DevOps and cloud skills dominate open source work

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Open source DevOps and cloud skills

Over the last few years, open source technology has served as a main driver of digital transformation, providing teams with new ways to efficiently build and deploy their code in the cloud. Engineering teams are using more open source technology than ever before—and depend on it to power increasingly important parts of their stack.

As a result, demand for both DevOps talent and cloud skills are at an all-time high in the open source world.

The Linux Foundation, in partnership with edX, released an updated Open Source Jobs Report, a survey of hiring managers and open source professionals—developers, engineers, and managers who interact with open source technologies. According to the report, DevOps professionals are now the most sought after open source role, surpassing developers, engineers, architects, and SysAdmins.

Demand remains high for open source skills

Overall, open source technology remains a top priority for engineering teams, despite recent economic challenges.

Most teams will look to hire more workers with open source expertise. More than 80% of hiring managers say that hiring open source talent is a priority for 2020. Over half plan to increase their hiring of open source professionals in the next six months.

What’s fueling the open source hiring spree? According to the Linux Foundation:

Companies and organizations need to help to establish, build and sustain open source projects for the long term to accelerate innovation while reducing their R&D costs. To be successful, though, open source projects must possess a level of sophistication that solicits support from companies and developers. This is why the professionalization of open source is progressing at such a rapid pace.

As open source adoption grows, adding experience and expertise to organizations that depend on these technologies shifts from a luxury to a necessity.

DevOps roles are more critical than ever

Demand for open source professionals is mostly driven by a growing focus on acquiring DevOps talent.

Today 65% of companies are looking to hire more DevOps professionals, up 6 percentage points over the last two years. Demand for DevOps talent is at its highest level since the first Open Source Jobs Report was released four years ago.

Demand for DevOps talent

As hiring managers focus on DevOps talent, other roles have seen demand drop. Less than 60% of hiring managers are looking for developers, down from 72% in 2018. SysAdmins also saw a noticeable drop in demand, from 49% in 2018 to 35% today, as those roles continue to evolve into DevOps ones.

Cloud and container skills lead the way

Skill sets are rapidly shifting, too.

In 2018, just 44% believed that cloud and container skills were essential for open source professionals. Today, that number is 72%—and growing.

Most professionals believe cloud and container skills will only become more critical for their teams over time. About 75% of professionals see cloud and containers increasing in importance in the coming year, up from 57% two years ago.

Cloud and container skills

Much of the cloud today depends on widely available open source tools—like Kubernetes, Ansible, Docker, Linux, and more. To stay competitive in cloud-first development, teams need to be equipped with the skills to use them effectively.

Open source requires dedicated talent

Organizations are experiencing a rapid professionalization of open source—the building of a similar support ecosystem for open source software that has long been standard for proprietary software.

The widespread use and importance of open source technologies require engineering teams to reprioritize the roles they hire for and the skills they emphasize during training.

Leaders must look to build engineering teams around open source proficiency. That means hiring for the right roles with the right skills that enable teams to use open source technologies to drive digital transformation.

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