believe their diversity efforts are more effective than employees do.” While 70% of hiring managers responded that their diversity efforts are excellent or good, only 52% of professionals agreed with this assessment.

A solid 79% of hiring managers reported that they do proactively seek diversity in their recruitment efforts.

Here at JAXenter, we conducted our own survey about women in tech in 2017 and have a regular women in tech interview series which aims to inspire and bring forward some names in the industry. There are many efforts focusing on getting young women interested in the IT sector, as well as programs that focus on helping members of underrepresented groups as well. The OSSJobs report highlights the initiatives Women Who Codeand Blacks in Technology. We look forward to seeing more and more people enter the tech sector!

As GitLab’s Barbie Brewer said in our women in tech series: “Be strong. Find an area of technology that you are passionate about and then make a difference in that area. Succeed, and then become a mentor to others. Don’t lose yourself. Yourself is wonderful and is enough.” 

Download the Open Source Job Report for yourself and see what the data says. Have any additional comments? Share them on Twitter with the hashtag #OSSJobs.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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Linux career
Linux career
3 years ago

The demand for Linux professionals is never-ending. Now a day, companies do not ask for a TechOps who is just experienced in working with Linux technology, but they are more interested in hiring a full stack developer who is capable of managing servers, cron jobs, schedule batches, apply load balances & basically can do everything that shell script