As stated in the title, what do employers typically expect, when they ask for experience in a certain programming language in an offering for a part time job directed at enrolled students? Especially for languages not taught at the local university?

  • My school mainly teaches Java. I personally don't fiddle around with languages such as Perl (just an example), so I don't have any experience with that language. If a company would ask me if I had experience with Perl, I'd say no. Another student might come along who does have experience with it. That student has a way bigger chance of getting hired. Jun 24, 2015 at 8:30
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    See also workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/24687/… For this job offering for students it seems reasonable to consider "personal" experience as well
    – Brandin
    Jun 24, 2015 at 9:08
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    Usually when they ask for "experience", they expect Working Knowledge levels of competency, which is described here: workplace.stackexchange.com/q/21316/16504
    – Zibbobz
    Jun 24, 2015 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


They expect you to know and understand at least the basics so that you will be productive without having to be taught the language. As a part-time student position, they'll be looking for a small piece of work from you, and not have to train you.

You won't need to be a master level practitioner, and you won't need to know all the intricacies of various frameworks or libraries you may use with it, I'd expect them to be handing you somewhat simple tasks to complete that their main staff are too busy to complete, so you'd be expected to be able to write a new program rather than bugfix existing code, though obviously this is very much specific to the actual employer, but it shows you may well have to start from scratch to make something relatively simple.

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