The European Commission published an interesting study on the impact of Free and Open Source Software on the European economy (PDF, 287 pages). Based on an empirical study of the European IT market and forecasting techniques, the following is one of many interesting conclusions:

Proprietary packaged software firms account for well below 10% of employment of software developers in the US, and "IT user" firms account for over 70% of software developers employed with a similar salary (and thus skill) level. This suggests a relatively low potential for cannibalisation of proprietary software jobs by FLOSS, and suggests a relatively high potential for software developer jobs to become increasingly FLOSS-related. FLOSS and proprietary software show a ratio of 30:70 (overlapping) in recent job postings indicating significant demand for FLOSS-related skills.

I can't speak for other projects but Drupal is in high demand, and there is a shortage of talented Drupal developers and consultants on the market.

Either way, make sure you can put "solid understanding of open source software development" on your resume. It increases your market value. And you'll have more fun too.


Kuai Hinojosa (not verified):

Well this is good to know. Perhaps, I can finally get a job and relocate in Europe and learn a fourth language. Anyone needs someone with Open Source and Web Application Security experience? :D


I have a solid understanding of open source software development.

bertboerland (not verified):

I didn't read the complete document yet but saw it on slash or so as well. I think the big issue the coming years will be what I like to call "OSS/Business Alignment". It's not hard to use an OSS tool or product and even relatively easy to implement it. But knowing what happens within a community or even be able to steer the development of an project in the way you like, will be the big thing IMHO. Otherwise a lot of FUD about OSS will become true, bad implementations, hit and run scenarios, incompatible forking and other potential pitfalls will give OSS a bad name.

I have a solid understanding of open source software development.

Bèr Kessels (not verified):

I have seen quite a lot of developers using Drupal going down (re: the FUD-coming-true Bert speaks about), failing to deliver, or going up to 800% over budget. Simply because they ignored, or were unaware of the 'Drupal way'. Where the Drupal Way means being or becoming part of Drupal. Only if you hang around regularly on, the forums or the mailinglists, can you understand what it all is about.

People making the classic mistake to blindly choose modules based on their description, being the most often made mistake. If you are 'part of Drupal' you will less likely make this mistake, because you know what people tell you. You will hear the 'buzz' about views. You will know from your peers that CCK has superceded Flexinode in certain areas. By merely flipping trough the projects you will never really have this knowledge.

Therefore, 'solid understanding of open source' should actually be be: 'solid understanding of open source, and taking part in various FLOSS projects and communities'.

I have a solid understanding of open source software development, and take part in various OSS webdevelopment communities.