Use Open Source Projects to Boost Your IT Resume

Job Seekers

Boost Your IT Resume

There has been a long and ongoing debate within the IT community about whether or not participation in open source projects matters to prospective employers. But as these projects have evolved in their sophistication, and become widely used in both home and office settings, their status as a professional credential has become undeniable. If you want to boost your IT resume and change the way recruiters think about your abilities, participate in an open source project. The potential advantages for your career are greater than you may realize. Consult this quick guide, and then find the open source project that is right for you.

Benefits of Working on an Open Source Project

  • Learn new coding languages – Open source projects give you hands-on experience with unfamiliar coding language, without the immediate expectation to produce results or functional products.
  • Project management skills – In your professional life, you may have a limited set of responsibilities. Open source projects allow you to accept and coordinate multiple roles, building in-demand project management experience.
  • Open source expertise – Many of today’s companies make use of open source technology in one form or another. If you have contributed directly to these projects, you have a particularly relevant skill set.
  • Connection to a thriving IT community – The people who conceive, develop, and manage open source projects are some of the brightest in their fields. Building relationship with these professionals can teach you valuable skills, and present networking opportunities.
  • Demonstrate initiative – After working all day, you go home and continues to tackle technical tasks on your own time. That reflects positively on your character and work ethic.

Ways to Contribute to Open Source Projects

  • Finding and fixing bugs
  • Writing a new extension or plugin
  • Conducting usability testing
  • Drafting documentation and tutorials
  • Responding to queries on support forums and from mailing lists

Popular Open Source Projects to Work On

  • jQuery – This is a cross-platform JavaScript library that is designed to simplify client-side scripting of HTML. This project is ideal for front-end web developers who want to demonstrate their fluency with CSS/JavaScript.
  • The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) – Apache is one of the most ubiquitous technologies on the web today, and its influence is impossible to overstate. The ASF is a highly organized community of developers that allows newcomers to contribute to project groups that relate directly to their interests, skills, or goals.
  • GitLab – This is an open-source software repository/version control system that is free to use, unlike many of its competitors. This is an ideal choice for developers that want to demonstrate experience with Ruby on Rails, or show off their ability to work collaboratively on a software development project.

The final thing to remember is that you can participate in open source projects as much or as little as you want. Don’t think of the process as arduous or time intensive. Think of it as a professional development opportunity that is tailored to your specific interests and goals. Learn more ways to boost your IT resume by working with the recruitment specialists at INSPYR Solutions. Search open job opportunities to get started.

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