Open source is one of the driving forces behind India’s growing reputation as an international technology powerhouse. The country’s thriving open source developer community has played a prominent role in revolutionizing the economy and strengthening our position on the world stage. It has been instrumental in creating influential global companies that are shaping the future of global technology and Indian society at large. Student developers are also the foundation of this success – after all, they are the ones who will drive future software innovations for our digital nation. It goes without saying that supporting this next generation of developers is vital.
Open source development has introduced new ways of thinking and new avenues of innovation that have helped dispel the notion that India’s IT sector is predominantly service-oriented. It has effectively reinvented the sector into a high value, product driven industry. Consequently, we have witnessed exponential growth of Indian B2C and B2B Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies in recent years, both in terms of numbers and valuation.
The focus is on the incredible number of open source developers in India, which now exceeds eight million and continues to grow, making India the second largest developer community. And, crucially, it’s also one of the fastest growing, posting nearly 40 percent year-over-year growth in 2021. By 2023, we expect more than ten million developers to use the platform in India.
India’s future generation of developers
The bottom line is that not only does our thriving developer community see open source clearly as a path to professional success, but there is also a large number of new developers graduating from our colleges each year – creating an enviable pipeline of new talent for the future.
Many Indian students are now starting to learn software development as early as sixth grade, planting the seeds of passion at an early age and giving them a huge head start at a time when software development skills are in demand like never before. Organizations of all shapes, sizes and industries are competing to recruit talented young developers right out of college with the skills needed to drive their rapidly evolving transformational agendas.
However, getting a lead is one thing, but maintaining it over the long term is much more difficult. It is absolutely essential that we continue to support our young talents in the transition from training to work. The more we can all do to equip the developers, innovators, and solution builders of tomorrow, the brighter our future will look.
Inspiring a new wave of developers needs to be about more than coding. While it will always be a technical skill that they and their employers will need, we need to equip young people with the soft skills and techniques that are fundamental to their future success in the industry – such as critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving and skills to think like modern developers. Only then will they learn how to be a unique asset to employers, the software industry and the economy at large. And conversely, only then will they be able to achieve everything they set out to do.
Internships: Empowering the next generation of developers
Roles in today’s evolving digital economy also require highly skilled talent, often with hands-on experience. So much that 86 percent of students in India are looking for internships to boost their careers.
Promotion of professional technical skills
Indeed, India is fast becoming a global hub of future technologists, but it is critical that government agencies and the tech industry come together to advance this journey. For example the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Partners with industry players to provide training on technical skills and tools to support developers, innovators and the solution builders of tomorrow.
Open source will no doubt continue to play a central role in India’s economic development. How we identify, nurture, and nurture our future developer talent will be a critical factor in long-term success. Investing in students is central to their personal success and the larger socio-economic picture. By investing now in the next generation of talent and instilling the open source culture in them, they will not only gain a wealth of new opportunities, but India’s position on the world stage will be significantly strengthened.
The views expressed above are the author’s own.
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