by Sharon Florentine

5 open source skills in high demand

May 25, 2016
CareersIT JobsIT Skills

The open source job market is booming and companies need talent to drive their business. Here are the five most in-demand skills for open source IT professionals.

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Recruiting open source talent is a top priority for IT recruiters and hiring managers in 2016, according to the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report released by IT hiring platform and The Linux Foundation. The Open Source Jobs Survey and Report surveyed approximately 400 IT hiring managers and more than 4,500 open source professionals currently employed in the IT industry in March 2016, and found that 65 percent of hiring managers say open source hiring will increase more than any other part of their business over the next six months. Much of the demand is driven by the fact that open source code is an integral part of today’s connected digital world.There is open source code in everything from thermostats to security systems to automobiles.

“Demand for open source talent is growing, and companies are struggling to find experienced professionals to fill open roles. The number of jobs in this category posted on our site continues to remain high, which demonstrates that the skills needed to fill these jobs are in short supply,” says president Bob Melk.

Based on findings from the report, here are the five hottest open source technology skills IT pros need to succeed in this hot hiring market.

1. Developers

The top position on hiring managers’ open-source talent “must-have” list is developers, with 74 percent of survey respondents saying they need skilled open source developers. This could include skills like Linux, Unix, Apache, Hadoop and other open source platforms that span technology areas like software development, big data, data center technology and security.

“As even traditional companies embrace digital transformation, even the most mundane objects, like thermostats and automobiles have software that requires code — and much of that code is open source,” says Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation.

2. DevOps

Fifty-eight percent of hiring managers saying they are seeking DevOps professionals this year. As the roles of system administrators and software developers converge in the cloud, DevOps professionals are in incredibly high demand to help companies design, provision and deploy cloud technologies, says Zemlin.

“As businesses undergo digital transformation, they are more reliant than ever on open source code and projects, and the talent to integrate it with backend cloud services, and to transform hardware-centric solutions into ‘software defined’ technology,” Zemlin says.

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3. Cloud technology

OpenStack, CloudStack and other cloud-centric technologies were cited as areas of focus by 51 percent of hiring managers surveyed. Hiring managers say that the amount of enterprise technology that’s moving to the cloud is increasing exponentially and that’s driving the need for skilled cloud architects and other professionals, says Melk. “There’s clearly a huge push to move to the cloud for flexibility, agility and scale, and the hiring report demonstrates how important skilled cloud talent is to the success of these initiatives,” he says.

4. Networking

Networking, too, is in high demand, with 21 percent of hiring managers looking for talent with those skills, the survey revealed. As organizations move from hardware-defined solutions to those that are software-defined, the ability to connect them becomes increasingly important, says Zemlin. “It’s also about being able to connect technology that’s outside the firewall with technology that sits inside a business’s firewall so that it works seamlessly and securely,” says Melk.

[ Related story: Are Agile, DevOps and similar certifications worth it? ]

5. Storage

With such huge need for cloud and networking technology, it’s no surprise that IT talent with distributed open source storage skills are also in high demand, says Marie Louise van Deutekom, global head of human resources for SUSE Linux. “The need to access data, files and information shared via networking, by multiple users from multiple locations, from shared resources in the cloud means a perfect storm of demand for distributed storage talent,” says van Deutekom.

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