Bonum Certa Men Certa

Myth Busting: No Money in Free Software?

Free software means free markets, higher salaries

Media and analysts control can have a tremendous positive effect for that who controls them [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Lacking a sense of ethics and given inability to feel any guilty, one can control bloggers and journalists as well. To Microsoft, "evangelism is war" ("Jihad" even). Without giving the names of publications at hand, let's explore the FUD du jour.

“Media and analysts control can have a tremendous positive effect for that who controls them”Microsoft gave the illusion that .NET skills are highly desirable and pay a lot of money, but evidence on the surface does not seem to support this assertion. Some would say that the Windows-skilled are "a dime a dozen" and various studies showed that Microsoft programming languages continue their decline. This leads to questions about who funded the studies at hand. It also makes one wonder who published those studies and -- more importantly -- how [1, 2]?

Researchers/analysts and journalists often have connections and they are also joined together by pressure from PR agencies, hired by those with vested interests, strings to pull, and money to offer. Remember, to name just a couple of examples:

"Analysts sell out - that’s their business model... But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with."

--Microsoft, internal document



“A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me... It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this...”

--Andrew S Tanenbaum, father on MINIX



A reader wrote to inform me of this new article. It shows how desirable Free software skills have become in the industry. He later adds: "There was some good discussion a month or two back, and about 5 or 7 years ago about how FOSS is 'recession-proof' and how using FOSS helps companies extra during recessions. Warning, use of the R-word will bring Bush's group down on you. Hint of the D-word will really cause them to act quickly."

This comes shortly after this highly-cited new article from CRN:

Report: Open Source Adoption Increases App Dev Pay

A report from New York City-based consulting company Bluewolf says IT salaries across the board will continue to rise in 2008, with application developers leading the pack with 7.6 percent salary growth. The increase brings application developers' salaries to between $112,500 from $80,250.


Pay attention to the big jump in requirement for FOSS. Just weeks ago we saw this study from the Waughs:

Australian open source workers earn more money

IT workers who specialise in free and open source software are earning more than the national average for IT, according to the results of Australia's first open source census.


For the investigative/curious, here is a bunch of older articles on this matter:

Linux Job Market Trends: Galloping Forward

If you’re a Linux specialist looking for the best paying area of the country, your best bet is – no surprise – Silicon Valley, where Linux pros make $96,578 (but a cup of coffee costs $11.25). Other top-paying Linux areas are Washington, D.C. ($86,882), Los Angeles ($86,618), and New York ($86,305).


2007: Where the Tech Jobs Are

...open source and Linux skills are very hot. "Linux is one of the fastest growing, if not required, then recommended skills that most of the sysadmins and operations people have," Melland says. "If you're a systems administrator and you don?t have Linux experience, you might want to seek that out."

[...]

All this migration to Linux and open source means that job openings are zooming. Based on Dice statistics, Linux as a recommended skill is up 51% this year, and roughly 150% in the last two years.


Linux and Open Source: How They Affect HR Professionals

Linux jobs abound, tech job service says

Spending on open source support services in Canada to soar

The market for open source support services is going to boom over the next five years, according to a recent Gartner survey.


Earning Your Linux Diploma

The trend today is for computer professionals to move away from proprietary software products in favor of developing their industry-wide skills, Lacy added.

[...]

IT professionals looking to be Linux certified have two types of programs to consider. One certification track is vendor neutral, concentrating on core Linux programs and command line skills that apply to all Linux distributions.


Skills shortage: it's mind over matter

The demand for SAP skills, for example, is expected to be high in 2008. Demand for skills in new areas such as open source, Linux, Web 2.0 and AJAX are almost certainly bound to be high next year too. And surprisingly, there is a growing demand for good, old-fashioned mainframe skills as the Baby Boomer generation retires and leaves a gap in supporting legacy systems.


For Linux admins, career options remain plentiful

Thanks for the advice, Brent. The future looks bright for Linux. Anything else you want to tell our readers?

Don't worry about getting an MCSE, Linux is where it's at right now.


Thoughts on the Linux job market

IT jobs surveyThe Foote Partners report comparing average pay for certified IT skills versus non-certified IT skills got a lot of people talking. While news that the average salary for non-certified professionals was higher in the third quarter of 2007 came as a shock to some, others were not as surprised.


Noncertified IT pros make more than those with certified skills, report shows

A new report from industry research firm Foote Partners LLC finds that the average pay for noncertified IT skills topped that for certified professionals while compensation for IT jobs increased again in the third quarter of 2007. CEO and Chief Research Officer, David Foote calls this “a significant event” that has not occurred in the industry since 2000.


Another excellent analysis to finish off with.

The Scary World of Linux Computers.

The majority of Microsoft oriented corporate IT staff I've worked with have a sort of reverential fear of Linux. They like to talk about it in a respectful sort of way, but they are often afraid to actually use it. Deploying a Linux server without an outside support agreement is a very scary task to users who have felt safe for years in their codependent relationship with Microsoft.


This hopefully helps busting of the myth. Be very careful what you believe, especially if it comes from major (non-academic) analysts and corporate-run media companies.

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