12 reasons to choose a career in OSS

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
George Bernard Shaw

Here’s my list of reasons why to choose a career in OSS:

  1. If you have ambitions to reach a senior position in a CSP then OSS/BSS gives that grounding. It touches almost every part of the business (sales, marketing, engineering, operations, field work-force, testing, training, IT, process, executive, etc) so there are opportunities to meet people from these areas and learn from all of them
  2. There is diversity in every aspect of OSS from technologies (legacy to cutting edge in IT, networks, software, services) and people (all business units involved as per previous point) through to roles (PM, DBA, architect, trainer, tester, analyst, change manager, project office, programmer, etc)
  3. There are always challenges waiting to be solved
  4. There are always so many things to learn (eg change management, leadership, technical skills, business skills, etc)
  5. Every OSS project (and even every day) is so much different from every other project
  6. There are OSS projects worldwide, which can introduce you to new sights and sites but also new approaches to doing things
  7. The OSS of today will look vastly different to the OSS of 5 years from now so there is room for innovation. There are so many different niches where innovation can be made
  8. The chance to make a difference. There are normally so many things to do on an OSS project that there is almost always something waiting for you to achieve and / or to grow into
  9. You get to choose the niche that works for you, ranging from isolated (eg writing back-end utilities that require little interaction) to leading teams. You can work in small teams or large teams. For small companies or large ones.
  10. You can achieve outcomes quite quickly (on some projects… )
  11. The whole ICT industry is changing quickly so this provides to perfect position to stay abreast of new discoveries
  12. These software tools are influential in keeping the voice/data networks running that support business and more businesses are reliant on those networks with an increasing number of digitised business models impacting traditional bricks and mortar businesses

What are the other reasons I’ve inadvertently overlooked? What are the reasons why you’ve chosen a job in OSS?

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