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Cheat Sheet when hiring IT professionals

Programming Languages

With the variety of programming languages around today, the whole field seems so difficult to grasp. However, in order to ensure that you find the right candidate to meet the organization’s needs, some understanding of these languages is a must.

Below is a list of commonly used languages in the IT industry and related fields:

  1. C
    Following from the ‘B’ Language, C was designed with many command similarities to machine instructions, and thus was used for many applications that utilized assembly languages. However, its numerous compilers and machine-independent design means that it is a structured, high-level language, used extensively for system and application software.
  2. C++
    Developed as an extension of the previous dominant C Language, C++ built upon all the strong points of C, whilst ushering in the paradigm of object-oriented programming.  It remains one of the most widely used and supported languages today, especially for systems and embedded software, video games, and client and commercial applications.
  3. Java
    Java, defined by Sun Microsystems, is a high level language popular for portable applications. Java programs are mostly compiled to run on virtual run time environments, which exist for almost all operating systems. Despite being partially derived from C and C++, Java has less low level architecture, and thus considered more “straight forward” than C/C++. The large class libraries and broad implementation means it is amongst the most popular high-level programming languages, with diverse applications from web servers and browsers to portable phones.
  4. C#
    Microsoft, originally wanting to restrict certain Java application tools to Windows, created C# to run only on their OS. C# allows the use of constructs commonly found in languages such as C++, Python and Ruby.  C# is considered to be faster than Java’s run-time, but does not have as large a user-base or libraries, partly due to the lack of other system compatibility.
  5. PHP
    As an increasingly popular scripting language amongst web developers, PHP was originally intended to create dynamic, interactive web pages. Knowledge of PHP is generally sought after, and its uses include server-side scripting, command-line programming and GUI applications.

6. Visual Basic

Microsoft’s windows-only Visual Basic language was derived from BASIC and is one of the easier languages to learn. It is an event-driven programming language, allowing users to create applications in the graphical and component-based development environment.

Some programs and technical software used include:


  • QuickBooks Pro, Intuit Inc.
  • Simply Accounting, ACCPAC International Inc.
  • Peachtree Complete, Sage Software SB, Inc.
  • NetSuite Small Business, NetSuite Inc.

Desktop Publishing & Graphic Design

  • PagePlus, Serif
  • Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft
  • Adobe Creative Suite (incl. Photoshop), Adobe
  • Print Workshop, Value Soft
  • Publishing Studio, Greenstreet Software Specialists
  • The Print Shop, Broderbund
  • Design & Print, Avanquest


  • EMI Software, EMI
  • LabVIEW, National Instruments

Web Development

  • Adobe Dreamweaver (part of Adobe CS), Adobe
  • Microsoft Expression Web, Microsoft
  • WebPlus, Serif
  • NetObjects Fusion, NetObjects

Computer Aided Design and 3D Modelling/Rendering

  • AutoCAD, Autodesk
  • SmartDraw
  • SketchUp, Google
  • Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Media and Entertainment
  • 3DsMax, Autodesk Media and Entertainment
  • Lightwave 3D, Newtek
  • Renderman Interface Specification, Pixar Animation Studios

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