Shortage of open source business applicants persists in 2021, Linux Foundation survey finds
While hiring in the IT sector is showing signs of rebounding from the persistent COVID-19 pandemic, finding qualified candidates with in-demand open source skills continues to be a huge challenge for many companies across the board. the world.
This is one of the frustrations frequently expressed by hiring managers around the world, according to the latest Open Source Jobs Report 2021 from the Linux Foundation and the learning platform provider edX.
The 29-page report, which was compiled from responses from more than 200 hiring managers and open source professionals around the world on their employment needs and preferences, was released on September 20 by the Linux Foundation before next week Open Source Summit in Seattle. Respondents, 47 percent of whom were in the United States, were surveyed from June 8 to July 19 and represent businesses, small and medium-sized businesses, government organizations and recruitment agencies. Respondents had each hired at least one open source professional in the past year or intend to hire open source professionals in 2021.
One of the main findings of the ninth annual survey is that 92% of hiring managers reported persistent difficulties in finding qualified potential employees who exhibit open source skills, which is even more difficult as around 50% of those surveyed said they are speeding up their open source recruiting. .
Software and open source development form the basis for a wide range of enterprise computing applications and platforms, including the Internet itself, as well as various fields ranging from AI to machine learning in through HPC, supercomputing and more.
Last year’s survey found that 56 percent of hiring managers planned to increase hiring. Only six percent said they plan to hire fewer open source staff in 2021, which is slightly up from four percent in 2020, while one percent said they plan to not hire any. open source hiring in 2021.
For businesses looking for open source pros, this continues to be a market for job seekers, especially as the economy continues to try to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic in some markets. , said Clyde Seepersad, director of training and certification for the nonprofit Linux Foundation.
“It was a question mark, given the pandemic, as to what is really going on in the labor markets because there was all of this disruption and that was combined with a disruption to this idea of working on site.” , Seepersad said. Corporate AI.
One of the trends seen at the start of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 was that the transition to hosting more apps and working in the cloud accelerated dramatically, he said.
“A lot of organizations were forced to move away from their own bare metal hosting more quickly because you couldn’t access it anymore,” Seepersad said. “And once they got on that train, their appetite to do it was’ you might as well do it. “But you see the increased focus on both cloud and DevOps skills, which to me reflects this whole idea of this new way of deploying microservices applications is quite different from that point of view.
But because finding new candidates continues to be so difficult, many hiring managers and business leaders approve of the importance of providing new training to their existing workers, Seepersad said.
In many cases, employees are asking for such training so that they can develop their skills and open source tools, and employers are willing to pay for these expenses, he said.
“What we are seeing are people focusing on improving the skills of their existing workforce,” Seepersad said. “I suspect it’s a crawl, walk, run [effort]. “
Ultimately, this could mean that some employers might start looking for workers outside of IT who haven’t previously considered being developers and offering them incentives or paying for their training to bring them to the field. , added Seepersad.
“If they are successful in transposing the skills of their existing workforce, their confidence in trying entry-level training will increase,” he said. “The feeling I have is that the idea of taking someone green off the street and training them [for open source careers] seems to be a bit of a bridge too far right now. Remember, until a few months ago, the default [for hiring managers] was to go on LinkedIn and find someone to poach.
The problem with this strategy for many companies is that they often lost skilled workers as quickly as they found them, he said.
To help companies find new potential workers, the Linux Foundation last December developed a new certification called LFCA, which stands for IT Associate Certified by the Linux Foundation.
This is a multiple-choice pre-professional exam for people who may never have considered a career in tech, Seepersad said. By taking the $ 250 exam, candidates can find out if they have any aptitude for cloud native and open source domains.
“It will turn out that it is not for everyone,” he said, “but it will be for more people than they think.”
The review can be used by business hiring managers to help sort through non-traditional prospects to see if it’s worth investing in them with training and jobs, he said. .
For applicants for a job in this employment-intensive market, Seepersad said his best advice is the same his organization has given people over the past two years: “Just pick something and try- the. Start developing these skills. Don’t wait for a sign from heaven. Take one of the [the Linux Foundation’s] free lessons and start learning more about this stuff.
For hiring managers, his advice is just as simple: Be open to allowing potential employees to work wherever they want to work, he said.
“We were wondering if this is going to stay once people go back to the office at a gallop, but we are seeing that it is settling into the new normal,” Seepersad said. “And recruiters like it. It is much easier. We did it at the Linux Foundation because we’ve been virtual forever. And it’s a lot easier to find good candidates when you don’t have to cross it with a particular geography.
And speaking of the “new normal,” it’s not just about working from home and in previous offices, he said.
“The new standard is based on open source, as it is based on Linux as an operating system, Kubernetes as an orchestrator and a whole bunch of open source projects for your CI / CD and DevOps layers”, Seepersad said. ” It’s everywhere. New LAMP Pile is basically an open source stack that runs everything. The fundamentals of this next generation of computing are this crossover series of core open source projects. “
For open source job seekers, this opportunity must be seized, he said.
“It’s not familiar to a lot of people, but the code is the code,” he said. “Just come in and start learning it, because it will be stacked for the foreseeable future.” “
And don’t forget about old technology, including things like COBOL and other programming languages who seem to have lost favor.
“It’s interesting how C ++ has come back to being a thing,” he said. “It was a dinosaur for a while, but you know, C and C ++ and now Rust – some of these less sexy low-level languages are experiencing a resurgence. People have understood that this gives you a lot of flexibility to compile some of these higher level languages.
It is also noted in the Linux Foundation 2021 Open Source Jobs report that cloud and container technology skills are most in demand among hiring managers, with 46% looking for workers with cloud experience. This exceeds workers with Linux skills for the first time in the history of the survey.