Open source and DevOps skills
Image: FS Stock/Shutterstock

The most in-demand skills you need for an open source job

6 Dec 2016

With coding and software development in serious need of talent, it’s essentially a graduate’s market. But you still need the right combination of skills and attributes to beat the competition. When it comes to open source and DevOps, a deeper understanding is essential.

Linux skills are in huge demand at the moment. According to a recent report from the Linux foundation, 87pc of hiring managers say it’s difficult to find open source talent.

58pc of hiring managers are looking specifically for DevOps talent, making it the most in-demand open source skill at the moment.

However, it’s not all about DevOps. There are a number of things to consider when pursuing open source jobs in IT.

Shawn Powers is an open source and DevOps expert and trainer at online training site, CBT Nuggets. According to Powers, the past few years has been all about DevOps but “that’s not the case anymore”.

“DevOps is just the front end. For open source and IT in general, people want to understand what is actually happening underneath.”

Powers says, with the constantly changing tech sector, “a lot of tech companies might not even know what exactly the need”.

When going for an open source job, be sure to ask the company what problems they are trying to solve. DevOps is a broad skillset, so the role could be different depending on where you work. Getting a good understanding of what is required will tell you quickly if you’re able to do the job.

When it comes to hot employment avenues for skilled open source candidates, Powers says security is a key area in internet of things (IoT) as well as in cloud. “When connected devices are there it becomes a really scary vector.”

Another key area is software development. “Part of the things that never had software development, do now. Every aspect of IT is going to have an element of development.”

Soft skills ‘horribly overlooked’ in tech

When it comes to the best advice for candidates looking for work in open source, DevOps or IT in general, Powers says soft skills are essential.

“Develop your soft skills; HR customer department, sales, etc. are all necessary skills to have in this industry … these soft skills are horribly overlooked.

Powers says these skills are one of the last things people think about, but one of the most important because all IT professionals need to be able to communicate well.

Soft skills such as communication and presentation will also be shown in an interview setting. Therefore, it is essential that you have a grasp on them before applying for any tech jobs. “You can’t fake soft skills.”

To help close the increasing skills gap in Linux, Powers has launched an LPIC-2 course with CBT Nuggets.

The problem with merely front-end DevOps skills is, “if something goes wrong, they don’t know what to do”.

Powers says this course is not a DevOps course, but rather an advanced look at what’s going on underneath Linux. “It’s the most advanced course of its kind. This would be third in the line of certifications.”

The LPIC-2 course is available to subscribers of CBT Nuggets.

Looking for jobs in tech or science? Check out our Employer Profiles for information on companies hiring right now and sign up for our Career Republic e-zine for a weekly digest of sci-tech careers news and advice.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading