Expect big demand for open source software skills in 2010

Hiring managers seek out Ruby on Rails, Python, PHP and other open source programming skills as the software sees more enterprise adoption.

Open source software appeals to many in IT for its low -- or nonexistent entry price -- and flexibility, and now that appeal is growing on hiring managers, according to IT talent experts, who report that companies will in 2010 seek candidates with high-tech skills related to open source software.

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"We are seeing a ton of demand for skills around open source technologies and frameworks. Demand for Python, Ruby on Rails and PHP development skills far exceeds the number of people available with skills," says Michael Kirven, co-founder and principal of IT resourcing firm Bluewolf.

The online job resource for technology professionals, Dice.com, also reports seeing increased interest in open source skill sets. Tom Silver, senior vice president with Dice, says the Web site has seen a growth in interest around programming skills such as Ruby on Rails and Python as well.

"There are about 1,000 jobs open looking for such skills and we expect open source technologies are an area employers will be looking to hire," he says.

Yet keep in mind the interest in these technologies is at an enterprise level, from employers looking to hire IT professionals that can help them run data centers more efficiently and cost-effectively.

"Hiring managers want to see more than people playing around with open source in a sandbox environment. People that get trained and certified on these open source technologies will stand out when their resumes fall on recruiters desks," Kirven adds.

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