Linux hiring frenzy: Why open source devs are being bombarded with offers to jump ship

Linux hiring frenzy: Why open source devs are being bombarded with offers to jump ship

Summary: Figures from the Linux Foundation suggest skills shortages across disciplines and throughout Europe.


Nine out of ten (87 percent) of hiring managers in Europe have "hiring Linux talent" on their list of priorities and almost half (48 percent) say they are looking to hire people with Linux skills within the next six months.

But while they either need or want to hire more people with Linux skills, the data from the Linux Foundation suggests that this is easier said than done. Almost all — 93 percent — of the managers surveyed said they were having difficulty finding IT professionals with the Linux skills required and a quarter (25 percent) said they have "delayed projects as a result".

All of this makes it a good time to be a Linux expert.

Seven out of 10 Europe-based Linux professionals have received calls where they were pitched new positions in the past six months, and a third said they had received more calls than in the previous six months.  One in three are looking to move anyway, and over half of them said it would be fairly or very easy. Salary is the biggest reason to move jobs, followed by work-life balance and the chance to gain additional skills.

Employers are trying harder to keep hold of staff too: In the past six months, 29 percent of Linux professionals say they have been offered a higher salary from their current employers, while a quarter said they’ve been offered a flexible work schedule and one in five have been extended additional training opportunities or certification.

The Linux Foundation, a non-profit organisation which supports the growth of Linux, and Dice Holdings, which provides career sites for technology professionals, produced the research which covers Europe and the US.

In terms of the specific skills organisations are looking for people with the developer (69 percent) and enterprise management (51 percent) skills. These are followed by 32 percent of respondents who are looking for people with a combination of development and operations skills (DevOps), and 19 percent who are in management/IT management.

The Linux Job Report has been produced for the last three years by the Linux Foundation and Dice but this is the first time that a specific report on European skills has been separated out of the worldwide report. Some 893 Linux professionals responded to the survey across Europe.

Further reading

Topics: Enterprise Software, Linux


Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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  • When Microsoft wake up ...

    ... and start looking for a successor to their 1990s OS, it'll get worse; like everyone else, they'll be looking for Linux.

    Unless they cop out and simply branch Android.
    • Translation -

      "DARN! Why are the majority of developers still learning Windows?!?! Why can't things go MY way for once!?"

      "Linux - it's 1990 every day"
      • ROFL... Thanks Will Farrel, always good for a laugh!

        Ha Haaaa! That's a good one!

        But... the article you are commenting under says that Linux is becoming MORE popular in the enterprise, which means things ARE going the right way for the OP...

        Oh man, such a good laugh! It's good to have the comedians (trolls) around like Will Farrel to give me a good chuckle! :)
        Technical John
    • When you wake up ...

      You'll realise that Microsoft completely rewrote their "1990's OS" in the mid noughties, it was called Vista. Admittedly it wasn't a terrific success but it did give us Vista Mk2 (Windows 7) which didn't do too badly. Vista Mk3 (Windows 8) is still a little unloved but it has potential.
      As for Linux, a fine and flexible OS but actually it's roots go way back further than the 1990's and to be frank when you look at some of the major applications (e.g Libre Office) they are about on a par interface-wise with Windows 98!!
      • Problems staying focused?

        Stick with what is current and relevant. References to Vista, for example, are of no value.
      • "Microsoft completely rewrote their "1990's OS" in the mid noughties"

        I assume youy meant nineties.

        Maybe you can explain something to me. If Windows Vista was a complete rebuild (rewrite?), how did the programmers doing Vista manage to make virtually all control panel applets look and work exactly the same as the old WinXP/ME/98/95 applets did?

        I work in development, and I know trying to get 2 programmers to create exactly the same program at the same time is next to impossible. So, how did Microsoft manage to get 2 different teams of programmers, separated by ~10 years, to create exactly the same applets?

        Further, do you expect me believe drivers for things like VGA, FAT, and NTFS were rewritten as well?

        Personally, I don't consider 'cut and paste' as a "complete rebuild", but maybe Microsoft's standards are much lower than mine.
        • Hope this helps....

          Everybody knows the history. The guy (David Cutler) from Digital who wrote VMS moved to Microsoft (just few miles away) and put together NT 1.0. That's why Windows is so slow on creating new processes (because VMS was a batch oriented OS). Also, the reason for Microsoft to port NT to Alpha (from Digital, until Digital went belly up) is well know. Digital threaten then to sue for quite / plain daylight theft (kernel was not even initially redesigned, just adapted and ported to Intel processors). These are very well known facts. Then we got NT 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 (up to SP 5) then Microsoft renamed NT 5 to Windows 2000 and every since, all Windows releases (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1) are basically NT class machines (kernels) with minor differences. Everybody who is in the technical field knows that, so sure, I could not agree more with you. Microsoft did not rewrite anything.
          Dan Marinescu
          • Thanks for the history refresher.

            Much of your post rings a few bells. Certainly explains a lot, too.
            Well done.
          • LOL - well known facts???

            VMS a batch orientated system?? What? Wikipedia not working for you?

            VMS was designed ground up as a virtual memory timesharing system (hint: what does VMS stand for). There was a batch system, of course, but it was designed as an interactive, timesharing system from day 1. It was designed to run on VAX hardware, but was later ported to Digital's RISC "Alpha" hardware.

            And Digital didn't go "belly-up". It was purchased by Compaq, and they acquired the rights to Alpha. At that point in time Alpha ran VMS, NT and UNIX. Compaq decided to focus on Itanium and announced the 'death' of Alpha in 1998, and they sold the rights to Intel in 2000.

            NT 3.1 running on Alpha was released in 1993.
        • Professional production programign standards ...

          AT&T (UNIX) did it, IBM does it, Apple (Mac OS X, iOS) does it. Android does it. Microsoft does it. Professional production standards is why the "look and feel" of products is usually evolutionary not revolutionary. We've all seen the uproar because Microsoft added a whole new subsystem to Windows 7 and called it Windows 8. Nothing was taken away, only added and still people got upset.

          Without uniformity over time, no OS is going to gain wide acceptance.
          M Wagner
          • Plenty was taken away

            They took away plenty, and relunctly brought some of it back. One major thing they took away was the start button with a hiarachtical menu structure. Plenty of other problems to gum up the works in terms of lack of uniformity, but taking away the interaction of how many people were used to working is what hurt the most.
            John Lauro
        • No, he meant the "naught-ies" as in 2000 through 2009 - or '01 through '09.

          M Wagner
      • Microsoft rewrote . . . . . .

        In that case MSVC would have been able to utilize Windows kernel32 TLS
        (thread local storage).

        most Win core parts are by "some means", "intercepted" or bought.
      • XP is still King

        Leave 98 alone. It's a cool OS.
      • windows

        Microsoft rebuilt parts of the OS, such as the driver layer (which caused all the problems). however, other big rewrites were scrapped due to massive delays; the standard filesystem is still NTFS even today and the 32/64 bit situation is more '1990s' than Linux or OS X. Linux has been much more technically innovative, and runs on a much greater range of architectures, where Windows has the mess of RT, Windows Phone and the PC kernels, to be unified at some unknown point in the future (and probably about five years too late). When you see the big differences in PC Windows versions you are thinking of the GUI shell (what linux users call the desktop); technically, much less has happened. In fact, people only buy Windows to access the application ecosystem, so Microsoft can't be very innovative since backwards compatibility is required for people to use it. And as long as the old ways to doing things are still supported, application developers have no incentive to use new features of Windows, particularly if they want to dedicate resources to growth in other platforms (cloud, iOS and Android). This is the terrible conundrum for Microsoft, and why Windows is worth less and less (to the point where licences are now given away although so far that doesn't seem to be helping much). The future for developers is elsewhere (and Microsoft has dropped "windows" from the branding of Azure for this reason).
    • Linux roots go back to UNIX in 1969. Windows is young (and somewhat ...

      ... clumsy in its design) by comparison. Linux vendors have no one but themselves to blame for their own absence from the desktop.
      M Wagner
      • Bingo!

        thank you, you nailed it.
  • Is this where our TrueCrypt develpers went?

    Are they taking home a corporate paycheck?
  • Linux IT

    When I talk to students going to school for IT positions, I am always sure to tell them to learn about Linux. I tell them that I see Linux being the OS of the future and then give them examples of the movement in Europe as my reasoning.
    Brian Schrader
    • And if those jobs don't exist at the moment?

      nothing against learning Linux, but if the majority of employment is in Windows or Apple based systems, how is it money well spent (in school) learning something with less employment options available, if everyone decided to learn Linux instead?