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:
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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
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