Open Source is good for you

Open SourceA recent study by a tech group talks about not only there being a positive monetary benefit for IT workers to know Open Source, but a more fulfilling sense of purpose as well.  While this tells me nothing I don’t already know, it’s something that’s important as the next wave of IT geeks start knocking on the doors.  “Want to make more money as an enterprise application developer? You’re in luck–if you know open source. According to a recent report from Bluewolf Consulting, enterprises increasingly deploy open-source software, and look to specialized application development on top of it, to drive business value:

The rise of open-source software in application development puts developers with a specialization in those technologies in a position to ask for a 30 (percent) or 40 percent pay increase, Kirven says. “We’ve gotten more requests from our permanent-placement division for open-source developers in the last six months than in the last five or six years combined,” he says. “It’s not as easy as getting free software; someone has to get it up and running. LAMP is everywhere now–these types of technologies no one heard of 18 months ago are all the sudden becoming a hot commodity.”

_Indeed. Not only does open source bring developers more money, but it also apparently brings them more satisfaction. Jon Williams, chief technology officer of test preparation company Kaplan, made it very clear in an Infoworld podcast I recorded a month ago that open source is one of his best retention tools. Let people do interesting work, and they stick around. Make them mindlessly monitor that Windows machine, and they’ll bolt_.“  I can attest to this, as can my last few contracting positions.  I was brought on to do interesting, challenging, Open Source work, but when that dried up, so did my interest in staying.  Fortunately I’ve recently left the corporate world behind and have found an Open Source position that allows me to fully utilize my skills, while building something with a purpose that’s not based on a corporations’ bottom line (and I’m loving it).  As a followup, there’s also an article about how open source drives enterprise innovation, which after my previous statement reveals, I could cover both sides of.

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