Open Source / Security

Companies Are Hiring Open Source Devs, but Skills Are Rare

22 Jun 2022 7:05am, by
White sign with black lettering that read "Help Wanted," posted on what appears to be a shop window.

If you’re a developer with open source skills, here’s some good news: You’re likely to have your pick of opportunities.

If you’re an organization that wants to hire more in-house open source devs? Here’s some bad news: you’re going to continue to struggle to find qualified people to fill those jobs.

With organizations of all sizes heavily dependent on open source software, software supply chain security top of mind, the need for more open source talent is growing. In light of all that, 73% of development professionals say it would be easy for them to find a new role, according to a new survey of open source technology careers.

But a staggering 93% of employers who participated in the same survey said they have a hard time finding job candidates with the right skills for open source positions.

This is especially worrisome, given that nearly half of the organizations surveyed — 46% — said they intend to increase their hiring for open source roles for the next six months.

Hiring difficulties are costing organizations money: 41% of hiring managers said they fill gaps with consultants, an often pricey tactic that’s up from 37% who said the same in 2021’s report. Only 16% of managers said their organizations are willing to delay projects due to understaffing.

The 10th annual report by The Linux Foundation on open source jobs surveyed more than 1,600 open source professional and just under 600 recruiters and hiring managers during March. edX, an online learning platform, collaborated on the study.

The study’s results were announced Wednesday at Open Source Summit North America, in Austin, Tex., sponsored by The Linux Foundation.

Cash Is King, Credentials Are Hot

The Great Resignation continues to shadow the tech job market, including open source hiring, the report suggested. One in three survey respondents said they either left their organization or changed jobs in the previous year.

As more professionals work from home now than before the Covid-19 pandemic, the researchers found that financial incentives were more prized by open source professionals than what it called “lifestyle” benefits. Two out of three open source workers surveyed said a higher salary could keep them from leaving their current jobs.

Among other findings:

  • Certifications are prized. Ninety percent of employers surveyed said they will pay for employees to get tech certifications, while 81% of open source professionals said they plan to acquire new certifications this year. Sixty-nine percent of hiring managers said they would be more likely to hire a candidate with a certification than one without — perhaps indicating that skills and a capacity to learn may matter more than years of experience in a tight market.
  • Cloud and container technology skills are sought by 69% of hiring managers, while 61% said they are seeking Linux skills.
  • Forty percent of employers said cybersecurity skills have a big impact on hiring decisions. However, that might be an example of a skills shortage: 77% of open source professionals said that they would benefit from more security training.
Ability to architect solutions based on open source software Ability to deploy open source software Experience using open source development tools, i.e., GitHub Knowledge of new tools Experience with running projects currently in production In-depth knowledge of particular open source technologies Understanding of open source development methodologies Experience contributing to an open source project Collaborative approach to development, i.e., knowledge of governance… Cybersecurity experience Understanding of open source licenses and compliance practices Experience trying out software in staging Experience creating open source documentation Open source program management

Hiring managers are less likely to be impressed by a candidate’s experience using open source tools and contributing to projects. Only 26% said  experience contributing to open source projects is an influential consideration when making hiring open source professionals. That’s a drop from the 49% who reported the same in 2021. Source: The 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report

Featured image by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.