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Why Workers Need to Know Open Source Tech

Why Workers Need to Know Open Source Tech

Photo: oddsock/Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Allan Hoffman, Monster Tech Jobs Expert

August 05, 2009

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.

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