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Open source career opportunities continue to abound

Sharon Florentine | Sept. 5, 2013
Regardless of the health of the overall IT job market, open source is one area of the tech market that's always growing. In addition to traditional areas such as scripting languages and server operating systems, mobile app development, the cloud and big data offer new open source opportunities.

Tartaglino says that he sees many clients using open source to write customized code that works to connect homegrown applications and database management solutions to standard, legacy applications like SQL.

"If you're working with customers' specialty applications and need to hook into these databases, you can easily create a home-grown solution that will seamlessly connect to those databases using open source languages and tools," he says.

Because many of his customers' deployments are a hybrid of software and services from companies like Microsoft and their own custom applications, he says he sees the need for both skillsets continuing to be in demand. "As long as your people also have the skills to create the visual front end and run the commands on the backend, you're set."

Who's Hiring?
It's not just traditional technology companies hiring for open source positions, although, according to blogger and open source expert Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, 100 percent of vendors at the recent OSCON were hiring for open source talent.

The demand for open source skills has expanded into other firms not traditionally thought of as tech-savvy, like General Electric (GE), Home Depot, and Ticketmaster, says Goli.

"Open source skills are expanding quite a bit out of specifically technology companies into other, nontech firms," says Goli. "Mostly, these big firms are looking for people with skills related to big data — to take their huge data streams and analyze them — and related to the cloud and related services technology," he says. GE, Walmart, Home Depot, Northrup Grumman, Morgan Stanley; even printing firm RR Donnelly has an opening for a PHP developer, Goli says.

Whatever industry you're in, if you're an open source developer, it seems the market's wide open. "Open source is everywhere, and we don't see this market slowing down any time soon," says Goli.


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