When you review job candidates, their employment history isn’t the only thing you should look at. Their activities outside work give you insight into their interests and motivations. When those outside activities include open source projects, you should view that as a strong positive factor. Here’s why:
- Contributing to an open source project shows a candidate has strong motivation and is self-directed. There’s no requirement for a candidate to work on an open source project, so their participation is entirely voluntary. And once they’ve signed up, their work is entirely self-directed; there’s no specific work assignment and no project manager assigning a deadline.
- Shows a candidate keeps current technically. If they’re working on a widely used open source project, they’re also implementing leading-edge technology. Most open source projects focus on packaging new software techniques to make them easy for wider use.
- Working on open source projects require strong communication skills. Open source projects are highly collaborative; they’re also highly distributed. The workers aren’t in a common location and communicate almost entirely through collaboration tools.
- The candidate understands agile development. Almost all open source projects are structured as agile projects. Besides being comfortable with working in an incremental fashion, working on an open source project makes developers familiar with the typical tools that support that methodology, including source code control tools and bug trackers.
- Boosts the candidate’s technical ability. The best way to learn to code better is to write more code. Contributing to open source projects lets candidates write more code, plus have it reviewed by a community of top programmers. That feedback can only help them become a better developer.
- This type of work showcases passion. The candidate probably already has a job they spend at least 40 hours per week on. They wouldn’t spend their free time working on more technical projects unless they really loved it. Bringing their enthusiasm for technology into your workspace can only boost morale.
When you need to hire a new employee, consider all facets of their experience. At InReach, our candidates have strong resumes, including work at their jobs and contributions to open source projects. Contact us to learn more about how our Dallas IT staffing professionals can help you find the right employees for your open positions.