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This article was published on February 9, 2021


Devs need open source skills, new survey from IBM and O’Reilly indicates

Devs need open source skills, new survey from IBM and O’Reilly indicates


Tristan Greene
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Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him

A recent survey commissioned by IBM and conducted by O’Reilly highlights the need for open source skills in the competitive field of hybrid cloud development.

Up front: Enterprise-scale IT solutions for hybrid cloud implementation more often than not rely on an open-source backbone these days. Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of hiring managers report difficulties in finding talent with complementary open-source skills.

This is good news for those seeking to enter or re-enter the jobs market with an eye towards the future, so long as they’re willing to learn open source solutions.

Hybrid cloud-based technology underpins just about every major business network and, according to the results of the O’Reilly survey, those with open-source skills will eventually be prioritized over those with proprietary dev skills – if they aren’t already.

Per the survey:

Modern software architects and developers should remain aware of both trending open source technologies and cloud offerings. Over the long term, a knowledge of the most fundamental open source projects will provide major benefits in job growth and other professional activities.

Other key takeaways, per an IBM blog post:

  • Open source software (OSS) was rated equal to or better than proprietary software by 94% of respondents.
  • When choosing cloud providers, 70% of respondents prefer one based on open source.
  • 65% of respondents preferred skills related to the underlying open source technologies (such as Linux, Kubernetes, or Istio), while 36% preferred skills related to a specific cloud platform (i.e. AWS, Azure, or Google).
  • 65% of respondents agree completely that contributions to open source projects impress potential employers and result in better professional opportunities.

Quick take: We spoke to IBM Red Hat Marketplace’s VP of ecosystem and business development Kelly Hartman recently to discuss the quickly shifting enterprise IT landscape. She explained the need for cloud providers and their partners to develop and integrate methods by which enterprises operating hybrid models can utilize both internal and external data sources in an efficient and agile manner. This is where integrated open-source solutions come in.

Hartman explained, for example, that when it comes to something as simple as using publicly available data in a machine learning system, formatting and integration issues can be a huge headache:

The data’s out there. It’s publicly available. We’re bringing it into your applications.

While Red Hat Marketplace functions as a one-stop resource for IBM partners seeking to further develop their own ecosystem of hybrid cloud solutions, the developer community as a whole seems to agree the path forward is better open-source skills.

You can check out the O’Reilly survey here.

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