foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


Open source and hiring: Is NZ behind the times?

, posted: 12-Jul-2008 08:21

Here is an article that confirms what I have been observing for some time now. Top technical talent wants to work on open source, not proprietary software.
The most desirable potential employees view the opportunity to work with open source as a positive distinguishing factor in job offers ... Top talent wants to work with open source because it's widely used -- meaning their skills are easily transportable, making them more desirable recruits in the future -- but also because that's the future of software, and top talent wants to work on exciting developments, not boring dead-end technology.
While being involved in hiring decisions in the Silicon Valley through my work with US clients, I can definitely confirm this. Knowing your way around open source, being familiar with open source tool chains and the like are all valuable skills to have. More and more businesses are built on top of open source technologies, so therefore many employers demand these skills and employees want to further these skills.

Sadly, I have not observed this here in New Zealand to the same extend. Microsoft technology is still where it's at. New Zealand businesses are not helping their cause by not taking advantage of available open source technologies, and are putting themselves in a permanent strategic disadvantage against international competition, which can move lighter and more quickly without the handicap of license fees and proprietary lock-in. At the same time, international top talent will be harder to recruit.

And New Zealand technical talent makes themselves less attractive to many international employers. New Zealand talent has been mobile in the past and has always had the flexibility to find employment around the world. Knowing open source would definitely be helpful in this regard.

Other related posts:
UK government supports open source
25 open source projects for software development
Dabbling in OpenSolaris








Comment by Craig Anslow, on 4-Aug-2008 20:23

Here is an article that supports your claim of knowing open source technologies: http://www.riehle.org/computer-science/research/2007/computer-2007.html

Cheers Craig


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  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
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