Open Source Skills In High Demand

Hiring managers plan to hire more IT pros with open source know-how such as open networking, survey finds.

Marcia Savage

June 9, 2016

3 Min Read
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Open source skills are hot, at least according to a recent study by an organization with some interest in the matter, the Linux Foundation.

In a survey conducted with tech job site Dice, the nonprofit foundation found that 59% of hiring managers plan to add more employees with open source skills in the next six months. That's up 9% from a Linux-focused jobs survey conducted last year. Sixty-five percent of 400 employers polled said hiring of those with open source skills will increase more than hiring in any other part of their business over the next six months.

Moreover, companies with open source talent are working hard to keep them, according to the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report. Seventy-nine percent of hiring managers (up from 71% last year) said they've increased incentives to retain their open source pros, with 44% raising salaries for open source talent and 43% offering flexible work hours and telecommuting.

Eighty-seven percent of hiring managers said it's hard to find open source talent, so it's no wonder they're working hard to keep the ones they have.



Open source networking is one of the hottest skills, the report found. Twenty-one percent of hiring managers said networking knowledge has the biggest impact on open source hiring, followed by security experience (14%) and container skills (8%).

"Emerging technologies equal new opportunities for open source professionals -- and the biggest right now is open source networking. Because open source is built collaboratively, it’s built faster and with more adaptability than any proprietary platforms. So it’s no surprise that companies are setting their strategies around networking," according to the report.

Fifty-one percent of hiring managers said expertise in cloud technologies such as OpenStack and CloudStack has the most impact on their hiring decisions.

DevOps skills also are hot, with 54% of employers saying they're on the hunt for DevOps pros. Developers remain the top need for hiring managers at 74%.

Interestingly, the study -- which also polled 4,500 open source professionals -- found that only 2% cited money and perks as the best part of their jobs. Rather, they put a priority on innovation. Thirty-one percent said they most valued working on interesting projects, 18% enjoyed working on cutting-edge technology challenges, and 17% said they liked collaborating with a global community.

Open SDN training

On the heels of its open source jobs report, the Linux Foundation announced a software-defined networking training course that aims to address what the foundation says is a skills gap for networking pros.

Most network engineers don't have much, if any, experience with software virtualization, the Linux Foundation said in launching the new SDN training, which it developed with its OpenDaylight open networking project. The self-paced, online course is an introduction to SDN designed to provide network admins and engineers with the skills for managing an SDN deployment, whether that's OpenDaylight or another flavor of SDN, a foundation spokesperson told me.

The foundation also is targeting the SDN training at system administrators who want to expand into networking and developers who want to understand how to deploy applications in an SDN framework.

“Traditional networking and communications organizations realize hardware-based, proprietary systems are becoming outdated. The future of networking infrastructure is SDN and virtualization,” Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin said in a prepared statement.

The SDN training is available now at a limited-time discount price of $79. The regular price will be $149.

Last week, the Linux Foundation expanded its roster of open networking projects with the addition of OpenSwitch, an open source network operating system initiative. The foundation also is home to Open Platform for NFV and ONOS.

About the Author(s)

Marcia Savage

Executive Editor, Network Computing

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