A Crash Course in Software Development

50 Terms You Need to Know

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Selah Smith

Apr 09, 2023 · 5 min read

Have you ever felt like you were speaking a different language when talking to a software developer?

The world of software development can be full of technical jargon and terminology that can leave even the most tech-savvy individuals feeling confused and overwhelmed. That's why we've put together this list of 50 of the most commonly used terms in development meetings, whether you are a developer just getting started in your career, or a business person developing your own software. This list will help you navigate the complex world of software development with ease. Remember to bookmark this post so that you can reference it in the future!

1. Agile: A methodology for software development that emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and customer satisfaction.

2. API: An Application Programming Interface is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a web-based software application or web tool.

3. Back-end: The part of a software system responsible for processing data and requests, and often involves a server-side programming language.

4. Bug: An error in software that causes it to malfunction or not perform as expected.

5. Code: A set of instructions written in a programming language that performs a specific function or task.

6. Compiler: A program that translates code written in a high-level programming language into machine-readable code that can be executed by a computer.

7. Database: A collection of data that is organized and stored in a structured way, often used to store and manage information in software applications.

8. Debugging: The process of identifying and fixing errors, or "bugs," in software code.

9. Deployment: The process of releasing a software application or update for use by the public or intended audience.

10. DevOps: A software development philosophy that emphasizes collaboration between development and operations teams to create a more efficient and reliable software development process.

11. Framework: A pre-built set of software tools and libraries that provides a foundation for building software applications.

12. Front-end: The part of a software system that users interact with directly, often involving a user interface or graphical user interface (GUI).

13. Git: A version control system that allows developers to track changes in code and collaborate with others on software development projects.

14. IDE: An Integrated Development Environment is a software application that provides tools and features for writing, testing, and debugging code.

15. Incremental development: A software development methodology that emphasizes building and releasing software in small, incremental stages.

16. Integration testing: A type of testing that focuses on testing how individual components of a software system work together.

17. Iterative development: A software development methodology that emphasizes repeated cycles of development, testing, and feedback.

18. JSON: JavaScript Object Notation is a lightweight data format used to transmit data between web servers and web applications.

19. Library: A pre-built set of code modules that can be reused in software development projects.

20. MVC: Model-View-Controller is a design pattern used in software development to separate different parts of an application into distinct components.

21. Node.js: A JavaScript runtime built on the V8 JavaScript engine, often used for building server-side applications.

22. Object-oriented programming: A programming paradigm that emphasizes the use of objects, which are instances of classes that encapsulate data and functionality.

23. Open-source: Software that is freely available for anyone to use, modify, and distribute.

24. Pair programming: A software development technique in which two programmers work together on the same computer, often used to improve code quality and share knowledge.

25. REST: Representational State Transfer is an architectural style used in web development to create scalable, web-based applications.

26. Scrum: A framework for Agile software development that emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and rapid development cycles.

27. Source code: The human-readable code written in a programming language that is used to create software applications.

28. Sprint: A short, focused period of development in Agile software development, usually lasting one to four weeks.

29. SQL: Structured Query Language is a programming language used to manage and manipulate data in databases.

30. Stack: A collection of software tools and technologies used to build and deploy software applications.

31. Test-driven development: A software development methodology that emphasizes writing automated tests before writing code, often used to improve code quality and reduce bugs.

32. User story: A brief description of a software feature from the perspective of an end user, often used in Agile software development to guide development and testing. User stories are typically written in a simple, non-technical language that anyone can understand and often follow a "As a [user], I want [feature] so that [benefit]" format.

33. UX: User Experience is the overall experience a user has when interacting with a software application, including the user interface, ease of use, and overall satisfaction.

34. Version control: A system for managing changes to code and other files over time, allowing developers to track changes, revert to previous versions, and collaborate with others.

35. Waterfall: A traditional software development methodology that emphasizes a linear, sequential approach to development, with each stage completed before moving on to the next.

36. Wireframe: A basic visual representation of a software application's user interface, used to plan and design the layout and functionality of the application.

37. XML: Extensible Markup Language is a markup language used to encode documents in a machine-readable format, often used in web development to store and transmit data.

38. YAML: YAML Ain't Markup Language is a data serialization language used to encode data in a human-readable format, often used in configuration files for software applications.

39. API gateway: A server that acts as an intermediary between a web application and other web services or APIs, allowing the application to access and consume data from multiple sources.

40. Container: A lightweight, portable unit of software that can be run anywhere, often used in software development to create consistent and reproducible environments for testing and deployment.

41. Continuous integration: A software development practice that involves continuously integrating code changes into a shared codebase, allowing developers to catch and fix bugs more quickly.

42. Continuous delivery: A software development practice that involves continuously delivering small, incremental updates to a software application, often using automated deployment tools.

43. Continuous deployment: A software development practice that involves automatically deploying code changes to production environments as soon as they pass automated tests, allowing for rapid and frequent releases.

44. Microservices: A software architecture pattern in which a software application is broken down into small, independently deployable services that communicate with each other over a network.

45. Monolith: A software architecture pattern in which a software application is built as a single, large and interconnected system, often using a common database.

46. NoSQL: A type of database that does not use a traditional relational data model, often used in web applications to handle large amounts of unstructured data.

47. Orchestration: The process of coordinating and managing multiple software services or components to work together as a unified system.

48. Refactoring: The process of improving the structure, organization, and readability of existing code, often done to improve performance or maintainability.

49. Scaling: The process of increasing the capacity or performance of a software application to handle larger amounts of data or traffic.

50. Serverless: A software architecture pattern in which a software application is built using cloud-based services and functions, allowing developers to focus on writing code rather than managing servers or infrastructure.