The open source software development model is one of humanity’s brighter ideas, and the Linux operating system with its literally hundreds of offspring is the most shining example there is of the vast potential of open source collaboration. There’s much more to the rich open source ecosystem, however, than just roly-poly old Tux, the penguin mascot that represents Linux to the world.
That point was driven home by a slightly odd-sounding output from the 2018 Open Source Jobs Report released today by the nonprofit Linux Foundation and tech employment facilitator Dice.com. Among other elements, the Open Source Jobs Report lists the most hotly demanded open source skill set, a prestigious recognition reclaimed by Linux this year.
This means that, at the time of last year’s report, some other open source skill set was higher up on hiring managers’ watch list than Linux. Which sounds odds, we know, since “Linux” and “open source” are largely synonymous in the minds of many. (For the record: “cloud” expertise was more hotly demanded than Linux expertise at the time of last year’s Open Source Jobs Report.)
(Which, we’ll grant you, is a bit misleading. There are certainly cloud computing technologies and services that have originated or grown through open source collaboration. It would be pretty hard to argue, on the other hand, that most people’s first association with “cloud” technology is something other than the proprietary tools and services offered by the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.)
(It would be like saying that word processing is an open source technology. There are certainly open source alternatives out there, but wouldn’t it seem a little bit ridiculous to suggest that we don’t actually live in world where Microsoft’s Office 365 is a thing that exists?)
(But we digress.)
Among other key findings of this year’s report is the news that 83 percent of hiring managers who participated in the survey say that hiring open source talent is a priority. Containers, an OS virtualization gimmick that helps maximize efficiency, productivity, and allocation of system resources, is another hotbed of interest for potential open source employers.
It’s also apparently the case that current marketplace conditions do not constitute as ideal a business environment for skilled consultants as was previously the case. Instead of relying on contractors to fill open source gaps, companies are instead focusing on training existing employees, including by paying for them to develop open source skill sets via certification.
The 2018 Open Source Jobs Report reflects feedback from more than 750 hiring managers, as well as from more than 6,500 open source professionals from countries around the globe. The full report is available online free of charge, though registration (this means your e-mail address and a smattering of identifying information) is required.