2016 Open Source Jobs Report: Developers, DevOps, and certifications wanted

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The Linux Foundation and Dice.com partnered to survey almost 5,000 open source professionals, and this week they unveiled the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report. The 2016 survey includes responses from more than 400 hiring managers and 4,500 open source professionals worldwide.

According to the latest report, 65% of hiring managers see an increase in hiring for open source talent over hiring in other roles over the next six months. During that same period, 59% are planning to add Linux talent, which is a 9% increase over the 2015 Linux Jobs Report. Finding the talent is the tricky part—87% of the surveyed hiring managers say that attracting candidates with the right skills and expertise is challenging.

Which skills have the biggest impact on open source hiring? The report outlines a few skills hiring managers say are in demand, such as:

  • Development: 74% have openings for developers.
  • Application development: 60% are seeking application development expertise.
  • DevOps: 58% need DevOps talent.
  • Cloud: 51% want candidates with OpenStack and CloudStack experience.
  • Networking: 21% are looking for new hires with networking skills.
  • Security: 14% need security pros.
  • Containers: 8% are seeking candidates with container experience.

More than half of the respondents think open source technologies will be the largest area of growth in 2016, and 19% are leaning toward containers. Security follows closely behind at 16%, with networking at 9%.


More than half of the hiring managers prefer hiring talent with formal open source training, and 44% are more likely to hire candidates with certifications.

The survey indicates that candidates recognize these trends. Seventy-six percent of the open source professionals believe that certifications will help their careers, and 47% plan to take a certification exam this year. "Hiring managers are championing these ambitions, with 34% willing to aid with the cost of an employee’s open source certification," the report says.

In addition to seeking certifications, the reports says open source professionals are keeping skills fresh with free online tutorials (90%), paid online training courses (60%), conferences and events (45%), social and professional networking (42%), contributing to open source projects (41%), participating in open source meetups (35%), and attending instructor-led open source training (23%).

Attracting and retaining talent

According to the report, in addition to offering better work/life balance, training, and certification opportunities, hiring managers are still opening their virtual checkbooks. "Seventy-nine percent of hiring managers say their companies have increased incentives to hold on to employees, with 44% hiking up salaries for open source talent more than in other parts of the company, and 43% offering more flexible work hours and telecommuting—all significant increases over the 2015 Linux Jobs Report (71%, 36%, and 37%, respectively)."

The majority of survey respondents agreed that open source skills have advanced their careers. "Half of those surveyed were offered an incentive to keep them from switching jobs in the past year, while 73% were contacted by a recruiter at least once in the past six months," the report explains.

To learn more, download the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report.

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Rikki Endsley is the Developer Program managing editor at Red Hat, and a former community architect and editor for Opensource.com.


Will be interesting to see if the containers experience number will jump up given the expected increase in that technology.

Agreed. I was surprised at how low experience with containers was on the list, but that could be because hiring managers understand that it's still relatively new for people to have that experience, and it's not really hard to get container experience "on the job."

In reply to by Sandra McCann

It blows my mind how much belief in certiicates is hold in wstern countries. Here only hing that eallymatters isexpience.

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