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Hiring open-source developers

About the author

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At Nodejitsu, we spend a lot of time and resources on open-source software development. Before founding Nodejitsu, the three of us were all active open-source enthusiasts and developers. Tools like Github helped bring us together to better understand each others techniques and technical skill-sets. Events like NYC.JS, Music Hack Day NYC, and the first Node Knockout helped solidify the team.

Now, after three years of toiling away on Github, we have now expanded our engineering team to over fourteen strong and every Nodejitsu developer is an active contributor to the open-source community.

How to become an open-source developer?

Becoming an "open-source developer" is actually quite simple. You really only need to do one thing: contribute.

Contributing can be done on several levels of participation. One of the easiest ways to contribute to a project is to use it, find an issue, and report the problem. If you've found an actual problem that can be resolved, hopefully one of the maintainers will respond by fixing the issue or providing guidance on how to resolve the issue.

There are also several other useful things you can do such as: unit-tests, benchmark suites, documentation, multi-platform support, third-party integrations, and new functionality.

How do you get recruited as an open-source developer?

If you are contributing ( as described in the previous paragraph ), you've already done the hardest part.

Good work always speaks for itself.

If you have worked on projects which are significant to companies who are hiring developers, they probably already know your name. It's much more likely a company will hire a developer who has already made an improvement to a piece of their codebase versus someone who has little knowledge of any company projects. At Nodejitsu, we primarily hire developers who have already contributed to major company supported projects like: jitsu, haibu, flatiron, and

How to recruit open-source developers?

Recruiting open-source developers is not difficult, but it can be very difficult for certain companies.

First off, don't cold email open-source developers. If an open-source developer has posted their email in a public place ( like on Github ), they probably put it up for technical support emails, not recruiter spam.

Sponsoring hackathons with open-source incentives is always a great idea.

Allow company time for open-source projects.

This isn't about setting an arbitrary percentage of time like 10% or 20% of hours. If an employee is working on a project in their free time that could help improve open-source software in a significant way, you should encourage them to work on it. Hopefully, the projects they are working on in their free time align with the goals of your company.

Use algorithmic recruitment to find developers. is fun. is also good. is great.

The data is out there. Do some googling and get creative.

Upcoming jobs at Nodejitsu

At Nodejitsu, our developers are top-class and their open-source contributions stand on their own. Our developers are constantly spammed for job offers and choose to work for us because we try to let them do the work they would be doing anyway.

Over the next few months, we will be aggressively expanding our development team and hiring new people who can step up in any of the following roles.

  • Support Engineering
  • Development Operations
  • Front-End Development
  • User-Experience
  • Design and Graphic Art

We are looking for people who are self-motivated and are always willing to take the extra step needed to get the job done. We are looking for people who can not only provide results, but can also proactively take the initiative to get results.

Location: On-Site in San Francisco or New York City, Telecommute

  • Compensation is competitive and based on experience
  • Health insurance (including dental and vision)
  • Equity opportunities available for senior roles

If you are interested in working for Nodejitsu, send an email to or better yet...

Get a pull request merged on Github.

Now get coding.