Linux Professionals Hard to Find, Say Hiring Managers


It’s a very good time to be a Linux professional. Linux is back on top as the most in-demand open source skill and hiring these professionals has become a higher priority for 83% of hiring managers this year compared to 76% in 2017, according to the newly released 2018 Open Source Jobs Report.  

That’s not surprising when you consider how popular cloud and container technologies have become, as well as DevOp practices, all of which typically run on Linux. What’s also not surprising is that Linux professionals are in high demand:

  • 87% of hiring managers experience difficulties recruiting enough open source talent. This is similar to last year, when 89% said it was a challenge finding the right mix of experience and skills.

  • 44% of respondents rated it very difficult to recruit open source pros, a percentage that jumped from 34% in 2017.

At the same time, 52% of hiring managers say they are planning to hire more open source professionals in the next six months than they did in the previous six months. And, hiring of open source professionals will also increase more than hiring for other areas of the business for 60% of hiring managers, the report found. That’s down slightly from last year when 58% projected more hiring in six months and 67% predicted more open source hiring than other areas of the business.

This high demand has prompted many companies to pay premiums above base salary, especially for professionals with skills in cybersecurity, big data and process management.

And companies are finding that supporting open source projects can be a valuable recruiting and retention tool. This year, 57% of hiring managers reported that their organization contributes to open source projects, up from 50% in 2017. Nearly half (48%) of hiring managers report that their organization has decided to financially support or contribute code to an open source project specifically with the goal of recruiting developers who work on that project.

The role of the economy

The strong global economy is encouraging half of hiring managers to hire more staff this year, up from 43% in 2017. Only 6% said the economy is leading them to decrease their open source hiring.

The report found 55% of open sources pros say it would be easier to find a new open source job — a slight increase compared to 52% in 2017 and 50% in 2016. Only 19% reported not receiving a recruitment call in past six months. This is a significant decline from the 27% who said they didn’t receive a recruitment call in 2016 and 2017 job surveys.

The overall unemployment rate for tech professionals is on the decline – in April it dropped to 1.9%, compared to 3% one year ago.  

The 2018 Open Source Jobs Report is an annual partnership between The Linux Foundation and IT career site Dice. This year’s survey includes responses from more than 750 hiring managers at corporations, small and medium businesses (SMBs), government agencies and staffing firms worldwide, plus more than 6,500 open source professionals.

Download the complete Open Source Jobs Report now.