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Jobs Report: Demand for Open Source Skills Climbs, Topped by Linux

The seventh annual open source jobs report from The Linux Foundation and careers site Dice shows an increasing enterprise demand for open source skills, with Linux regaining the position of most-coveted technology.

The demand for open source skills is so high that nearly half of hiring manages responding to the survey said their organization are supporting open source projects solely for the purpose of recruiting hard-to-find talent.

That talent hunt is topped by the search for Linux skills, which is back on top as the No. 1 skill sought by hiring managers following a hiatus that saw cloud technologies ascending in last year's report.

Top Open Source Skills Sought by Hiring Managers
[Click on image for larger view.] Top Open Source Skills Sought by Hiring Managers (source: 2018 Open Source Jobs Report).

"Open source technology talent is in high demand, as Linux and other open source software dominates software development," said Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin in a statement last week. "I am encouraged that that companies are recognizing more and more each day that open source technology is the way to advance their businesses."

Key findings from the 2018 Open Source Jobs Report (free PDF download upon providing registration information) as listed by the sponsoring organizations include:

  • Hiring open source talent is a priority for 83 percent of hiring managers, an increase from 76 percent in 2017.
  • Linux is back on top as the most in-demand open source skill category, with 80 percent of hiring managers looking for Linux talent, making it required knowledge for most entry-level open source careers, likely due to the strong popularity of cloud and container technologies, as well as DevOps practices, all of which typically run on Linux.
  • Containers are rapidly growing in popularity and importance, with 57 percent of hiring managers seeking that expertise, up from only 27 percent last year.
  • There's a gulf between the views of hiring managers and open source pros on the effectiveness of efforts to improve diversity in the industry, with only 52 percent of employees seeing efforts as effective compared to 70 percent of employers.
  • Hiring managers are moving away from hiring outside consultants, increasingly opting to train existing employees on new open source technologies and help them gain certifications.
  • Many organizations are getting involved in open source with the express purpose of attracting developers.

While Linux tops the skills list, the individual position most sought after is still developer (just like last year), with 72 percent of hiring managers looking for them. After developers, hiring managers are looking for DevOps skills (sought by 59 percent), engineers (57 percent) and sysadmins (49 percent).

For their part, open source developers say their biggest challenges include lack of training opportunities, documentation and management buy-in for open source.

Biggest Challenges for Open Source Developers
[Click on image for larger view.] Biggest Challenges for Open Source Developers (source: 2018 Open Source Jobs Report).

"In their view, providing opportunities to attend conferences and events (cited by 68 percent) is the top way employers can make developers more successful, as well as allocating paid work time to contribute to open source projects (62 percent) and providing professional training opportunities (also 62 percent)," the report said.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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