Skip to comments.Open-source skills best hope for landing a good job
Posted on 11/30/2011 7:04:53 AM PST by ShadowAce
In the midst of a weakening global economy and rampant uncertainty as to when the recession will lift from North America and Western Europe, one thing is certain: open-source technology skills may be the best hope for landing a good job. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, open source claims five of the top 10 keywords in Indeed.com's job listings, with Hadoop, Puppet, Android, and jQuery making the list, along with HTML5, a proxy for various open-source projects like ext-JS, SproutCore, etc.
But before you rip up your Microsoft Certified IT Professional certification, it pays to balance rising trends against dominant technologies.
Using Indeed.com, it's clear to see that interest in open technologies such as Drupal, Hadoop, and jQuery is exploding:
|android,ubuntu,jquery,hadoop,drupal Job Trends||Android jobs - Ubuntu jobs - Jquery jobs - Hadoop jobs - Drupal jobs
However, the picture becomes a bit murkier when you start adding in search terms like Microsoft's SharePoint:
|android,ubuntu,jquery,hadoop,drupal,sharepoint Job Trends||Android jobs - Ubuntu jobs - Jquery jobs - Hadoop jobs - Drupal jobs - Sharepoint jobs
And gets even worse when throwing in "Oracle", ".Net", and "Windows":
|android,ubuntu,jquery,hadoop,windows,drupal,sharepoint,oracle,.net Job Trends||Android jobs - Ubuntu jobs - Jquery jobs - Hadoop jobs - Windows jobs - Drupal jobs - Sharepoint jobs - Oracle jobs - .NET jobs
Obviously, things are moving up for open technologies. Equally obviously, however, they have a long way to go to close the gap on proprietary technologies like Microsoft's .Net. According to Dice.com's October job trends report, there's a serious .Net talent shortage across all major US geographies. Going one step further, Dice.com reports ".Net", "Peoplesoft", "Informatica", "Cobol", "C#", "SAP", and "Oracle DBA" as top search terms for job seekers.
Proprietary software developers may also need open-source
engineering skills. Photo via Shutterstock
Whether it's the employer looking for talent, or the talent looking for an employer, proprietary software continues to dominate the job boards.
But this only tells half the story. Back in 2008, Gartner declared that 80 per cent of all commercial applications would incorporate open-source software by 2012. We may have surpassed that 80 per cent market already. Microsoft, for example, has long included open-source software in its proprietary products, as Lee Gomes reported back in 2001. Oracle, SAP, and every other significant proprietary software developer does the same.
So while it's convenient to segregate "open" and "closed" for the purposes of tracking job trends, doing so obscures the larger reality that these same job searches may well betoken demand for open-source engineering expertise to be applied to a proprietary product.
Sure, you can still see people calling out open source expertise in job listings, but this is a relic of an old-school way of viewing software, one that doesn't adequately match the realities of today's increasingly hybridised development.
One thing, however, is clear: as much as open source may commoditise software, open-source software talent is hard to commoditise. Some suggest that open source is "software's labour movement," keeping value in the people who manipulate technology rather than in the technology itself, and I think there's a lot of truth to that view. A variety of studies consistently demonstrate open-source savvy developers and IT professionals commanding higher salaries, something that seems not to have changed much even as open source has gone mainstream.
So whether you're developing an open-source project for love or proprietary profit, such expertise should remain in high demand no matter the difficult economy or the continued dominance of Oracle and Microsoft of the enterprise technology market. ®
booked for interest
Thanx - forwarded article to son who was History major in college but now works in IT field...very interesting!
Kudos for your parenting skills. I have a cousin whose daughter was an art history major and is now part of the OWS movement - bitter than she isn't getting paid top dollar for her useless degree, while the "fat cats" are cleaning up. Meanwhile she is a whiz at social media, yet doesn't get that people will PAY her for that. Her parents are libs and coddle her. Pathetic.
No wonder I can’t find a job, I have never even heard of any of these things. I feel very old. Which I am.
I love Apache Wicket, there is no better package for developing web applications.
...Now, if I can learn to type and keep paying for a web connection, things may get better. Hang in there partner!
COBOL is still in demand if you know / knew it, especially if you know JCL (IBM mainframe batch language). The technologies that are always in demand and pay a living wage are the very new tech and old tech that newbies don’t want to touch, but runs much of the key proprietary apps inside an organization. Best wishes, I’m “in between opportunities” too.
Thanks for the kind wishes. I’m not in this field at all and I don’t know what Cobol is, either. Focusing my energies more toward healthcare, where my background is, and meanwhile doing some freelance work with a couple of little home businesses. I’m truly losing any hope that any employer is going to hire a woman in her late fifties. Doing anything. For any wage.
Sharepoint is a huge cluster. Can’t stand it. It’s where perfectly useful information goes to die.
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