Open source skills more highly sought after than proprietary software talent

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The demand for open source software skills continues to rise, making it one of the most sought-after fields in the technology industry, new research has found.

A study commissioned by IBM and conducted by O’Reilly has highlighted the importance of open source (opens in new tab) skills in the era of the hybrid cloud (opens in new tab)

The survey interviewed 3,500 developers and developer managers, an overwhelming majority of whom suggest that developers (opens in new tab) should focus on honing their open source skills as the future of the cloud and open source is essentially linked. 

Open Source for the win

According to IBM, 70% of the respondents gravitated towards cloud platforms built using open source. That’s because open source software guards against vendor lock-in, while lowering costs at the same time.

No surprise then that 65% of developers opined that skills related to the underlying open source infrastructure such as Linux (opens in new tab), and Kubernetes (opens in new tab), are more beneficial to their careers, than skills related to a specific cloud platform.

Just as many developers also agreed that contributing to open source projects helps impress potential employers and opens them to better professional opportunities.

Outside of the cloud, the survey also found that 94% of the respondents rate open source software in general as equal to or better than proprietary software.

“Over the past two decades, the rise of cloud technologies and the proliferation of open source software have developed in tandem, with open source software now underpinning all major clouds,” note three leading open source leaders at IBM in a joint statement.

This ties in with the Linux Foundation’s recent 2020 Open Source Jobs (opens in new tab) report, which noted that a majority of hiring managers these days look for developers familiar with open cloud technologies. 

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.