A year ago, I wrote about how those looking for work should consider learning Drupal, an open-source Web content management system. According to the project team, Drupal now powers 1 percent of all of the Web sites in the world.
This week, as the project celebrates its 10th anniversary, the team announced the release of Drupal 7, which features an easier-to-use administrative interface, more flexibility in customization, new database support, and an increased effort to make Drupal sites scale more readily. Nearly 1,000 people contributed to the release. It also announced that it is planning to host DrupalCon 2011 in Chicago from March 7 through 10.
According to project lead Dries Buytaert, companies are choosing Drupal because their Web presence is continuing to grow, but based on the current economic landscape, they still don't have much of a budget to spend on software. That doesn't mean that they don't have to maintain and enhance their Web sites, of course, and they need skilled help to do so. Drupal provides a vast amount of community support: people can share, collaborate, and learn more in the process.
Organizations such as NPR, Examiner.com, and Whitehouse.gov all use Drupal to build internal and external-facing Web sites in a matter of hours, with minimal custom programming. As such sites proliferate, companies need people to manage them, which means that as Drupal adoption grows, so too do job opportunities.
There are many technology areas and open-source software packages that continue to see tremendous growth. Some, like Ruby, are a bit more palatable to those without strong engineering backgrounds, while others, like OpenStack, may require a bit more geekiness but have tremendous growth potential. The important thing to note is that there are jobs out there, if you have the right skills and, in fact, certain engineering areas are severely lacking in experienced candidates.