How Unemployed Developers Use Open Source to Get Hired: Page 2

Posted January 19, 2011

Matt Hartley

Matt Hartley

(Page 2 of 2)

Here are my suggestions for getting your open source project in front of potential employers.

1) You're not unemployed, you're freelancing. Recent news stories have indicated that firms aren't hiring those labeled as "unemployed." Your best bet is to demonstrate that you're still working. You just happen to be doing so without a steady paycheck.

Adding your open source project to your resume, under what you're “currently working on,” will not only allow them to see what you can do from a development sense, it'll ensure you don't have the unemployed stigma attached to you, either.

2) Demonstration videos. YouTube, Facebook and other video sharing sites allow you to demonstrate how your open source project works, the value it offers its users and that you're also available for hire.

And, using a $10 domain name with URL forwarding, you can send your perspective employer to a YouTube video so potential employers can see first hand what you have to offer their company. The URL forwarding gives you the ability to point the would-be employer anywhere you wish, even if the target site for the video happens to change. This puts your resume in a very powerful position. With a bit of luck, employer curiosity will help get your demonstration video in front of the right people most of the time.

So remember, find creative ways to show off your open source project so that employers are able to understand first hand what you have to bring to the negotiation table. Text on a resume only goes so far. It's critical to find creative ways to make sure prospective employers see your coding efforts in action.

Getting hired vs freelancing

Developers may face a situation where an employer asks if they’d like to freelance for them on a project. Some developers might think this is a bad idea as it means that you would only receive one project(s) worth of compensation, while preventing you from looking for work elsewhere.

But look, there’s nothing wrong with freelancing even if a regular job opportunity should arise. Most of the time, you'll find that you can be hired even while working on something else as the freelance project can be completed during your non-work hours.

So that explains how to handle existing freelance work. What about your open source project then? My advice: pay it forward. Document your success at using the project to find gainful employment and leave the project to the other individuals who participated in the development.

Obviously you want to make sure your name remains on the list of people who created the open source project in the first place. But by stepping down, you allow the next developer to learn from what you've done and hopefully, emulate it with similar success in finding gainful employment.

ALSO SEE: Ubuntu's Unity Desktop: Tragically Ironic Product Name

AND: The Linux Desktop: Nine Myths

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Tags: open source, Linux, developers, IT Jobs/Salary, developer salary

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