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When you’re looking to hire a new employee, it’s important to be familiar with the job’s requirements, skills, and typical duties. This is especially true for engineering roles, whose job descriptions are often filled with names of the programming languages the employee should be experienced with.

If you’re not a technical person yourself, seeing “Python” or “Java” in a job description might paint a picture of snakes and coffee. While you don’t need to know how to code to interview these candidates, it is important that you are aware of the basic terms and tech ecosystems for a variety of reasons.

You need to be able to describe the role accurately

If you’re conveying one thing to a candidate, but in reality the role is entirely different, you’re going to end up with a very unhappy candidate. There’s nothing worse than applying to a role and then finding out that you are severely under- or over-qualified for it since it wasn’t accurately described. For example, if you are presented with a back-end developer role but then suddenly the conversations turn to front-end responsibilities, you will start to wonder which role you’re being interviewed for.

Additionally, good candidates will likely ask questions about the job, and if you can’t explain the very basics that a recruiter or hiring manager should know, then the candidate will likely have a negative reaction.

One way to do this is to familiarize yourself with the technical terms through word association. For example, when you see or hear the phrase “Front End Web”, your mind should be thinking “HTML, CSS, Javascript, client-side (browser) development.” The chart below illustrates some of the popular technology ecosystems that all technical recruiters and hiring managers should become familiar with.

You need to find the right person for the job

How can you truly hire the right developer if you aren’t even sure what the job requirements mean? Sure, the candidate’s potential managers and co-workers will be the ones drilling down on the technical requirements later in the interview process, but you can save them so much time and stress by helping weed out the good and the bad with basic technical knowledge.

You want to be known as a credible employee within your field

If a developer has a bad recruiter experience, sometimes they will tweet it, blog about it, or share with their fellow developers. You can instantly stand out and set yourself apart from the uninformed ones by being knowledgeable of the technical aspects of the role. From here, you could be able to form a true networking relationship with the developer for future roles -- if they're interested, of course. 

tech glossary

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