Although it seems logical to think that open source talent is exclusively related to coding and engineering, Alan Clark, director of open source at SUSE, says the key capability is being able to work in an open and collaborative environment.
“What makes open source talent successful is that they understand how to develop open source software, and they understand how to work in a very distributed environment where people are working as volunteers, not on a paid hierarchal basis,” Clark says.
There are many talents involved with open source, from marketing to engineering, and among the 40,000 members at OpenStack, only 5,000 of are writing code, Clark says.
Clark does acknowledge, thought, that code takes precedence when working on these open source projects, because the people who are writing code are the ones who are leading the projects and the ones making most of the decisions.
SUSE, which offers a Linux distribution, is looking to fill 90 job positions. The jobs in the highest demand include OpenStack developers, software engineers for distributed storage, Docker CI specialists and senior Linux developers.
From the employer’s perspective, open source enables them to shorten their development cycle. By having thousands of engineers work on open source code, companies can reduce engineering and development cost, Clark says.
Although every job description is different and requires slightly different skills, the common thing among all candidates is knowing how to develop open source software and having a passion for programming, Clark says.
Another interesting requirement of open source job candidates is being able to speak English proficiently. Clark says that open source projects are handled in English and that all communication is done in English as well.
“We want the best talent,” Clark says. “We are looking for developers for the most part, but we also want candidates who know how to develop skills.”