Joe Strazzere's advice is very good, especially if your friend can vouch for your technical abilities. One of the toughest things about hiring for an IT position is that it's very difficult to tell how good anyone is by looking at a resume. IT resumes typically have everything that anyone has looked sideways at a few times, to catch the eye of the computer.
Someone is looking for someone who knows backbone.js, for example. A recruiter will enter "backbone.js" into a search application, and get a list of all the resumes that have that string on them. They usually have little if any idea how much exposure a given individual has to backbone.js. Most resumes are structured to get as many of those kinds of hits as possible.
So, you're competing with every other resume that the HR people have for the position. People talk all the time about how to make a resume stand out in a crowd, but there's nothing that will make it stand out more than Jimmy Rockstar telling his boss that a friend of his knows his stuff and he ought to have him in for an interview.
So by all means ask your friend to put in a word for you. If you don't want to put him on the spot, then ask him to tell you about the job, what it's like to work for the company, that sort of thing. You're interviewing him, to see if you think you would fit in well at the company, that sort of thing. (Maybe you wouldn't be happy there, after all. For example, maybe they make you get up and sing the company fight song once a day, and that just isn't your thing. Or maybe they make you come in at precisely 8 and leave at precisely 5, with an hour for lunch at noon, and you prefer to manage your own time a bit more than that.) It's always a good idea to get a friend's input about the company culture. If your friend is enthusiastic about getting you in, then he (she) will be glad to pick out your resume and ask the boss to have a look at it.