Glossary of IT terms for Tech Recruiters

Glossary of IT terms for Tech Recruiters

Tech language and IT terms are not easy if you are a non-coder. Still, in order to be able to recruit developers and communicate with them effectively, tech recruiters have no choice but understand the IT terms connected with their everyday job. So get out of your comfort zone and master the tech language. We’ve compiled this Devskiller Tech Glossary of IT terms to make it as easy as it can be.

We’ve gathered all the most important IT terms and put them together in an easily digestible, recruiter-friendly list divided into 10 categories. Learning and using these terms will boost your credibility in IT recruitment process and improve your communication with developers. Here you will find the following groups of IT terms:

  1. General 
  2. Culture
  3. Roles 
  4. Programming languages and technologies
  5. Databases
  6. User Interface
  7. Testing
  8. Development tools and processes
  9. Architecture
  10. Infrastructure

Without further ado, let’s get started!

1. General IT terms

Programming language

is a language used by programmers to instruct a computer to perform a certain job. It’s normally a set of instructions that can be used to achieve the desired output of a computer application written in a certain programming language.

Source code

is a set of instructions and statements written by a programmer using a computer programming language. This code is later translated into machine language (binary code) by a compiler. The source code is the only stage where a programmer can read and modify a computer program. Read more: Wikipedia

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Framework

is code that is already written and covers low(er) level, generic functionalities. Programmers can selectively change it with additional user-written code, thus providing application-specific software. A software framework provides a standard way to build and deploy applications. It consists of many predefined solutions for common functionalities that are used to help build software applications, products, solutions on top of it. By using a framework, developers don’t have to write all the functionalities of the software that they are working on. These functionalities are already implemented in the framework and ready to use with a single command. Frameworks can improve developer productivity as well as the quality, reliability, and robustness of new software. Thus, a knowledge of frameworks for a specific job is one of the most important skills a developer can posses. Example frameworks: Bootstrap, React, Spring Framework, Rails, Symfony. Read more: Wikipedia  

Library

is a collection of predefined functions or routines that a program can use. Libraries are particularly valuable for storing frequently used routines because you do not need to explicitly link them to every program that uses them. Example libraries: JQuery, Google Guava, RxJava, d3.js.

2. Culture IT terms

Agile software development

describes a set of values and principles for software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing cross-functional teams. It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continuous improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change. Described in Agile Manifesto. Read more: Wikipedia

DevOps

represents a change in IT culture focusing on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach. DevOps is one of the IT terms that emphasizes people (and culture) and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams. DevOps implementations utilize technology — especially automation and monitoring tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective. DevOps core principles are consistent with many of Site Reliability Engineering (see: SRE) principles and practices. One could view DevOps as a generalization of several core SRE principles to a wider range of organizations, management structures, and personnel. One could equivalently view SRE as a specific implementation of DevOps with some idiosyncratic extensions. Read more: Gartner, O’Reilly Media

SRE (Site Reliability Engineering)

is a discipline that incorporates aspects of software engineering and applies that to operations whose goals are to create ultra-scalable and highly reliable software systems. It encourages product reliability, accountability, and innovation. Read more: Google

3. Role IT terms

Front-End Developer

essentially creates whatever has a digital visual presence with which people interact (client-side environment). Traditionally, a front-end developer is a person who is comfortable with both design and coding; in other words someone who is comfortable using simple design tools and is able to create a website using HTML code, style it using CSS, and make it interactive using JavaScript.

UI designer

or “User Interface” designer, is the one that designs what the application looks like from the perspective of the user to enable users to interact with the application. UI designers must understand what the front-end developer expects from him/her and know how to communicate with them, as well as have design skills. Often this person does not have to be a programmer at all.  

UX designer

or “User Experience” designer is a person who helps create a better experience of using the application. This person simplifies the visual part of the application and brings out the features that are used most often. His/her job is to make the application as easy and useful for the users as possible to increase usability.

Back-End Developer

is involved in the process of combining a server, an application, and a database to solve a problem (server-side environment). This entire process is solidly entrenched in logic, a network of processes and queries that are resolved in split seconds to give you a certain desired output as a user. They are different from front-end developers in that the job of a back-end developer is completely free of any visual design. Instead, it relies on logical reasoning and software architecture that aims to deliver a particular output.

Full-Stack Developer

is one who is comfortable working with both back-end and front-end technologies. A general understanding of technologies from every part of the development process is necessary for a front-end developer. This, of course, means that they will not be an expert in any one particular field. Instead, they can offer a better overview of applicational possibilities and the capability to bridge the gap between how the system functions and how it looks and feels for the user.

MEAN developer

is a developer who uses a JavaScript software stack for building dynamic websites and web applications. MEAN stack developers are experts in using MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS (or Angular), and Node.js. Because all components of MEAN stack support programs written in JavaScript, MEAN applications can be written in one language for both server-side and client-side execution environments.

System administrator (SysOp, sysadmin)

is a person who is responsible for the upkeep, configuration, and reliable operation of computer systems, mostly servers. Read more: Wikipedia

4. Programming language and technology IT terms

Java

is a compiled, object-oriented programming language, similar in syntax to C++. It is intended to let application developers “write once, run anywhere” meaning that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. Read more: Devskiller

C

is a general-purpose, imperative computer programming language supporting structured programming, lexical variable scope, and recursion, while a static type system prevents many unintended operations. C was originally developed by Dennis Ritchie between 1969 and 1973 at Bell Labs, and used to reimplement the Unix operating system. It has since become one of the most widely used programming languages of all time. Read more: Wikipedia

C++

(pronounced cee plus plus /ˈsiː plʌs plʌs/) is a general-purpose programming language. It has imperative, object-oriented and generic programming features and it provides facilities for low-level memory manipulation. Read more: Wikipedia

C#

(pronounced “C sharp”), one of the IT terms that has a less obvious pronunciation, is a programming language that is designed for building a variety of applications that run on the .NET Framework. C# is simple, powerful, type-safe, and object-oriented. Read more: Wikipedia

Python

is one of the most commonly used programming languages (top 3 according to IEEE Spectrum research). It was first released in 1991 and has since gained popularity for being simple to learn, yet powerful in solving problems. The syntax is similar to C++ family yet equipped with a variety of modern solutions. Read more Devskiller

Visual Basic .NET

is a multi-paradigm, object-oriented programming language implemented on the .NET Framework. Microsoft launched VB.NET in 2002 as the successor to its original Visual Basic language. Although the “.NET” portion of the name was dropped in 2005, “Visual Basic [.NET]” is used to refer to all Visual Basic languages releases since 2002 in order to distinguish between them and the classic Visual Basic. Along with Visual C#, it is one of the two main languages targeting the .NET framework. Read more: Wikipedia

PHP

(recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. Read more: Wikipedia

JavaScript

(also known as JS) is a high-level, prototype-based, untyped, dynamic language. Depending on the environment, JavaScript can be interpreted or compiled. It is a multi-paradigm programming language, supporting object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles. Read more: Devskiller

Perl

was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions. Perl 6, which began as a redesign of Perl 5 in 2000, eventually evolved into a separate language. Both languages continue to be developed independently by different development teams and they liberally borrow ideas from one another. Read more: Wikipedia

Ruby

is a dynamic, reflective, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language. It was designed and developed in the mid-1990s by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto in Japan. According to its creator, Ruby was influenced by Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp. Read more: Wikipedia

Swift

is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm compiled programming language developed by Apple Inc. for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux. Read more: Wikipedia

R

is an open source programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is widely used among statisticians and data miners for developing statistical software and data analysis. Read more: Wikipedia

Go

(often referred to as golang) is a free and open source programming language created at Google. Read more: Wikipedia

Objective-C

is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to the C programming language. It was the main programming language used by Apple for the OS X and iOS operating systems, and their respective application programming interfaces (APIs) Cocoa and Cocoa Touch prior to the introduction of Swift. Read more: Wikipedia

SQL

is the most popular database programming language. Historically, this declarative programming paradigm has been a key feature for ad-hoc queries run for data introspection executed by human users directly with SQL (rather than with a UI). In modern times, SQL is also embedded in other, more general purpose programming languages like Java in order to access data from central databases. Read more: Devskiller

Scala  

is a general-purpose programming language providing support for functional programming and a strong static type system. Designed to be concise, many of Scala’s design decisions are aimed to address criticisms of Java. Read more: Wikipedia

Android

is the world’s most popular operating system (it’s not a programming language) dedicated mainly to mobile devices. The source code was developed by Google under the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Subsequent versions are usually released annually and are announced at Google I/O conferences. Read more: Devskiller

5. Database IT terms

Database

is a collection of information stored and used by the software, organized in a way that can be easily managed. Traditional databases are organized by fields, records, and files.

Relational Database

is a database organized with the relational model. Relationships are a logical connection between different tables established on the basis of interaction among these tables. All relational databases use SQL (Structured Query Language) to operate on data (insert, update, load). It looks like a spreadsheet. Examples: Oracle, MySQL, Postgres, SQL Server. Read more: Wikipedia

NoSQL Database 

non-relational or non-SQL database. Unlike relational databases, it uses other forms than tabular data like key-value collections, multi-level structures, graphs, etc. Such databases are usually chosen for their performance, scalability, and flexibility in schema design.

CAP theorem

states that it is impossible for a distributed data store to simultaneously provide more than two out of the following three guarantees: consistency (every read receives the most recent write or an error), availability (every request receives a non-error response without the guarantee that it contains the most recent write) and partition tolerance (the system continues to operate despite an arbitrary number of messages being dropped or delayed by the network between nodes). In other words, CAP theorem states that in the presence of a network partition, one has to choose between consistency and availability. Read more: Wikipedia

ACID

is an acronym consisting of the IT terms Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability. They are a set of properties related to the database engines guaranteeing after finishing modification data will be consistent. Read more: Wikipedia

6. User Interface IT terms

GUI/UI

or “Graphical User Interface”, is the visual part of the software or a website that allows the user to interact with the application. Every time you use an application, you use it by clicking through the GUI.

Responsive Design

is responsible for making the interface of the application display well on all possible devices, like phones, PCs, or tablets, that we use to access it.

CSS

(Cascading Style Sheets) is a method of assigning formatting rules to an HTML page which allows the content and presentation of a website to be separated. This separation gives web developers the ability to instantly change the appearance of a specific HTML element, like position, colors, fonts, etc., throughout an entire website. Read more: Wikipedia

Material design

is Google’s conceptual design philosophy that outlines how apps should look and work. It breaks down everything from animation, style to layout and gives guidance on patterns, components, and usability. Read more: Wikipedia

Bootstrap

is a free open-source front-end web framework for designing websites and web applications. It makes it very easy to create web pages by empowering designers to select from a large collection of pre-built elements, behaviors, and shortcuts. The aim is to unify design and allow both non-technical and technical designers to improve the quality of their design. Read more: Wikipedia

7. Testing IT terms

Unit testing

is a software development process in which the smallest testable parts of an application (called units) are individually and independently checked to see if they succeed. Most popular libraries are: JUnit, Mocha, NUnit, RSpec.

Integration tests

are a level of software testing where individual units are combined and tested as a group. These tests are performed in order to expose defects in the interface and in interactions between integrated components or systems. It occurs after unit testing and before validation testing. Read more: Wikipedia

Acceptance tests

are a level of software testing where a system is tested for acceptability. The purpose of this test is to evaluate the system’s compliance with business requirements, user needs, and business processes. Acceptance tests determine if a system satisfies the acceptance criteria and to enable the user, customers or other authorized entity to determine whether or not to accept the system. Read more: Software Testing Fundamentals

Performance tests

are a type of software testing that intends to determine how a system performs in terms of responsiveness and stability under a certain workload (usually under stress). Read more: Software Testing Fundamentals

8. Development tools and processes IT terms

Version control system

is the management of changes to documents, computer programs, large websites, and other collections of information. Changes are usually identified by number or letter code, called a “revision number,” “revision level,” or simply “revision.” For example, an initial set of files is “revision 1.” When the first change is made, the resulting set is “revision 2,” and so on. Each revision is associated with a timestamp and the person making the change. Revisions can be compared, restored, and with some types of files, merged. Read more: Wikipedia

Subversion (svn)

is another popular open source version control system. In contrast to Git, all developers use one centralized repository. Read more: Version Control with Subversion

Git

is a free open source distributed version control system for tracking changes in computer files and coordinating work on those files among multiple people. It is primarily used for source code management in software development, but it can be used to keep track of changes in any set of files. Read more: Wikipedia

Commit 

In version control systems, a commit is a saved change made to the source code.  Commits are usually added/deleted files or directories, changed file contents, etc. Read more: Wikipedia

Trunk Based Development

is the practice of merging all developer working copies to a shared mainline several times a day. Read more: TrunkBasedDevelopment

GitHub

is a popular Git hosting service. It is mostly used for code. In addition to Git, it provides several collaboration features, important IT terms such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management and wikis. Website: GitHub.com. Read more: Wikipedia

GitLab

just like GitHub is a Git repository hosting which provides wikis and issue tracking functionality. It’s an open source project developed by GitLab Inc. Website: GitLab.com. Read more: Wikipedia

Bitbucket

is a Git and Mercurial repository hosting service owned by Atlassian. Like its counterparts, it provides several collaboration features such as issue tracking and wikis. Read more: Bitbucket.org

IDE

or “Integrated Development Environment” is a code editor application designed to help programmers write, run, and debug code. Examples: Eclipse, IntelliJ  IDEA, Visual Studio, PHP Storm, etc

Build tools

are used to convert programming code written by the developer into binary code that is executable by a computer and run it. It usually manages external dependencies (libraries or frameworks) which are used in the project. Examples: Gradle, Maven, Rake, MSBuild, Phing.

Automation server (like Jenkins, Bamboo, TeamCity)

helps automate the non-human part of the software development process with continuous integration and facilitating technical aspects of continuous delivery. Read more: Wikipedia

Continuous Integration 

extension of Trunk Based Development practice, where each integration is verified by automated tools and tested to give fast feedback and detect errors as fast as possible. Read more: Martin Fowler

Continuous Delivery

is a software engineering approach in which teams produce software in short cycles, ensuring that it can be reliably released at any time. This means the deployment package is prepared and automatically tested continuously (e.g. once per day) and ready to ship to production. Read more: Wikipedia

Continuous Deployment

is similar to Continuous Delivery but ends up with the package being deployed to production instead of just ready to be deployed.

Deployment

means pushing new software package version into its target environment.

Feature

is a distinguishing characteristic of a software item (e.g., performance, portability, or functionality). Read more: Wikipedia

Release 

making the version package (features) available to end users.

Deployment Pipeline

defines the sequence of stages that must be completed before an application is rolled out to production. By breaking up the deployment lifecycle into stages, you collect increasing confidence, usually at the cost of extra time. Early stages reveal most problems yielding faster feedback, while later stages provide slower and more thorough probing. Stages can include building, deploying, testing, archiving, etc. Read more: Martin Fowler

Ticket / Issue / Incident

is a running report on a particular problem, its status, and other relevant data within an issue tracking system. They are commonly created in a help desk or call center environment and almost always have a unique reference number, also known as a case, issue, or call log number. This number is used to allow the user or help staff to quickly locate, add to or communicate the status of the user’s issue or request. Read more: Wikipedia

9. Architecture IT terms

Architecture

in information technology (especially computers and more recently networks) architecture is a term applied to both the process and the outcome of thinking out and specifying the overall structure, logical components, and logical interrelationships of a computer, its operating system, and network. Read more: WhatIs.com

API

(Application Programming Interface) is a set of definitions, protocols, schemas, tools, and practices to communicate with the application. To developers, API is what Graphical User Interface is to users. It allows developers (and finally other applications) to communicate with applications. Read more: Wikipedia

REST

(Representational State Transfer) is a set of guidelines for building web services providing interoperability between remote computers. It is focused on resources and basic operations (like editing, reading, and adding) related to them. They are commonly used to expose public API. Read more: Wikipedia

SOAP 

Simple Object Access Protocol is a way of exchanging structured information between computers. Compared to REST, it’s more formal, less flexible, and requires schema definition (WSDL). Read more: Wikipedia

Monolith

is an architecture style based on running on a single application layer that tends to bundle all the functionalities needed by the architecture together. To put it simply, it means being composed all in one piece. Monolithic software is designed to be self-contained; components of the program are interconnected and interdependent rather than loosely coupled as is the case with modular software programs. Furthermore, if any program component must be updated, the whole application has to be rewritten, whereas, in modular applications, any separate module (such as a microservice) can be changed without affecting other parts of the program. Read more: WhatIs.com

Distributed system

is a model in which components located on networked computers communicate and coordinate their actions by passing messages, appearing to its users as a single coherent system. The components interact with each other in order to achieve a common goal. Three significant characteristics of distributed systems are: concurrency of components, lack of a global clock, and independent failure of components. Read more: Wikipedia

Service-oriented architecture (SOA)

is a style of software design based on discrete software components (services) that collectively provide functionalities of larger software architecture. A service is a discrete unit of functionality that can be accessed remotely and acted upon and updated independently, such as retrieving a credit card statement online. In this approach, services are provided to other components by application components, through a communication protocol over a network. Basic principles of service-oriented architecture are independent of vendors, products, and technologies. Service-oriented architecture has been mainly been used and focused on a big enterprise scale. Read more: Wikipedia

Microservices

are a variant of the service-oriented architecture (SOA) architectural style. The idea behind microservices is that some types of applications become easier to build and maintain when they are broken down into smaller, composable pieces which work together. Each component is autonomous, developed separately, and the application is then simply the sum of its constituent components. This is in contrast to a traditional, “monolithic” application developed in one piece. The Microservices style is used by many organizations (like Netflix, Uber, and Facebook) today as a game changer to achieve a high degree of agility, speed of delivery, and scale. Read more: Martin Fowler

CRUD 

acronym of Create, Read, Update, Delete. It describes a type of applications focused on simple data editing without any rich business operations. Colloquially called “database viewers.” Read more: Wikipedia

10. Infrastructure IT terms

Infrastructure

refers to the composite hardware, software, network resources, and services required for the existence, operation, and management of an enterprise IT environment. It allows an organization to deliver IT solutions and services to its employees, partners and/or customers and is usually internal to an organization and deployed within owned facilities.

Cloud service

is any service made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider’s servers (i.g Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services) as opposed to being provided from physical on-premises servers.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

sometimes referred to as “on-demand software”, is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. SaaS is the most familiar form of cloud service for consumers. SaaS providers make the application available to users through the Internet, usually a browser-based interface. SaaS customers can enjoy the software without having to worry about development, maintenance, support, update, or backups. The downside, however, is that your software experience is wholly dependent on the SaaS provider, which is responsible for stability, reporting, billing, and security. SaaS examples: Gmail, Dropbox, Salesforce, or Netflix. Read more: Wikipedia

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

is a category of cloud computing services. PaaS functions at a lower level than SaaS, typically providing a platform on which software can be developed and deployed. PaaS providers abstract much of the work of dealing with servers and give clients an environment in which the operating system and server software, as well as the underlying server hardware and network infrastructure are taken care of, leaving users free to focus on the business side of scalability, and the application development of their product or service. It allows customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. PaaS makes the development, testing, and deployment of applications quick, simple, and cost-effective. PaaS examples: Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Heroku. Read more: Wikipedia

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

is the most basic cloud-service model offering computing infrastructure – IT terms like virtual machines and other resources – as a service to subscribers. It’s a lower level compared to PaaS. Typically, IaaS provides hardware, storage, servers, and data center space or network components. It allows you to quickly scale up and down with demand and pay only for what you use. This makes IaaS well-suited for workloads that are temporary, experimental or change unexpectedly. IaaS examples: Amazon Web Services and its EC2. Read more: Wikipedia

Automation 

IT automation is the linking of disparate systems and software in such a way that they become self-acting or self-regulating. Read more: TechTarget.com

Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

also referred to as programmable infrastructure, means writing code (which can be done using a high-level language or any descriptive language) to manage configurations and automate the provisioning of infrastructure in addition to deployments. IaC is not only about writing scripts, it also involves using tested and proven software development practices that are already being used in application development, e.g. version control, testing, small deployments, use of design patterns etc. In short, this means you write code to provision and manage your server, in addition to automating processes. It’s an approach to managing IT infrastructure for the age of cloud, microservices, and continuous delivery. Read more: ThoughtWorks

Containers

consist of an entire runtime environment: an application, plus all its dependencies, libraries, and other binaries, and configuration files needed to run it, bundled into one package. Containers are a solution to the problem of how to get software to run reliably when moved from one computing environment to another. This could be from a developer’s laptop to a test environment, from a staging environment into production, and perhaps from a physical machine in a data center to a virtual machine in private or public cloud. Read more: CIO

Operating system

is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. All computer programs, excluding firmware, require an operating system to function. Examples: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux. Read more: Wikipedia

Shell

is an interface that enables the user to interact with a computer. It provides a user interface for access to an operating system’s services. In general, operating system shells use either a command-line interface (CLI) or graphical user interface (GUI), depending on a computer’s role and particular operation. The name comes from the fact that shells are layers around the operating system kernel. Read more: Wikipedia

Metric

measurement of a particular characteristic of a program’s performance or efficiency.

Log

is a record of what has happened. Typically, it helps diagnose problems or get certain insights on what is going on in an application’s lifecycle.

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