Subversion reaches # 1 in world wide hiring requirement

A recent Forrester research noted that 40% of the developers in Europe use Subversion.  At CollabNet, we have been pegging worldwide Subversion usage somewhere between 4-5M, so it was interesting to get an external survey to validate our own projections.  I compared this information against other data I gathered from a job site called  They have a nice feature that allows you to look at trends in the use of words in job postings over the last 4 years, and compare multiple queries at once.  Please take a look at:

that compares the job postings for software developers with specific SCM skills (I searched on Subversion, ClearCase, Git, Perforce, StarTeam).  Basically, Subversion has jumped to the number 1 most submitted SCM job skill listed by companies posting openings at job sites as of the beginning of 2009.  Score another one for open source, and CollabNet’s continued sponsorship of Subversion.

Back in 2000, when Brian Behlendorf and I first discussed sponsoring and open sourcing Subversion on Tigris (  as a “replacement for CVS”, we also had the longer term, and more quiet goal, of ultimately displacing ClearCase as the most popular SCM tool on the planet.  Of course, we knew this would be a long road in which we’d have to i) build a vibrant community of the best developers on the planet – both ours and those outside of CollabNet, and ii) listen well to the needs of the market and our enterprise customers to build a enterprise class and high quality SCM tool. As ClearCase is licensed through traditional proprietary mechanisms, it’s hard to measure whether we achieved this goal by looking at traditional business terms such as revenue, and bookings.  As a result, CollabNet has relied on other means, such as the aforementioned Forrester report to validate the industry usage of Subversion, and to validate the nearly 9 years of energy and passion by CollabNet and other talented open source developers.

So, I found the above chart from particularly interesting – as the validation of Subversions’ usage is not just by CollabNet, and not just by independent analysts like Forrester. Instead, this validation of CollabNet’s original goal of displacing ClearCase as the most used SCM tool is by the technical and program management hiring managers that are looking for the best engineers with specific skills and tool set capabilities – and hiring managers are choosing Subversion over ClearCase…… Interesting….

Bill Portelli

Bill Portelli is Chairman of the Board and cofounder of CollabNet. Bill has been a business innovator in open source, globally distributed software development and on-demand provisioning since the late '90s. Bill's background includes 30+ years of experience in creating businesses and driving startups to rapid growth through to successful IPO and acquisition, as well as executive staff leadership in billion dollar companies. He has consistently conceived of and led teams to deliver client-enabling IT strategies, products and services in both the hardware and software industries. In recognition of his accomplishments as a leader in global software development, Bill was honored at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with the Technology Pioneer Award in 2010.

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