So yeah…HTML is just like HTML 5…right?

Wrong!!!  If you are like most people (that are not developers), you really don’t know or see the difference between the older HTML 4 standard and the in-demand HTML 5 standard.  If you talk to a candidate and ask them if they have HTML 5 experience, then of course they will say yes.   Anything to get their foot in the door at a top notch engineering company.  The candidates that don’t have enough experience are counting on sourcers and recruiters who don’t know how to qualify technology:

according to plan2

When it comes to qualifying technology experience, you can approach it with one of two methods:

  • The “Fake it Until You Make it” approach
  • Or the “Wowee, this is My Job and I Should Probably Be Good at it” approach

Now I know what you are thinking; “Mark, I’m not an engineer!  We should leave the engineering knowledge to the engineers!”  You are actually right.  We don’t need you to code a super interactive and dynamic website, but we do need you to understand the basics that are involved.  So why use HTML 5?  Well here’s your list:

  • Ability to code dynamic, interactive webpages that display perfectly no matter which desktop or mobile device you use
  • Ability to create Rich Internet Applications that previously relied on Adobe Flash
  • These Rich Internet Applications include full-blown drawing applications, 3d rendered applications, embedded movies that choose the video file / codec that works for you, and easier integration with web based API’s
  • Ability to do away with third party plugins like Adobe Flash and Java
  • Ability to manipulate, move, transform, and integrate objects on a web page – If you want to build an HTML 5 Tetris game, you can
  • Ability to utilize API’s that transform a web browser into a fully functioning desktop application: Drag and Drop files, Offline application data still accessed via web browsers, integrated video / audio, data storage, graphics animation, etc.

Remember that HTML 5 websites still need CSS and Javascript.  A good set of examples to look can be found here:

Now when it comes to questioning candidates, you don’t want to do this:


You really aren’t getting to the heart of the candidate’s experience or technology.  Instead do something based off of the information I wrote above:


You can also ask:

“Which HTML 5 API’s did you use / integrate when creating your website?”

By asking questions like these, you already know the answers you want to hear.  It’s just a matter of candidates answering them and confirming the experience you are looking for.

Also, with web based applications, it’s really easy for you to just go ahead and look to confirm the information you need to know.

Mark Tortorici


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