Advice » In the Workplace» Workplace Issues » Open Source Is Not Just for Cod ...
Open Source Is Not Just for Coders Anymore

Open Source Is Not Just for Coders Anymore

So you say your company doesn't run Linux or code with PHP? Don't make the mistake of thinking you're unaffected by open-source technologies such as these. Open source is tearing up the technology landscape. Ignore it, and you may be asking for trouble, even if your current job seems far removed from the world of open source.

While naysayers once viewed it as a niche for anti-Microsoft techies, open source is now considered mainstream, embraced by Fortune 500 firms and startups alike. Open-source expertise carries undeniable street cred among hardcore techies, who will view you as out of touch if you lack open-source knowledge. That opinion extends to technical writers, sales engineers and other IT professionals beyond the programmers who are typically identified with the open-source movement.

"Anyone that ignores the importance of open-source software is setting themselves up for a comeuppance, if not a total meltdown, at some point in the future," says Dave Rosenberg, principal analyst at the The Linux Foundation, an organization devoted to accelerating Linux adoption. "Companies like Google and Yahoo are using open-source software to run entire infrastructures. The world is leaning toward openness, not away from it.

What's Driving Open-Source Nation?

A number of factors have made open-source know-how important to a broad swath of techies:

  • The prevalence of heterogeneous IT environments, bringing together open-source and proprietary technologies, means help-desk workers, sales personnel, Web developers and others are likely to work with open-source systems -- if not in their current jobs, then in future ones.
  • Because open-source technologies, such as the LAMP stack, are freely available, you essentially have no excuse for not trying them. Shunning open-source knowledge may even raise questions about your enthusiasm for the industry.
  • Taking concrete steps, such as contributing to an open-source project, may give you an advantage when job hunting or seeking cutting-edge projects at work.
  • Organizations looking to cut IT costs often examine open source as an option, placing a premium on IT professionals who can sort through alternatives.
  • Companies view open-source systems not just as a way to manage their infrastructure or develop systems but also as a way to experiment without making a major investment.

"When I managed the Web team for a large nonprofit organization, I loved using open-source software to try out new ideas and technologies," says C. David Gammel, president of High Context Consulting. "I went out of my way to hire people who showed a passion about using and contributing to open-source projects, even though we were primarily a Microsoft shop."

Patty Laushman, president of the Uptime Group, a Linux and Windows consultancy, concurs. "All my employees must be versed in both Microsoft and open-source solutions."

Who Needs to Know Open Source?

Beyond system engineers and programmers, Laushman says professionals in other disciplines should bone up on open-source technologies. For instance:

  • Salespeople need to know enough about open source to understand when to recommend a proprietary, open-source or mixed solution.
  • Marketers need a sense of how open source is reshaping the technology environment so they can better market products and services to IT managers.
  • Recruiters need enough knowledge to be able to spot relevant open-source expertise.

"Job security is not about being the best at what you do but about one's ability to adapt to a volatile industry and reinvent oneself," Laushman says. "Open source is becoming more ubiquitous, and if you want to increase your chances of stable work in the technology field long term, acquiring skills in open source is a must.

Latest Jobs

PF Chang's China Bistro
Posted: 06/30/2015
Willowbrook, TX
U of L Physicians
Posted: 06/30/2015
Downtown, KY
Posted: 06/30/2015
Lake Grove, NY
Posted: 06/30/2015
San Diego, CA
Wacker Polysilicon North America
Posted: 06/30/2015
Charleston, TN, 37310

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.12.0.54-220