How to Leverage Your Open Source Skills in the Changing Job Market

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 08, 2011

For countless people who are about to start a new year unemployed, this year's top resolution will be finding a job. We've reported before on how acquiring skills with open source technologies can be an effective differentiator or the job seeker. Just this past week, more evidence that this is true has rolled in, and in this post you'll also find some of OStatic's best collected resources for leveraging open source skills for employment.

The Linux Foundation has just posted a fantastic infographic showing Linux job opportunity trends. You can view it here.  It shows that the majority of Linux-focused jobs around the world are concentrated in the U.S. We've also covered data from analysts showing that Linux skills are increasingly in demand in the job market.

As Hadoop gains more and more traction on the big data crunching scene, Hadoop skills are in demand as well. As InfoWorld has reported,  "Analysts and IT managers at the Hadoop World conference in New York this week repeatedly pointed to skills availability as one of the key challenges companies face in adopting Hadoop and said that those with the right skills could command healthy premiums." Indeed, not only are big companies such as eBay and startups such as Cloudera focused on Hadoop, but Hadoop is increasingly being adopted in government deployments.

 Nimsoft CEO Chris O'Malley has a good column on Computerworld's site where he argues that many IT departments will be "virtualizing human capital" in the year to come, making increasing room for contract-based workers, rent-a-coders and other non-full-time employees:

"[Enterprise IT] is being asked to deliver services to the business for which it lacks the skills, as well as the time and budget to acquire those skills.  And it too has to be careful about hiring in areas where needs may be temporary."

This last trend presents a great opportunity for those with open source skills to showcase their skills online.

TwitterJobSearch, Elance and many other sites are good places to look for open source work.  TwitterJobSearch yields lots of jobs for folks with open source skills in the development area, in particular. Try entering PHP or Drupal, for a start.If you have skills with open source programming languages, showcase them on Elance for freelance work. While you're at it, put a citation up for your open source skills on RentACoder.

Along similar lines, register on oDesk and get hired for jobs emphasizing your open source skills. The company connects global tech employers with people who have tech-related skills. Guru and TopCoder are two other sites that hook your open source skills up with remote employers around the world.

Also, remember that you can showcase your skills here on OStatic. Just create an account, and follow the instructions down the right rail of our home page for how to fill out your profile and reach out to other open sourcers.