Open source skills only got hotter during the pandemic

A recent survey shows enormous pent up demand for open source skills to help organizations drive their cloud strategies and digital transformation efforts.

Open source skills only got hotter during the pandemic

A massive 92% of hiring managers reported difficulty finding and retaining enough open source talent this year, as competition for these skills gets fiercer. That’s according to the latest Open Source Jobs Report by the Linux Foundation and edX, which surveyed 200 technical hiring managers and 750 open source professionals worldwide over the summer.

As the report notes, cloud adoption is up post-pandemic as organizations take the brakes off their legacy migration and digital transformation plans. And until the robots take over, these plans need skilled people to execute them. The spiking demand for these skills is creating a major tech talent crunch as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

When it comes to retaining existing talent, 39% of companies said they offered larger salary increases to their open source staff compared to other departments last year, and 38% increased bonuses for open source staff in a bid to keep them from leaving. Only 2% of respondents said they had no difficulty retaining their open source talent.

“Open source talent is in high demand, encouraging the most experienced pros to look for new opportunities while hiring managers battle it out for the most desirable candidates,” Linux Foundation executive director, Jim Zemlin, said in a statement.

The open source skills gap was particularly pronounced for cloud-native application development and operations roles, where 46% of hiring managers are looking for these skills, outstripping Linux development and administration skills for the first time in the survey’s nine-year history.

One piece of handy shorthand for hiring managers is the rise of cloud certifications. A massive 88% of managers said they were prioritizing certified hires and a similar percentage would pay for existing employees to obtain certifications. Compare this to just 57% of managers in 2020, and the value of certifications has clearly risen sharply over recent years. For in-demand Kubernetes skills this trend was particularly pronounced, with the report showing demand for Kubernetes certifications has risen 455% since 2019.

The unstoppable rise of devops was also reflected in the report, where 88% of open source professionals surveyed said they use some devops practices in their work, a 50% increase from three years ago.

Finally, the report indicates there is still much work to be done to make the open source community more diverse and inclusive. When it comes to hiring, 98% of employers surveyed said they are proactively encouraging diversity in hiring, up from 88% last year, but only 76% of employees feel their companies are trying to hire a more diverse workforce, marking a clear perception gap inside of organizations.

More troubling is the finding that 18% of open source professionals still report that they have been discriminated against or felt unwelcome due to their personal characteristics, which is up from 11% in 2020 and 8% in 2018.

“Reports of discriminatory activity or exclusion having more than doubled in three years could be related to increased awareness and willingness for individuals to speak out, or it could be partly driven by a backlash against movements to advance equality in marginalized communities. To continue positive progress, the industry must take concrete steps to increase diversity and become more welcoming to all,” the report noted.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.