Linux Foundation says companies are desperate for open source talent

Linux Foundation says companies are desperate for open source talent

Online hiring information for Linux position.Enlarge / It probably shouldn’t be considered “surprising” when a Linux certification entity reports that Linux certifications are highly desirable.

The Linux Foundation released its 2021 Open Source Jobs Report this month, which aims to inform both sides of the IT hiring process about current trends. The report accurately foreshadows many of its conclusions in the first paragraph, saying “the talent gap that existed before the pandemic has worsened due to an acceleration of cloud-native adoption as remote work has gone mainstream.” In other words: job-shopping Kubernetes and AWS experts are in luck.

The Foundation surveyed roughly 200 hiring managers and 750 open source professionals to find out which skills—and HR-friendly resume bullet points—are in the greatest demand. According to the report, college-degree requirements are trending down, but IT-certification requirements and/or preferences are trending up—and for the first time, “cloud-native” skills (such as Kubernetes management) are in higher demand than traditional Linux skills.


The hiring priority shift from traditional Linux to “cloud-native” skill sets implies that it’s becoming more possible to live and breathe containers without necessarily understanding what’s inside them—but you can’t have Kubernetes, Docker, or similar computing stacks without a traditional operating system beneath them. In theory, any traditional operating system could become the foundation of a cloud-native stack—but in practice, Linux is overwhelmingly what clouds are made of.

Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation’s executive director, said “it is evident that cloud-native computing, DevOps, Linux, and security hold the most promising opportunities.” DevOps itself—the blending of system administration and software development into a merged role—has become the norm, rather than the exception. The survey found that 88 percent of all open source professionals use DevOps principles now, up from 44 percent only three years ago.

Although the insights in the Open Source Jobs Report are intriguing, it’s worth remembering that the Linux Foundation is hardly a disinterested party—the laser focus on open source skills and certifications it highlights aren’t really unexpected findings from an organization which itself is dedicated to open source and offers multiple professional certifications.

The full report is available at the Linux Foundation and may be freely downloaded with no registration required.

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