It wasn’t too long ago that the thought of programmers and code came hand in hand with connotations of hackers, viruses and shady looking guys who never leave their bedrooms. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then and coding is now a lot more mainstream and less misunderstood. However, there’s still a huge societal split between the tech-savvy and the not so tech-savvy, which could lead to possible professional implications if you’re hoping to chat computing with your client, employee or boss.
If you still haven’t decided to jump on the technology bandwagon, or if you’re a huge tech-geek and your peers and family struggle to keep up with your jargon, this list of frequently used terminology, acronyms and phrases could really help you out.
An algorithm is a list of step-by-step instructions, procedures or formulas followed by a computer and used to solve a problem. For example, an algorithm could decide whether a newly received email is considered spam, and then separate it into your spam folder accordingly.
Back-end and front-end
On the one hand, back-end refers to something that is not directly accessed by the user, and can be considered as behind-the-scenes, such as a database. On the other hand, front-end refers to the “website” part of the website that users can see when visiting.
A (web) browser is a software application/computer program that is used to access, search and navigate content on the World Wide Web. Examples include Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language used to describe and control the appearance of a webpage. These files, ending in .css, are linked to from an HTML document. Whilst HTML can be considered the building blocks of a webpage, CSS allows more advanced styling in terms of the site’s look and feel.
A glitch is a sudden break or fault in the running of a program that has been caused by (but not limited to) a mistake in the programming, clashing software or hardware faults.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is extensively used on the World Wide Web to structure and display content. ‘Hypertext’ refers to the use of hyperlinks for website navigation, and ‘mark-up language’ refers to the use of tags that describe the content and structure of the page. For example, <title>sobananapenguin blog</title> defines the title of the page.
A pixel perfect design is a finished replication of the designer’s planned mock-up, down to the very last pixel.
Typically used in planning and program design, pseudocode is a natural, simple programming language that resembles plain English. In the early stages of development, it explains the solution of a problem and what the software is supposed to do.
The runtime of a program is a measure of how long it takes to execute.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of positively affecting the visibility or the ranking of a website in a search engine’s unpaid results. This can be achieved through meta descriptions, well-written web copy, regular blog posts, mobile optimisation and various other tools. The site’s visibility dramatically improves its traffic, so the higher the rank, the higher the chance someone new will happen upon your website.
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is one of these: http://www.sobananapenguin.com/services. Basically, a URL is an address to particular content on the Internet, such as a webpage, image, video, downloadable resource etc.
In programming, a variable is a piece of temporarily stored data that can be accessed, modified or displayed when needed.
A zombie computer is a term used to describe a machine or server that has been maliciously compromised, which can be even scarier than brain-eating undead monsters.