Embracing Open-Source

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 Embracing Open-Source

IT industry leaders are encouraging tech industry hopefuls to make their code their resume. Specifically, hiring professionals suggest job applicants can get an edge over the competition by showing off their coding skills in open-source environments.

“Code is the new resume”, says Jim Zemlin at the Linux Foundation. “Open source has truly become a juggernaut as of late. Within the last five years in particular it’s just become the dominant form of development.”

There are over 10 million open-source projects posted on the popular code repository Github. If you’re a developer, working on one of these will allow you to not only demonstrate your coding skills, but also your technology interests and most importantly your team-work and collaboration abilities. All of these are characteristics hiring managers look for when considering job applicants. And such real-live examples make a much bigger impact than references.

“It is a frothy, hot market,” explains Zemlin. “I suspect if you participated in these projects and got code into it you’d be highly sought after by a large number of companies. There’s just all upsides to participating in these projects, which is why you see so many people doing it.”

Does this mean that not having any open-source experience will prevent you from getting a job? Not necessarily, but you are definitely passing out on some very important opportunities.

“The more you can do to demonstrate your ability to code, your work ethic, the types of technology you have experience in, the easier it’s going to be for a hiring manager to assess you,” comments director of engineering at HubSpot, John Nagro. “You’re not necessarily at a disadvantage but you’re not taking full advantage of the resources you have available.”

Now that many major enterprises are also adopting open-source solutions, this is no longer an area for hobbyists. In fact, many industry experts see open-source very soon becoming the main method of software development. Experts like Zemlin predict that soon most software applications that businesses use will comprise of 80% open-source code, while the remaining 20% will comprise of business-specific customizations.

So, what should you do in order to maximize your chances of nailing your next IT job interview? Get into open-source! Select a project that actually interests you and work on it as much as you can in your free time.

“You’re probably going to do it on your free time,” says John Graham, director of software engineering at Red Hat. “You want to be interested in it. It shouldn’t be a second job.”

So, do you agree with this article? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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