25 Tech Terms To Know To Speak The Language


Even though I’m still in my 20’s, sometimes I feel like I’m getting old. I don’t know the newest artists, or the hottest album that just dropped, I can’t dab, and I’m totally clueless when it comes to the inner workings of famous peoples’ social lives. But while this might be the case, when it comes to tech terms, I usually know my stuff. It could be that I need to know for my profession, but the reality is I have a strange aversion to becoming that old person that doesn’t know what a Tweet is or thinks that the internet is a series of tubes.

That’s not to say it’s totally easy to stay up on the newest tech terminology at all times. Things are coming out everyday, and if you don’t work in the tech industry, it can become very confusing and overwhelming.

Some of these are going to seem like no-brainers and others will enlighten you to the weird jargon the tech guy at work keeps spouting at you everyday. Here are 25 tech terms to know regardless of what industry you’re in.

25. Tag: This is a piece of data that describes a piece of metadata. Hashtags are actually reflective of this older term and were originally used for organizing data. The idea is that you can find useful pieces of information much quicker by searching a related tag. It’s similar how people can look at aggregated thoughts online by typing in a popular hashtag on Twitter.

24. Platform: This refers to the software or hardware that applications are built on. Some of the most popular are Android, Windows, and Mac.

23. CPC: Cost-per-click has become a more important term when talking about online advertising. It’s the amount of money a company is willing to pay to another company or individual for clicks on an ad.

22. traffic: Nope, not the annoying thing you experience in your car during rush hour. Traffic indicates how many people are coming and looking at a website.

21. Impressions: This term refers to how many people see a social media post or ad online.

20. API: The acronym stands for Application Programming Interface, and is a set of protocols and tools used for easier software building and sharing of data between different software platforms. Google, Youtube, and Windows all implement APIs in their software.

19. algorithm: Even though this is an old term to refer to complex mathematical equations, algorithms are now used in many software systems and most search engines. Algorithms dictate the kind of content the user will see depending on their search, and bases this off different sets of criteria.

18. cloud: “My hard drive got destroyed so I lost all my work” is not a good excuse now-a-days. The cloud refers to storing data and info on the internet in real time.

17. Creative Commons: Most creative works require royalties to be paid out to the artist if you plan on using them. Creative commons are a set of artistic creations that can be used for free in marketing and promotional materials. Many times attributing credit to the artist is required.

16. CSS: Cascading Style Sheets dictate the feel and look of most websites that exist today by altering things about the text found on the site like font, size, spacing, background color, and a multitude of other stylistic things.

15. PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor doesn’t sound like a suitable acronym, but it’s what PHP stands for. PHP dictates the the dynamic page content, collects data, and sends and receives cookies on websites as well as performing a multitude of other functions.

14. Java: A programming language that creates applications to run on a virtual machine or within a browser.

13. Javascript: It’s one of the oldest web languages and is used mostly for user interaction with websites. While Java can create stand-alone applications that run on a computer, Javascript is exclusively online and alters HTML.

12. CSV: Comma Separated Values is the technical term for a bunch of data that can be fed into a database. It’s like a spreadsheet, but more simple.

11. Google Adsense: It’s an advertising placement service. Those sponsored ads you see on the top of web searches are utilizing Google Adsense.

10. metadata: Data that describes data. Tags are an example of metadata. It’s used to easily organize large pieces of information.

9. open source: While some software is proprietary, other software is open source which means the creators of the software made it available to be altered and improved by other developers.

8. Affiliate Program: While it might sound like some kind of training class, it’s when companies offer compensation for directing traffic for the purpose of sales (usually through an affiliate link or URL), or implementing an add-on promotion during the point of purchase.

7. App: Short for application and describes the software programs that go on your mobile device and are used for a specific purpose.

6. OS: Stands for Operating System and is the system that gives you access to the different pieces of software on your computer. It allows you to communicate with your hardware to perform functions. Windows 10 is an operating system.

5. Authentication: This is process that verifies someone’s identity when logging into a specific user account. While this usually includes a username and password, it can also include things like fingerprint scanning and cross-platform checks to ensure the user’s identity.

4. UI: It stands for User Interface and is the thing that you see on your screen when you open up a software program. UIs are made to be intuitive and easy to use in most cases.

3. framework: Software coding is hard, which is why frameworks like Ruby on Rails and Django exist. This software provides a base for the programmer, making coding much easier because the programmer doesn’t have to build software from scratch.

2. Bootstrap: Don’t have backing from a major company? No problem, just bootstrap it. This means self funding a project when no one else will invest.

1. CMS: Content Management System. It’s the system that saves critical information for your website. It usually consists of photos, video, written content, themes, and layouts. Some big open-source CMS’ include WordPress and Joomla.


About Author

Garrett Ettinger is a writer and communication specialist who has worked in a variety of fields. He specializes in online writing and currently is the branding and communication coordinator at the non-profit ACTION United in Philadelphia, PA. He regularly advocates on issues involving unemployment, raising the wage, and education reform.

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