Linux has gone through a lot of changes in its 21-year existence. I’d go so far to say that it’s now quite mature — and perhaps even mainstream. Linux performance is stellar on all manner of laptops, notebooks, desktops and servers. And it pops up in some amazing places.
A few especially bright spots are grabbing a lot of attention lately:
- Raspberry Pi: The smartphone-sized, Linux-powered ARM 11 machine is literally everywhere. I saw them at OSCON, at local Maker Faires and tech workshops. It seems like you can’t touch a DIY or hardware hacking site without a couple of references to this popular little powerhouse. At between $35 and $40 each, how can you go wrong? While the Raspberry Pi has the highest profile, lots of people are also discovering other nano-systems, like the MK802, for about $75. Both run Ubuntu.
- The Linux Expert Job Market: We had a spirited exchange of comments this past year among Dice users and community guides about the Linux job market. There’s certainly a lot of outstanding talent out there, with many professionals saying that they regularly hear from recruiters and potential employers trying to woo them away to new companies. Employers are having trouble finding “qualified” Linux people, so make sure you can walk the walk with solid hands-on skills that let you exceed expectations, and then some.
- Linux/Android on Smartphones and Tablets: Ubuntu has an intense development effort going on to port Linux over to the Google’s Nexus 7 tablet. The effort looks promising, and I like the fact that Nexus device sales continue to rise. Availability on popular, standard platforms like the Nexus usually means easy access and reasonable prices.
Where Do You Want to Go?
This year should be interesting. In the U.S., I suspect a lot of tax codes and regulatory policies will be changing. What will happen in the job market? It’s hard to say.
I can say that Linux is here to stay. It’s freely available, development remains very strong, and it continues to migrate to entirely new devices. I think sticking with Linux is a good move for the foreseeable future. Now’s the time to get creative and dream up new stuff.
Thanks to All the Dedicated Dice Readers
Finally, I want to start out 2013 by thanking everyone who have participated in the Linux, Mobile Development, and other Dice Talent Communities. We Community Guides always welcome your feedback, and look forward to more great conversations this year.