Open source is the foundation of most modern software applications. Now more than ever, retaining developers with experience working on and with open source projects is critical to maintaining software development agility. Yet amid the Great Resignation, it can be challenging to keep talent happy—organizations must demonstrate a commitment to employee benefits, mentorship and cutting-edge technologies to remain competitive.
The EDB Open Source Talent Survey 2022 surveyed over 1,400 developers and DevOps professionals working on open source projects. Below, we’ll highlight the key takeaways about their volume of work, the quality of on-the-job training and top motivators that could influence workers to take a job elsewhere.
The Great Resignation Persists
It’s not news that IT is under mounting pressure to deliver new features and applications to meet surging digital demands. As a result, the amount of work has increased across the board. The report found that 67% of respondents said their volume of assigned work has increased in the past 12 months.
Employer favorability has also declined slightly—28% have a less favorable view of their employer over the last 12 months. Although 46% are satisfied with their current job, 44% are satisfied but would be open to new opportunities. And 10% said they were not satisfied with their current position. Taken together, that means 54% are open to or actively looking for new roles.
Mentoring: An Enticing Benefit
So, what are the main drivers that would influence IT workers to change jobs? It’s no surprise that increased pay and benefits are a top reason behind most resignations. However, salary is not the only factor—43% say improved career opportunities influence a job shift, a steep rise from 21% in 2021.
On-the-job mentorship and training are also becoming more desirable. A little over a third (38%) said that better access to mentorship would make them consider another job opportunity. This was followed by working with more cutting-edge technologies (32%), greater access to training and certifications (30%) and allotting more time for open source projects (19%).
Interestingly, one-fifth of responders who said they were satisfied with their current employer said their organization introduced a mentoring program in the past year. This indicates that investment in employee career advancement helps increase morale and retain skilled workers.
Career Advancement And Training
Out of the above reasons developers are open to switching jobs, one factor in particular is increasingly important: Working with cutting-edge technologies. This figure doubled in the last year, rising from 16% to 32%. Most engineers prefer not to work with cumbersome legacy technologies or manage rising technical debt. And if an organization isn’t evolving its software infrastructure, employee skillsets become stale.
Working with new open source or cloud-native technologies can help retain workers, but will likely require training. In terms of specific categories, 41% said that training in emerging technologies, like cloud, is a favorable factor in considering another job opportunity.
From a security perspective, ongoing training is also vital to staying on top of emerging exploits. As a result, 43% said security training is an interesting perk when considering a job shift. These areas are followed by training on core technologies like database and infrastructure (38%) and training on compliance (37%).
Open source software is pervasive and at the heart of today’s digital innovation. Nearly all applications depend on some form of open source software, but it’s no less prevalent in the DevOps sphere, where open source projects are used in continuous delivery, container orchestration, observability and a multitude of other stages of the software life cycle.
Supporting the needs of skilled labor will be necessary to leverage the benefits of open source projects. As such, organizations will require not only competitive wages but also relevant training and investment into cutting-edge technologies to retain such developers.
Another factor that could drive workers away is unnecessary toil, which can negatively affect morale. A company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives can also affect its talent pool. Furthermore, a commitment to high-quality developer experience can ensure the needs of developers are heard and respected.
The EDB Open Source Talent Survey 2022 surveyed over 1,400 application developers and IT professionals from around the world. It targeted open source technology users, specifically those holding application development, information technology and operations titles. For additional insights, you can read the full report here.