Linux Foundation: Companies are struggling to find open-source talent

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The Linux Foundation and edX have released the 2021 Open Source Jobs report which reveals the struggle companies are having in finding talent.

As the world recovers from the pandemic, the general talent shortages across industries have been well-documented. However, the new report shows just how pronounced the problem is when it comes to hiring open-source expertise.

Technology helped to keep the world moving during the pandemic and even the most resistant-to-change businesses were suddenly forced to embrace digitalisation, especially their use of cloud technologies. Three in five professionals report they’ve increased their usage of the cloud over the past year.

Cloud and container skills (46%) are also the most in-demand developer skill, followed by Linux development and administration (35%), networking technologies (26%), DevOps practices (24%), and security practices (23%).

Many companies are now doubling-down on their digital transformation investments after realising the benefits and/or to ensure business continuity in the case of another wave of COVID-19 (or, god forbid, a whole other pandemic.)

As such, the pandemic is a contributing factor to 97 percent of hiring managers in the report saying that recruiting open-source talent is a priority. 50 percent of hiring managers claim to have increased their open-source hiring this year.

However, 92 percent of hiring managers report they’ve had difficulty in finding open-source talent. 92 percent of employers also report having difficulty retaining staff, up from 85 percent in 2020 and 78 percent in 2018.

As is typically the case when demand outstrips supply, a lot more cash is having to exchange hands to obtain the precious resource that is open-source expertise. Two in five companies even say they’ve given open-source talent greater salary raises than other employees.

Money isn’t the biggest motivator for open-source professionals, with 54 percent of experts claiming to work in the sector because they’re passionate about it. 33 percent say it’s due to more opportunities to work remotely, 25 percent due to increased collaboration, 25 percent because of the “freedom” of open-source, and then, at 24 percent, we get to the money and perks (although, it’s worth noting that’s increased by 85 percent from the 13 percent reported in both 2020 and 2018.)

In short, it’s a better time than ever to have skills in open-source.

You can find a copy of the full report here.

Related: Sonatype analysis reveals a 73 percent surge in open-source demand

(Photo by Headway on Unsplash)

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