Framework and Library – what’s the difference? For IT recruiters.

When we talk about tools, terms such as: framework and library come up rather often. Before I move on to the subject of technologies, I’d like to discuss this very topic.

These terms will be used in next articles so it’s worth knowing, what IT experts are talking about. There was a time when I threw those terms around like there’s no tomorrow… obviously without a clue what they mean. I browsed numerous website in search for answers but the more I read the bigger and emptier my head become.

I needed something simple, some analogy, some kind of real life example… and I found one.

I hope you’ll like it.

I’ve tried to embrace it through the automotive world. As an example of an app, I’ve imagined a… car. Production of a specific car requires specific parts, characteristic for the given car model, obviously you wouldn’t put Porsche or Lamborghini parts in a Fiat 500.

Just as applications are written in different languages, for which specific “parts”, such as frameworks and libraries, are dedicated. 

In this analogy what would be a framework and what would be a library?

Framework may be understood as the main instruction, which tells you how everything in your car (app) is supposed to work and how to connect all parts with each other. For example; after initializing a particular sequence of events (the code), which may be implemented by different functions: “turn the key” or in a different model “insert the card and press start button”, the following elements will be activated: the fuel supply pump (Library 1), then the starter (Library 2), and then the ignition (Library 3).

All this is controlled by Framework – what, when and how it is supposed to work.

Libraries represent individual elements, including the code, which may be compared to specific car parts such as the ignition, fuel pump, AC or a navi system. They perform individual tasks, provide functionality and are called upon/activated indirectly by code through the framework.

And that’s about it. Now how essentials is this knowledge for you recruiting career in the IT word? Well actually not that essential… It is still more important to be able to tell the difference between desktop, backend and web technologies. However, if you can tell framework and library apart you might just impress your candidate and make a very positive impression as a professional. And that’s always a nice feeling.

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