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A Survey Finds A Link Between Open Source And The Demand For DevOps Skills

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According to a survey released this week by the Linux Foundation, enterprise IT organisations now prefer to hire IT professionals who have experience with both open source software and DevOps. The survey, which was conducted in collaboration with edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc., polled 1,672 open source professionals and 559 respondents with hiring responsibility for open source professionals. The findings also revealed a strong correlation between demand for that expertise and familiarity with DevOps.

In terms of most sought-after skills, 69 percent of employers said they want IT professionals with cloud and container technology expertise, followed by Linux (61 percent) and DevOps/GitOps/DevSecOps expertise (57 percent ). Another 40% are looking for people with cybersecurity skills. More than three-quarters (76%) of IT professionals surveyed currently work with Linux, while 60% have worked with cloud/container technologies and 53% have DevOps/GitOps/DevSecOps experience. Over three-quarters (79%) said being familiar with DevOps was either very important (44%) or extremely important (35%).

According to Clyde Seepersad, senior vice president and general manager for training and certifications at the Linux Foundation, when salary and benefits are equal, more IT professionals prefer to work for organisations that are clearly viewed as open source software leaders. Organizations that want to attract the best IT talent should make an effort to be seen as significant contributors to open source software projects.

Approximately half of the respondents work for IT vendors, with the remainder representing some type of end-user organisation that typically uses open source software. According to that distribution, demand for open source software expertise has now moved well beyond IT vendors who build commercial applications and IT platforms. Overall, 93 percent of employers reported difficulty finding enough skilled talent, with nearly half (46 percent) planning to hire additional IT professionals with open source software expertise in the next six months.

Hiring IT professionals with open source software expertise was a top priority for 86 percent of respondents. More than two-thirds of employers (69%) said they are more likely to hire an open source professional who has a certification. 90 percent of employers said they will pay for employees to obtain certifications, with 58 percent reporting that open source IT professionals typically earn more.

In addition, 81 percent of open source software professionals polled said they planned to add certifications this year. Almost three-quarters of them (73 percent) said it would be simple to find a new job. According to the survey, roughly one-third of those polled either left or changed jobs in the previous year. A higher salary would deter two-thirds of open source software professionals from leaving their jobs. More than three-quarters (77%) of IT professionals said they would benefit from additional cybersecurity training.

However, only 43% of employers identified training as a way to fill current skill gaps. Another 41% reported hiring consultants to fill these gaps. Only 16% of those polled said they were willing to postpone projects due to a skills shortage. IT vendors and enterprise IT organisations are clearly competing for the same talent in many ways. The challenge for enterprise organisations is to maintain a high enough profile to be perceived as a place where IT professionals can make meaningful contributions to open source software.

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