Open source offers job security as businesses navigate an IT talent war

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If you're in open source and looking for a job, chances are you won't have to search long. According to recent research, businesses are going out of their way to find—and hang onto—their best open source talent. Last month, the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report found that 79% of hiring managers have increased incentives to retain their current open source professionals.

Another report by Harvard Business Review urges CIOs and business leaders to get involved in the open source community as an answer to their IT talent challenges. CIOs who were interviewed for the report say that not only is the open source community a great resource for finding innovative candidates with cutting-edge technical skills, but also having existing IT teams skilled in the use open source tools helps them to make the most of limited resources in IT.

Bryson Koehler, CIO of The Weather Company, says, "Open source is a magnet for talent. It's a great way to attract engineers who are creative problem solvers and can give your company an edge. Innovative developers don't start their own projects with big, shrink-wrapped packages. They join or even start open source projects. Who wouldn't want that kind of initiative in their company?"

The talent problem is not the only business challenge that Koehler has solved with open source. In another article on The Enterprisers Project, he gives more reasons why he's an advocate for open source, such as self-support, solid security, and knowing that your team is directly contributing to making applications better within the open source community.

Koehler adds, "Just a few short years ago, there was a possibility you might lose credibility by bringing up open source as a possible solution for an IT problem." He says now it's more likely that you will lose credibility for not bringing up open source.

That hiring managers are increasingly recognizing open source as a gold mine for innovative, creative, highly collaborative job candidates makes sense. Beyond finding the skilled talent they need to stay competitive, hiring managers and CIOs are seeing the power of community by contributing to open source projects and collaborating with large networks of talented engineers.

Have you ever been recruited by someone you've met through an open source project? Or have your bosses ever asked whether you have open source developer friends you'd recommend for their job openings? If not, you may notice that these and other recruiting efforts soon become a regular part of the open source experience.

Carla Rudder is a writer and content manager for The Enterprisers Project. The Enterprisers Project is a thought leadership community for CIOs and IT executives, sponsored by Red Hat in partnership with Harvard Business Review and CIO Magazine. Visit to learn more.

1 Comment

Great article. Open source has indeed come of age.

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