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5 Ways to Be Successful with Open Source Software: Hadoop Creator Doug Cutting’s Advice for 2017

Doug Cutting, Chief Architect, Cloudera | Jan. 17, 2017
Over the past year, we’ve seen open source technology make strong inroads into the mainstream of enterprise technology.

3. Avoid Cloud Vendor Lock-in by Opting for Open-Source Software

As more enterprise organizations and industries embrace the cloud, they should consider open-source software that's not only becoming more robust, scalable and secure, but which can also help them avoid cloud vendor lock-in. By building on an open-source platform, organizations can employ cloud-vendor arbitrage to keep costs down, use different clouds in different regions, or use a combination of cloud-based and on-premises systems. In fact, open-source platforms have also proven technically superior and will likely gain more ground in 2017. It's difficult for a single vendor to compete against a large number of institutions collaborating in open source. In addition, open-source data systems now lead in performance and flexibility, and they're improving more rapidly.

4. For Job Seekers, Focus on the Forest and not the Trees in the Open-Source Ecosystem

Job hunters in the fields of IT, programming and data science shouldn't fixate on mastering individual technologies, but focus instead on understanding the best use of each of the components of the open source data ecosystem and how they can be connected to solve problems. This high-level architectural understanding is the most valuable skill to companies innovating in technology. Because as new technologies arrive, it's crucial to understand how they fit in, what they might replace and what they might enable. 

5. Seek Opportunity in the Skills Gap

The skills gap in big data will remain relatively constant in the next year, but this shouldn't deter people from adopting Hadoop and other open-source technologies. As most of us know, when new technologies are created and vie for users, they are known by few. Only once a particular type of software is a mature standard part of the canon do we begin to have a substantial number of folks skilled in its use - but even then the skills gap can persist. It will disappear only when we stop seeing big improvements to the stack, which I doubt we want. In short, the skills gap is one of the primary factors gating the rate of platform change, but it's also a sign innovation is at hand.


The open source ecosystem and its implementation in meaningful projects will continue to expand over the coming years. As an impetus for collaboration, it brings together today's brightest minds to move software development forward at a pace not possible ten years ago. If you have an idea for improving existing technologies or want to rally behind a notion for breaking the status quo, this is the place. I encourage everyone interested to get involved and for those open source veterans to keep committing to the cause. Click here more information on joining the ASF community.


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