Big Data is driving demand for professionals with Linux experience, according to a survey from Dice Holdings Inc. and the Linux Foundation. Ninety-three percent of 850 corporate hiring managers surveyed said they hoped to hire systems administrators or developers with Linux skills over the next six months. However, around 90% also said a talent shortage makes it’s “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult” to find experienced Linux professionals.
via Gilt Groupe, ServiceNow See Big Data Putting Linux Talent in Hot Demand – The CIO Report – WSJ.
Linux pros are rare, but I wonder if the real problem in finding one for a position isn’t a shortage of talent, but rather that “corporate hiring managers” don’t understand the technology well enough to read a resume from one. It’s pretty well understood that corporate recruiting is broken. Tech jobs are at the blunt end of that particular stick.
When a manager comes to HR with a job posting and a budget, I’m guessing that most reps don’t have any background whatsoever to place the various buzzwords they see into context. When the qualifications call for “5+ years” of “Red Hat Linux” experience, and someone says they’ve been working with Gentoo for 8 years, does any HR rep understand that the person is probably eminently qualified? I doubt it. And there’s the problem.
There’s far too much social strata within a company. It leads to arbitrary internal distinctions and turf wars about things like SQL Server versus Oracle versus MySQL. Relational databases are relational databases, and people who fight against that are just trying to shore up their job security. I’ve heard a hiring manager for an internal group at a Fortune 250 decline to interview a MySQL guy for an Oracle role because (and I’m paraphrasing, but) he might have infected his preciously-expensive white tower of closed source software with free software ideals.
Human resources resume screeners would do well to understand that keeping MySQL or PostgreSQL running is about the same level of effort, and that’s crucial to knowing how qualified a candidate is. For instance, I’ve worked with Oracle and MySQL extensively, but hardly at all with SQL Server. Yet it only took me a few minutes of poking around to make the backend SQL Server for an app at my company generate a monthly report we needed. Would I have ticked the boxes for “SQL Server” expert in an interview? No, but I could be fluent with the particulars in a couple of months, because I’m well-versed in understanding how relational databases work in a computer, and what I should expect of their capabilities, if I can only invoke the right incantation.
At the end of the day, for a person who really understands the technology, Linux is Linux. And Unix. All flavors. And, really, BSD. (And, somewhat, OS X.)