Will Chrome OS Burnish the Open Source Jobs Market?

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Last week I made some general predictions about the impact of Google's Chrome operating system:

This move is obviously a watershed for the operating systems market, but I think it may also prove to be a real milestone for open source too. There may well be some negative consequences for current GNU/Linux distros and related projects, but these will evolve, as open source always evolves, and those most fit to survive in the new environment will do so.

Overall, though, we now have Google pushing not one, but *two* operating system based on Linux – Android being the other. Add in all the other companies that will be jumping on this new bandwagon, and you have an unprecedented momentum behind free software in this sector. 2010, the Year of the GNU/Linux desktop, anyone?

Here's an aspect I hadn't fully factored in, but which is part of the same idea:

Demand for IT professionals with strong Linux skills will surge as a result of Google’s upcoming release of the Chrome operating system, according to recruitment agency CV Screen.

Open source developer jobs have been more robust in the current downturn compared to the rest of the IT industry, according to CV Screen’s job index. The index shows that whereas the number of IT Jobs has dropped by over 55% over the last 12 months, the number of Linux Jobs has dropped by only 30% over the same period.

“In what has been a tough marketplace, we have seen demand for OpenSource technologies such as PHP, Linux and MySQL hold up fairly well and it is one area where we have been regularly placing candidates,” said Matthew Iveson, director of specialist IT recruitment at CV Screen.

Admittedly, this is a recruitment agency saying this, so Mandy Rice-Davies applies. Nonetheless, it seems likely that Google supporting not one but two Linux-based open source operating systems will do nothing but good for the jobs market.

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