January 7, 2021

The Comprehensive Guide to Must-Know Tech Lingo for Recruiters

As a high-level tech recruiter, your job is to find the perfect fit for the available roles in your company. It’s not an easy task for an obvious reason: you’re a recruiter, not a developer. Yet you must screen candidates and discuss detailed job requirements for positions outside your personal area of expertise.

Whether you’re just embarking on your path as a tech recruiter or simply need a refresher, understanding these eight tech terms will help you better prepare for discussions with candidates and the questions they might ask.

All About Your Candidates

Let’s start with the different types of developers you’ll likely be charged with hiring. Whether you’re recruiting developers with broad experience in multiple areas of web application or looking for someone with specialized expertise in one area, these terms should help you better understand the resumes you come across:

1. Front-End Developer

In tech, we refer to the part of a website or application that users see and interact with as the “front end.” For a typical website, front-end development includes working on elements like buttons, images, text, and forms using languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Today, most developers prefer using a framework to build an application rather than writing pure code. Front-end frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue.js allow developers to scale applications more easily as the amount of code involved grows.

2. Back-End Developer

You might not be surprised that where there’s a front end, there’s a back end. While users don’t see the back-end piece, it’s what powers the whole application. When you’re recruiting back-end developers, you’ll be looking for candidates with knowledge of languages like Java, Ruby, Python, and Node.js. Some candidates might also have experience setting up servers and connecting to application programming interfaces (APIs) and databases.

3. Full-Stack Developer

While front-end and back-end developers specialize in opposite ends of the spectrum, the full-stack developer is a jack of all trades. They have knowledge of front-end languages like JavaScript and back-end concepts like creating web servers and communicating with databases. If you’re recruiting for a smaller company or just need ancillary support for your current specialized developers, you might be looking for someone with a full-stack skill set.

4. Developer Operations (DevOps)

Any developer you recruit should have basic knowledge of containers and related platforms, like Docker and Kubernetes, but this knowledge is especially important for a developer operations (DevOps) position. Put more simply, a candidate for a DevOps role needs to be familiar with packaging their applications and the underlying infrastructure necessary to run it on any machine without special configuration.

5. SQL and NoSQL Databases

All that complex code and data must be stored somewhere. Developers usually store their data in online databases. These databases are classified as either Structured Query Language (SQL) or NoSQL.

It’s important for back-end and full-stack developers to be able to work with at least one of these database types. They should understand the pros and cons of both when it comes to storing and manipulating data. When recruiting tech talent, it’s best to ask your IT contact if they have a preference for SQL or NoSQL experience.

All About the Developer’s Craft

6. Environment

Every developer usually has a preference for their own environment, which simply refers to the setup they use on their computer when working. This setup might include a preferred code editor, a specific terminal setup, keyboard shortcuts, and data visualization programs.

It’s often important for tech talent to be able to customize their environments to include processes and programs they’re familiar with. This can help them acclimate to their new position and work more efficiently and effectively.

You can expect candidates to ask about the company’s flexibility in helping them set up the environments that work best for them. They might ask about any limitations on the programs they can use, as well as the IT department’s existing preferences.

7. Git

When a developer is working on a project, they often host their code online using a distributed version-control system like Git. That’s because multiple developers on a team are often making changes to the same code. In this kind of environment, it becomes crucial to be able to track changes and see the history of a project, which Git allows. GitHub and Bitbucket are two popular version-control repositories using the Git system.

This topic is likely to come up with candidates as you discuss collaboration.

8. Open Source

During recruitment, you might come across developers who are passionate about building open-source software and using it to build applications. Open source refers to software that allows anyone to view, modify, and use its code for certain purposes. It contrasts with proprietary, privately developed software for which the source code is not publicly available.

WordPress is a well-known example of open-source software. Developers often enjoy the collaborative nature of this type of software. They might want to know whether your IT team is currently using any, and whether there are limitations on using it.

Most developers with experience under their belts have preferences when it comes to workflows and collaboration. They will have questions about your company’s processes. While you don’t have to be a tech expert, having a basic understanding of these important concepts will help you have productive discussions with your candidates before, during, and after the interview.

Daniel Borowski is the CEO and founder of Coderbyte.

Read more in Recruiting

Daniel Borowski is the CEO and founder at Coderbyte, a leading platform for code assessments and code interview prep. He has worked at leading tech companies including MongoDB, Meetup, and Buzzfeed.