Profiles of Linux Professionals
Katherine Noyes, writing an exclusive report for Linux.com, has posted a collection of profiles of individuals working in the Linux industry, and what they love about the field. The article accompanies the 2014 Linux Jobs Survey and Report, published jointly by the Linux Foundation and the job search site Dice, available for free with registration here. According to both the report and the 21 professionals interviewed, the job market for Linux skills has never been better.
The Linux Jobs Survey and Report cites three main points that it found:
- Managers are searching for Linux talent
- Linux talent is more of an immediate need in more places than ever before.
- Tech workers with Linux skills are moving up fast in their careers.
Having been a Linux professional for over a decade, I can say for certain that focusing on Linux has absolutely advanced my career. When I started out to search for a career path after military service, I took inventory of my skills, and thought hard about what path I wanted to take. I chose Linux because I love to build things, and I love knowing that when I work with Linux I'm only limited by how much I know about the system. When you choose to work with proprietary software, eventually you hit a point where you can't go any further without calling for support. That's not a limit of your ability, its an artificial limit in place by the software vendors to keep control of their product.
The career of a Linux professional is only limited by his or her creativity and curiosity. If you can think of a way to build something, the open source tools are all waiting for you to put together. If you see a way you can help your organization, Linux gives you the power to just get in there and do it, you just have to know how. I like the analogy of walking into a room and finding all the pieces of a rocket car lying around. Sure, you can buy something off the lot, but it won't match what you can build yourself. For the dedicated professional, this availability matches up with curiosity to build a wonderful career full of solving interesting problems. When I tell my kids what I do for a living, I tell them that I solve puzzles.
My experience seems to be mirrored by many of the professionals highlighted in Noyes' article. The Linux career path is not only full of mental satisfaction, but since the skills are in such high demand right now there are several other perks as well. According to the Linux Foundation report, the top three incentives are:
- Flexible work schedules or telecommuting
- Salary increases above the company norm
- Additional training or certification
Linux can be incredibly frustrating, obtuse at times, and even a bit archaic. But, once you get it, once you really get how and why Linux works the way it does, it opens up a whole world of possibilities. If you've ever wondered when a good time to take your passion for open source and turn it into something more than a hobby, there's never been a better time than now.