Need for Open Source Developers Continues to Increase

Two recent jobs reports show the demand for skills in OS such as Linux, MySQL remains strong.

Demand for developers and coders with open source skills continues to rise, economy be damned.The report was produced for the U.K.'s Recruitment and Employment Confederation and was based on a review of more than 150,000 advertised jobs for IT staff in the quarter.oDesk (PDF link) that was mainly due to a surge in job requests for folks with social media skills. MySQL, Joomla, Linux, PHP and other open-source skills were comfortably in the top 50 skills requested by job posters. (By the way, this report also found .Net in high demand.)

According to the Technology Demand and Supply Q4 2009 report, Linux has become one of the only skillsets for which there was a growth in demand for two consecutive quarters. The others were SQL, C#, and .NET.

And while open source jobs declined slightly in the nearly 40,000 jobs posted on U.S-based online workteam builder

So statistics are very well and good, but what do all those numbers actually mean?

Despite the economy, tech sectors continue to grow. Many of the jobs, however (particularly on an online marketplace such as oDesk), are being outsourced to other nations, such as India and the Phillippines. Even with a large chunk of the jobs going overseas, however, there's still a great deal of demand for those in the U.S., U.K., Canada and elsewhere with these skills.

Jeff Brooks, chairman of REC Technology, said: "It is very encouraging to see that companies will still invest in technology to develop their businesses even when there is a tough economic landscape."

It seems as if a little more of the world is moving online every day, and everyone's just trying to keep up. The prevalence of open source in the skills demanded is just further proof that open source is entrenched firmly in the mainstream. To most, that's no surprise, some declared OSS mainstream as long as a decade ago. But too many others just have tunnel vision and get scared of a world that doesn't have Windows and IE8.

And skills in Flash, iPhone, Facebook, Word and Dreamweaver also were nestled comfortably in the top 50 job skills requested in jobs posted to oDesk last month.

The lesson to be learned here is that the answer to our ever-growing technological needs is probably some combination of open source and proprietary products and platforms.

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