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IT Careers: Open Source, Open Resume
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PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
8/4/2014 | 10:44:54 AM
great advise
thank you for the article.  I know for those people looking for a job any advantage they can have in this competitive job market is worth doing, specially, if it is a good way to lead you to your next job. 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
8/4/2014 | 1:50:04 PM
Vendors show off their committers
In Hadoop circles -- and where other big-data platforms are concerned -- being a committer to an open source project is a badge of honor. Hortonworks flaunts its committer numbers in contrast to rivals, and commercial-vendor capabilites are often cast in a harsh light by rivals and the community when it's revealed that "X company has only Y committers." Contributing is a first step to becomming a committer, but just having the warewithal to offer useful code is a feather in your cap.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
8/4/2014 | 2:36:43 PM
Re: Open Source, Open Resume
This article is much appreciated, and I'm glad to see this line of thought finally gaining some traction. It's one thing for companies to say that they value 'open source' (and I think it's been said by plenty of managers who don't even know what it means), but it's something else to take real consideration for the differences an open-source contribution has from a traditional resume entrance, and adjust your hiring practice accordingly. As you say, Kevin, you can't really put that contribution on a resume... which means employers who are looking for you to have their process backwards. There was another article on impending changes in the hiring process on InformationWeek last week, and I think this one goes nicely with that.

At the same time, I think we run the risk of overselling the point. Sure, some employers are looking for open-source contributions... but many others aren't. It wouldn't hurt to try and bring it it to employer's attention if you are already someone who contributes to open-source projects, but I don't think it's necessarily a practical approach to go out and start today if you need a job tomorrow. It's more something you should be doing as you go. Likewise, only certain kinds of open-source projects have this kind of sway... Mr. Kroah-Hartman mentions Hadoop and Linux Kernel, and that's great, but not everyone is a Hadoop or Linux developer. Tons of other great open-source projects might still not get you the accolades you'd like.
KevinRCasey
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KevinRCasey,
User Rank: Moderator
8/4/2014 | 3:43:53 PM
Re: Open Source, Open Resume
Thanks, zerox. And I agree, I don't think this approach is for everyone or every employer. Nor is it a quick fix for someone currently on the job market. But I definitely see the upside here for IT pros (devs especially) with open source skills/interests and companies that need people with experience in Hadoop, Linux, etc. One of the things that appeals to me about the concept is that it's a potential solution to the timeless "can't get the job without the experience, can't get the experience without the job" problem faced by students, young professionals, or experienced folks looking to develop new skills in areas like big data, cloud, etc.

Speaking of timeless problems: It also seems like hiring managers should like this if for no other reason than it's tough to "enhance" your open source credentials... not so for imaginative resume writers that oversell their qualifications.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/4/2014 | 4:11:00 PM
Re: Open Source, Open Resume
The social networking opportunities here, as Kevin notes, may prove key for the developers. That's how you learn about jobs when you're not even looking.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
8/5/2014 | 2:15:45 AM
Re: Open Source, Open Resume
The open source model is a completely different model that provides a lot of benefits. For instance, the fear of reverse engineering disappears and competitors become collaborators in an effort to grow the ecosystem, etc. For the individual that is looking to increase their level of productivity, open source provides a healthy environment that provides ample work and social interactions of quality. Experience can be viewed as a byproduct. However, it is extremely valuable.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
8/11/2014 | 1:03:58 AM
Re: Open Source, Open Resume

".... but not everyone is a Hadoop or Linux developer. "

@zerox203    Good point, you don't necessarily have to be a kernel expert to contribute to Open Source and hopefully other skills can gain the same opportunities that "kernel patchers" receive.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
8/11/2014 | 1:09:26 AM
Re: Open Source, Open Resume

@Brian Dean   Have you worked on an Open Source Project ?   If so, how did you manage it ?    I would think someone with a regular job would not have the time to contribute seriously.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
8/11/2014 | 1:11:56 AM
Re: Open Source, Open Resume

@Lauriane   Social Networking is a key ingredient of this for sure.  Often companies need unique skills which are very hard to find - social networking helps considerably.

Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
8/11/2014 | 6:36:20 AM
Re: Open Source, Open Resume
@Technocrati that is a good point. A lot depends on the type of project that one is interested in, relative to their education/experiences/skillset. For example, if a Master's in Mathematics enters a group that is trying to solve a high school level math problem, serious contribution has already been made by the degree holder to the group, even if it only took a weekend of their time. The contributor gains the recognition and also increases their understanding of the type of problems that a group in a similar setting might be facing. It is quality that the contributor gives to the group -- it's a win-win situation.

Likewise, if an individual with a high school math degree enters a group that is trying to solve a Master's level math problem, then the individual is the one gaining more from interacting with the group and the group also gains. 
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