Demand for Linux Developers on the Rise

By Amanda McPherson  |  Posted 2010-01-19 Print this article Print

Demand for Linux developers on the rise

Even as the unemployment rate grows, job boards and Linux Foundation members tell us that demand for Linux-knowledgeable developers is on the rise. For example, freelance marketplace Odesk reported that the number of Linux-related jobs posted on its boards has increased more than 1400 percent since 2006.

Frankly, it's not surprising to see an increase in Linux-related work. History has shown that the most pivotal growth point for Linux to date was during the 2001-2002 economic downturn. A similar pivotal growth point for Linux is taking place today.

Linux provides better value than Windows-and in tough times, this difference makes all the difference. You also see companies consolidating on platforms and technologies when times are tighter. We'll likely see both Linux and Windows emerge from this recession stronger than other operating systems.

But Linux vendors and users across the globe are saying that Linux and open-source talent is not as abundant as they would have thought. We're at a tipping point, where the demand for talent is outpacing the supply. At the same time, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of developers and operations pros looking for new opportunities.

Amanda McPherson is VP of Marketing and Developer Programs at the Linux Foundation. She is responsible for content, Web strategy, events, public relations and developer programs, including the Linux Developer Network. She also helped create the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. Amanda has been involved in open source for the past eight years. Most recently, she was director of marketing for the Free Standards Group, the certification and standardization authority for Linux. Prior to that, she was director of marketing for Covalent Technologies, the leading provider of Apache Web server software. She was also a core member of the marketing team responsible for the launch of the Java programming language in 1995. Amanda graduated magna cum laude, with a B.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley. She also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. Her work blog can be found at She can also be reached at

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