With small and medium businesses (SMBs) looking to boost digital transformation initiatives, there is an ever-increasing demand for a skilled open-source workforce, according to a new survey.
The 2021 Open Source Jobs Report, compiled jointly by the Linux Foundation, and learning platform edX, gives an overview of the demand for open source talent and emerging trends among open source professionals.
A skills gap
The report surveyed more than 200 hiring managers from across SMBs, large corporations, government organisations, and staffing agencies across the globe. It then combined them with responses from more than 750 open source professionals to get a pulse of the trends.
50% of the surveyed employers are increasing hires this year, but an overwhelming number of hiring managers (92%) noted that sufficient talent with open source skills is difficult to come by.
To close the skill gap, employers are prioritising training investments, with an overwhelming number of managers (88%) prioritising hires of certified talent, and a similar percentage of managers willing to pay for employees to obtain certifications.
The skills shortages in emerging technologies have far-reaching implications. "We are facing a situation where new technologies are being built on legacy technologies, requiring middleware that often cannot keep up with changes in underlying software infrastructure," the report's authors caution. "When combined with a lack of skills around both old and new technologies, the hiring market for open source talent is experiencing unprecedented stress. There are no easy solutions to these challenges, and it will take years to work through all the legacy applications that still exist."
More support and training needs to be offered
The greatest challenge developers face in the survey, cited by 41% of those surveyed, is a lack of training opportunities. Other challenges include a lack of documentation for open source projects (38%) and difficulty obtaining buy-in from management to use open source (37%).
The survey shows cloud and container technology skills are most in-demand by hiring managers, with 46% of hiring managers seeking cloud talent. At the same time, the survey confirms that qualified open-source talent is still in short supply.
Skills in Demand
- Cloud/container technologies 41%
- Linux 32%
- Networking technologies 31%
- Security 28%
- AI/machine learning 18%
- Storage technologies 17%
- Edge computing 17%
- Web technologies 16%
The Covid crisis reshaped IT professionals' jobs to some extent. Nearly 70% of hiring managers surveyed stated that their organisation would maintain at least a part-time work from home policy permanently, where not all workers will be required to be in the office every day. From an employee perspective, 30% report that they experienced an increase in workload due to the pandemic. Other impacts include the 22% who were forced at some point to reduce their hours, take unpaid leave, or lost their job (16% of those who lost a job report they have not yet found a new one). Only 21% stated that the pandemic did not affect their work.