Unemployed? Five reasons to build your resume with FOSS contributions

Unemployed? Five reasons to build your resume with FOSS contributions

Summary: It looks like we've gone from speculating whether we're headed into recession depression, to speculating just what that depression is going to look like. Yihong Ding, over on the Thinking Space blog,predicts that we'll have a "Golden Age" of the Web thanks to millions sitting at home with little else to do than putter around on the Web:So, Web companies and Web investors, now it is your chance.

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TOPICS: Open Source, Browser
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Special Report: Recession and the IT EconomyIt looks like we've gone from speculating whether we're headed into recession depression, to speculating just what that depression is going to look like. Yihong Ding, over on the Thinking Space blog,predicts that we'll have a "Golden Age" of the Web thanks to millions sitting at home with little else to do than putter around on the Web:

So, Web companies and Web investors, now it is your chance. You are going to have more users who are more experienced in real life. The input by these new users would significantly improve the quality and diversity of the Web content. Are you going to grasp this opportunity? Have you noticed their compelling capability of producing (comparing to the earlier regular Web content generators)? Are you able to provide these people new ways of value production from home?

If that's the case, shouldn't we be expecting a "Golden Age" for open source, with all the idle programmers and IT folks at home with time on their hands? I can think of several reasons why unemployed IT folks should consider digging into an open source project over catching up on their soaps in the interim:

  • Brush up and hone skills. Don't get rusty -- be prepared for the upturn by staying active and have work to show for your time off. Would you rather discuss the patches you contributed with a potential new boss, or the latest developments in daytime TV?
  • Scratch that itch. If there's a feature you've always wanted to see added to your favorite FOSS application, now's a good time to dive in.
  • Get your foot in the door. Many have predicted that the downturn will be good for, or at least not as bad, for open source companies. Working with the development teams might be a good way to get your foot in the door when they start hiring.
  • Avoid going stir-crazy and make contacts. While IRC and mailing list conversation aren't the same as going to work every day, participating in a FOSS project means an opportunity to communicate with developers all over the world. Making connections with other developers may mean a shot at a job you wouldn't hear about otherwise.
  • You've always wanted to. One of the most common themes I hear from people I meet at various conferences is "I'd love to contribute, if only I had time..." Unfortunately, now there's time. Might as well make the best of it.

Of course, this all presupposes that the economy is going to get worse and not better, and that we'll have lot of people out of work with idle time. While I'd always welcome more contributions to openSUSE and FOSS in general, I'm really hoping that's not the way we get them.

Topics: Open Source, Browser

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12 comments
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  • FOSS is okay for programmers, but ...

    not necessarily so for architects, DBAs, web designers, sysadmins, or other technical professions. And I view the American coder as being in the same boat as the American steelworker or autoworker. That boat is sinking fast, and won't magically float back to the top anytime soon.
    terry flores
    • Re: FOSS is okay for programmers, but ...

      I don't really agree with this. Most projects need some if not all of those skills -- look at any major open source project, and you'll usually find a need for Web design, architects, DBAs, and so forth. (Smaller projects, not so much system admins, but larger projects that actually have systems to maintain, definitely.)

      In fact, there's usually a call for more than just technical skill sets -- marketing and documentation, for example.

      I can't vouch for other companies, but I know we're still employing plenty of programmers from the U.S.
      Zonker_z
    • FOSS is okay for programmers, but...

      I don't agree that you can group the American coder with the American steelworker or autoworker. In fact, I believe it's just the opposite. Yea, lots of coding jobs have moved offshore. However, alot of coding labor left the industry after the dot com bust and it didn't get replaced by enough college graduates. If programmers keep their skills relevant with what the market is clammering for (SOA, BI, BPM, WEB 2.0), then they will find the demand is there.
      bmonster
    • FOSS is okay for programmers, but ...

      I agree with your assertion that the American coder is in the same boat as the American steelworker or autoworker, but not for the reason you expect. The American steelworkers and autoworkers refused to adapt to the quickly changing economic realities of their industries. If the American coder does the same, then they can expect the same result.
      agusek
  • Seriously, what are those free-as-beer programmers going to eat while

    they are making Novell executives richer?
    Zukuzu
  • FOSS = Sad attempt

    Another sad attempt for FOSS to ride on the misfortunes of others.

    "Broke out of work, use Free software to same money"

    Out of work, write for FOSS we dont pay you. !!

    its sad to see how FOSS is doing what it can to take advantage of the pain of others, anything to further their cause.

    OLPC is another example, get millions of 3rd world kids coding for FOSS, or just to say they are using FOSS.

    As soon as OLPC droped FOSS you droped it, its not about the kids education or anything else

    its about your religion thats FOSS..
    Aussie_Troll
    • so don't contribute

      I realize that 'troll' is in your handle, so perhaps you are just lobbing bombs for fun. But if you don't feel like contributing, don't. There are no free software terrorists with a gun to your head. Live and let live.
      shis-ka-bob
  • RE: Unemployed? Five reasons to build your resume with FOSS contributions

    I'm not saying that developers should spend all of their time working on FOSS projects if they're out of work -- just saying that if there's downtime, working on a project would be a better use of time than browsing the Web or watching TV.
    Zonker_z
  • Good tip, thanks!

    This is a good tip. Both for unemployed developers and for FOSS. Thanks for bringing it up!

    Greetz, Pjotr.
    pjotr123
  • How do I break into openSuSE

    Joe

    So How do I Break into openSuSE. This has been traditionally hard. Figure it out and add this to the openSuSE News.

    I am use openSuSE exclusively to develop for ARM 926EJ-S Linux. When will someone help make a ARM openSuSE?

    Regards John
    Embedded_z
  • RE: Unemployed? Five reasons to build your resume with FOSS contributions

    I'm learning new skills, so don't have the time to squander it on 'any projects' in which I would be but one of the small-wheels inside a big wheel. I won't get noticed, they definitely don't hire.

    sorry but I have to get a real job.
    V@...
  • RE: Unemployed? Five reasons to build your resume with FOSS contributions

    Thank you for the information. I read it. I want to help the unemployed individuals to find a stable job with high cost of salary and offers great benefits.

    www.bigjobsboard.com

    Thank You and Good Luck!
    John Bread