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Why join OpenSkills?

Why should you become a user, guest, subscriber or member of OpenSkills? Because you can let the world know what you can do in a way that you control.

Getting started - Be Our Guest

It takes just a few minutes to create an OpenSkills account and, as a guest of the association, you can put your skills and resume on line. All you need is a verified email address. As a guest, you can create and publish your resume making some of your skills visible to searchers. You can do more if you choose to subscribe.

Help us to help you - Subscribing

As a subscriber you will be helping to keep OpenSkills running as a stand alone organization free from external influence and advertising. To subscribe, simply pay the current annual subscription fee.

Subscribers have access to a wider range of facilities from the OpenSkills systems. The OpenSkills systems are constantly being reviewed and extended so the exact features change, but as a subscriber you will always have access to extended services.

Getting to know you - Membership

A subscriber can become a member of the association. The key to becoming a member is to having an established and verified identity in the form of an OpenPGP key (see? it really is the key). There is no additional cost involved in becoming a member, but getting an OpenPGP key sorted out is not a 5 minute job.

Members are granted privileges that go beyond their own resume. Members may extend the OpenSkills systems themselves, by adding skills to the skills tree for example.

Also, being a member will make you look good in the SkillsBase. The SkillsBase will highlight members in search results and searchers will have the additional confidence that comes with knowing that a resume is attached to a real person and not just an email address.

Other things

The ability to search the SkillsBase for skilled people - which is essentially the ability to connect people together to help them actualise suitable engagements. The SkillsBase is free to search, so nothing stands in the way of looking for people with the right skills at the right level.

Publicity - OpenSkills publicises its website and services - which means that you receive the benefit of that publicity through a larger number of people looking at your skills and offering projects to you. Conversely it provides a centralised place for projects to find exactly the skills needed.

With OpenSkills, the subscribers provide the financial support, so the association controls itself (via an elected committee). This differs from recruitment agencies where the agency is generally driven by the market trends of the potential employers, and individuals can often get overlooked.

Access to and support from the community. OpenSkills fosters its community through mailing lists and other community support projects such as the Virtual Library. In the same way, we have a committment to support the FOSS community. Supporting open source helps support OpenSkills, and thus helps you by increasing the available market.

Looking briefly at the spending side of OpenSkills finances, the subscription fee is primarily a contribution to keep the database with your skills online. But how do we do this? Of course all our IT geeks know what OpenSkills.org needs in terms of database servers and webservers and how to maintain them. To keep the exploitation costs low we use open source software and we we have a couple of system administrators to keep the servers up and running. The administrators are all OpenSkills members.

Furthermore OpenSkills wants continuity and innovation by running projects and activities. These are activities such as promotion, education, meetings and application development.

In the future

Support for the contract process: We are working on a Social Contract to go hand-in-hand with real contracts with the intent to make it very easy for us to work together. This will mean that even if a job is only to provide a few hours of consultancy, you can easily have a proper contract in a few minutes.

The Effort Tracking System will allow you to fill out timesheets and track your own efforts on a project, or keep track of the people on your project. The system will also allow you to define a new project with roles and tasks, and invite others to participate. It will also enable you to search through available projects to find an engagement that matches your requirements.

We will be growing the web of trust to include references from other members (giving a member the right to be contacted about another member) and then to include commendations for certain skills (where one member can commend another for a specific skill). This will help members by allowing people to be confident that your skills are as you have stated, building trust and reputation in the community.

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