Monday, December 21, 2009

Open Source Skills Earn You More Money

An article on CIO Update summarizes a study by Elance on technical skills that are in high demand, and thus results in higher compensation for those developers. PHP and MySQL stand out as two open source based software projects that receive high praise from the study. Good sign going into 2010!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Will Developers Leave Oracle Over Sun Deal?

There has been a lot of debate recently, especially in the European Union by the European Commission, as to whether or not to give the stamp of approval to the pending acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle. The controversy is centered around MySQL. Being that Oracle is a database company with an established product that provides them with healthy margins, why would they put forth the effort to make sure that MySQL continues its success? As always, arguments abound at nearly every angle. And, I am not going to put in my two cents on this.

However, IF they slowly derail MySQL, as many fear, what will be the outcome? Will it be the second coming of the Novell/Microsoft partnership fallout? As many probably remember, since it was not that long ago, there were some negative effects for Novell after signing the partnership with Microsoft. Most notably, Jeremy Allison, among others, decided that he preferred to be an employee of another company as a result of the agreement.

Oracle employs a number of open source developers. And, their contributions to the Linux kernel should not go unnoticed. For all intents and purposes, they have been a fine open source citizen. But, if the acquisition is eventually approved and there is a slow demise of MySQL, will some of the open source developers at Oracle take umbrage and leave?

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. Open source developers historically have been very true to their beliefs. And, as we have more and more proprietary companies intertwining themselves with open source derived entities, the landscape gets murky. Perhaps it is something that Oracle should give a thought to as they proceed. They may have done so already. Who knows? But, at the end of the day, a company is only as good as its employees. The thought of an exodus by developers is a real threat for these companies and is one of the great nuances of working in the open source software space.

I would thoroughly enjoy hearing peoples opinion on this. I know it is a touchy subject matter, but one that has potentially damaging ramifications for a company that is not cognizant of the feelings of its own developers.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Mention of Open Source Skills Being "Hot"

Another firm doing a study, in this case Foote Partners, has revealed that an engineer possessing open source skills is poised for a bright future. This blog posting by Ann All summarizes it nicely. Overall, the discussion is about the change in staffing patterns moving forward as a result of companies making more and more of their operations automated, thus eliminating some positions that existed in the past.

As depressing as that may appear at first, she goes on to mention that open source operating systems is a bright spot. I think it would be fair to say that more than just the os is in a good position. For instance, she summarizes that social media continues to gain strength. Within that, Python is one of the standouts among an array of more proprietary based software. However, last time I looked, Facebook is the largest social media site in existence. And, PHP is the main language used for that site to my knowledge. Therefore, PHP should get a mention, as well as Ruby on Rails.

Needless to say, it always is nice to see more and more studies realize the importance open source software continues to play in corporate environments. Thus, the number of positions continues to rise. Here's to the trend continuing as we embark on a new decade!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Article on

Once again, a little self promotion here. has published a new article that I wrote about where we have been and where we are going, in regards to the labor market for open source software professionals. Hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions about it, please feel free to contact me.