How to Start Your Career in Open Source

For fresh grads, we summarized some tips that you can use to make your profile stand out and help you to develop skills in engineering, marketing, and open-source community operations.

It was a pleasure to meet so many talented people at the Tech Job Fair. We were overwhelmed by the number of AI enthusiasts who came to our booth to ask about joining Jina AI.

The most common thing we were asked is how to raise your profile when applying at an open-source company like Jina AI. Lots of talented people want to work in AI and be a part of the open-source community, but there are a limited number of paid jobs in this field. Here are five tips and tricks that you can use to make your profile stand out and help you to develop skills in engineering, marketing, and open-source community operations.

Tip 1: Be an active member of a project!

Engage with the project's development team and community via social media or other community channels to get exposure and, often, cool swag.

New Community Reward Program is Coming!
We are excited to introduce a new Reward Plan to recognize active community members! You can gain credits by engaging with the community. How? Read on!
Jina AI, like many open-source companies, has a reward system for active community members. Check out Jina AI's Reward Plan

You can also share industry news, start public conversations about technology or any other relevant topic, ask questions about the software, and help others with their problems in a public forum. The company will notice you and your efforts.

Tip 2: Create use-cases and work on applications

The best way to promote an open-source project is to create cool apps. Identify a use-case that is interesting or useful and that you can build, then do it. You can get support from the project's development team and other community participants via their community channels, and then show off the result. A cool application draws a lot of attention and engagement.

A cool application for Jina AI from one of our most active community members. (Turn on subtitles for English.)

You can create a website, YouTube video, or blog post for your project. That's even better than a spectacular resumé because it shows your skills working specifically with that company's products. By the time you've applied for a job, everyone at the company will already know your name!

Tip 3: Promote the project on social media

Open-source projects thrive on attention. The more users, the more downloads, and the more active developers a project has, the more successful it is.

One of the easiest but most important ways you can show your support for the company and its projects is to actively boost it and link to it on social media platforms. Open-source companies pay close attention to their social media profiles and the quality and nature of the engagement they receive. If you belong to communities where people talk about open-source projects and new computer technologies, bringing attention to the projects you work on is one of the most valuable services you can offer.

Peter Willemsen, a very active member of the Jina AI community, promoting his JCloud project on his YouTube channel. You rock, Peter!

When you apply for a job, the company will almost certainly google you, and if they find you doing a good job of representing their projects, that's going to be a foot in the door for you.  

Meetup is a great way to find people who share the same interest, and spread your network! It is an amazing chance for fresh graduates to learn some of the basics in their field or gain familiarity in an area necessary for their job.

Berlin Vector Search Day with Jina AI & Haystack EU Community
On Wednesday, Jina AI hosted a Vector Search Hackday with the Haystack EU Community in our Berlin office. Participants were grouped by interests and background, from beginners in vector search to information retrieval professionals. The “Beginning Vector Search” group built their first Image-to-Tex…
Read more about our events on our website

You can use Meetup to see which direction the market is moving in, especially when it comes to the IT community. With tools, technologies, frameworks, and methodologies always changing, it's helpful to see which existing Meetup groups are rebranding or new ones that are popping up. This way, you can stay ahead of the curve.

Tip 5: Start contributing to an open source project

Open-source projects are a great way to get started in coding and software development because you can learn by doing. Plus, your contributions can be used as a showcase of your skills to potential employers. To find an open-source project that interests you, check out GitHub. You might spend a day or more to find the project of your interest. Do not worry, all your efforts will be paid back!

jina/CONTRIBUTING.md at master · jina-ai/jina
🔮 Build cross-modal and multimodal applications on the cloud · Neural Search · Creative AI · Cloud Native · MLOps - jina/CONTRIBUTING.md at master · jina-ai/jina
Start building your strong portfolio using our contribution guidance! 

We hope these tips help you to get the job of your dreams! Let us know your thoughts via Slack, would love to hear more from you.

Jina AI

Creator of neural search, contributor to open source.

... and You!

You love opensource and AI engineering. So join Jina AI today! Let's lead the future of Multimodal AI. 🚀

Table of Contents

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Tip 1: Be an active member of a project!
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Tip 2: Create use-cases and work on applications
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Tip 3: Promote the project on social media
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Tip 4: Attend events related to open source
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Tip 5: Start contributing to an open source project