I have started my internship at a recruiting company geared towards the IT world (web development, and others). 

I have a hard time figuring out 'good' resumes. All the ICT words dazzle me. Javascript, Java. C##, etc.

Now I found a site where I could easily learn a bit of programming, what are your thoughts on starting a free course? Should I learn a bit of programming to become good at recruiting in the ICT world?

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Hi Kris,

Learning how to program software and cut code is a good life skill to have but it is not necessary for IT recruitment. The single most important thing you should do is speak to people about their CV and let them educate you on their skills and experience. I have not met an IT professional yet who doesn't like to talk 'shop' and you will be very surprised just how quickly you will pick up valuable information!

Reading blogs and IT related websites will be more useful than learning a programming language although it might be a useful discussion point to ask why a particular language like PHP or Java etc was chosen.

I hope this helps.

All the best with your career!



Haha I started to learn a bit about Python, i find it interesting but I see what you mean. Reading blogs and articles about it gives me more insights about the most important aspects of the popular programming messages which makes me able to talk better with people in the industry. Is that what you mean?

Why do you feel that learning how to program software and cut code is a good life skill to have? It seems to me the reason for this is that we live in a time where almost everything 'big' happens on the internet. 

Hi Kris,

Learning how to program software is useful because of the discipline required in planning, development, testing and release from inception to fulfilment. Admittedly, programming is not for everybody but if you find it enjoyable, the art of creating programs is not much different a sales or recruitment cycle. Each iteration of the cycle is important and a contributor to the end result. Programming is a great way to learn not to cut corners as finding bugs in the software is a lot easier when the process is defined and followed.

Not much different than recruiting!

IT Professionals will not expect you to be an IT expert. They will expect you to ask them about their careers, what their work involves and what kind of opportunity they are looking for.

It is always good to be knowledgeable but don't get too hung up on your perceived lack of knowledge and try to assume a level of confidence you will have in 12 months, but do it now and you will not regret having done so.


That's true. There is a lack of confidence. It feels weird to do interviews with people to make sure they are a right fit, not really understanding what "java" really is all about (picking java as an example). I wouldn't have this lack of confidence when it comes to sales, or hiring a callcenter agent. It's more familiair.

I am interested in programming. I am not sure where to start haha

When it comes to computer programming, I already have 3 options: PHP, Python and Ruby (also C, C## but they seem to be not recommended for beginners)

That's computer programming. Then there is computer science, where you have HTML5 (which is for web development and designing, which I find interesting but doesn't seem very useful with all the templates available nowadays. Building a website could easily be outsourced for very cheap). But also MySQL, which seems to be an important database language?

Got a bit sidetracked there. But, as you can see, I am interested in programming :-) 

A little knowledge is dangerous.  It's like going to Paris and using your High School French to impress.

Learn it if you like, but don't use it to gain credibility.  

You do that by knowing how to get them hired and which company is the best fit.  

That makes sense. Thank you both. 

Hi Kris,

I used to be an in-house recruiter for a large IT department (~220 employees). When I started out the programming side gave me a lot of trouble too. I took a two prong approach to it I focused on learning about the languages as opposed to learning the languages. Why each was used, a bit of the history, etc. I also asked my hiring manager to give me 5 or 6 technical questions and answers to ask during pre-screening to see if my candidates were at the level we needed them to be at. Later when things quieted down they taught me the basics of the theory behind each.

Bill is right when he says a little knowledge is a dangerous thing but I get why you don't want to look like a deer in headlights when technical talk comes up. Your role isn't to be the technical expert, that's what the hiring manager is for, but it is helpful to have a bit of a background so that you don't waste anyone's time with a candidate who thinks their skill level is better than what it is.

Hey Greg,

so what would you suggest that I do? Learn the languages? 

It might even come in hand in the future. My plan is to get my own business running, which I really want to base on the internet (the entry level is way cheaper there) 

I would say if you plan on being in IT recruitment for the long term, then yes. I would suggest that in the short term focus on finding the right people (culturally) and start to develop the technical background knowledge. I wouldn't recommend jumping into the languages right away.

Kris said:

Hey Greg,

so what would you suggest that I do? Learn the languages? 

It might even come in hand in the future. My plan is to get my own business running, which I really want to base on the internet (the entry level is way cheaper there) 

Atleast for the nine months I am. After that, it depens (if they keep me or not). It does seem like a lot to learn:

Front end: HTML(5), Css, Javascript

Then on the back end.. PHP, Ruby, Python (or 1 of 3..) .. MySQL.

Most programmers learn them all. But, I frankly don't have that time. 

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