Software Jargon Buster

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Whether you’re eager to dive into the world of software or simply want to expand your technical knowledge, our software glossary has got you covered! Here is our A-Z coverage of the most commonly used technical terms in software.


Application – a computer programme that serves a specific function and focus.

Algorithm – a step-by-step formula for solving a problem for a particular task or computation.

Agile – a software methodology that emphasises collaboration and flexible development.


Backend – working on the server side of an application; everything you can’t see on a website.


Cache – a mechanism for temporarily storing data in a high-speed access location; improving performance and efficiency.

CTA – this is a ‘call to action’, an interface element such as a button or link to prompt a user to take a specific action.

Coding – the process of using programming languages to write computer programs and software applications.


DevOps – used to improve the speed, efficiency, and quality of software delivery.

Debugging – helps to ensure that programs are functioning correctly and meeting the requirements of users.


Framework – this is pre-written software components that provide structure for building applications.

Frontend – the user-facing side of a software application or website where a developer will be responsible for the visual design and user experience.

Fold – the area of a web page that is visible without scrolling.


Gamification – the process of adding game-like elements to non-game contexts to engage users. E.g., points, badges etc.

GitHub – a version control system that allows developers to collaborate on software projects by tracking changes to code.


HTML / Hypertext Markup Language – used to create structured web pages and easier define content, text, images, and links.

HTTP / Hypertext Transfer Protocol – used to transfer data over the internet and to retrieve resources like images, web pages, videos etc.

Java – a programming language used for developing desktop, mobile, web and enterprise applications.

Java Script – a high-level programming language that is used primarily in web development to add functionality to web pages.

jQuery – a popular tool used to enhance the functionality and user experience of a web page.


Libraries – a collection of pre-written code that can be used to save time and save a developer writing everything from scratch all the time.

Linux – an open-source operating system based on the Unix operating system. It is used to provide a stable and secure environment for developers.


Meta Tag – provides pieces of information to web browsers which are not visible to users and are found in the HTML tag.

Minification – removes unnecessary characters and whitespace from code, helping to improve performance and size.

Malware – software that is given intentional access to a computer system e.g. a virus.


NOS / Network Operating System – is a function that manages and monitors the performance of a network.’


Operating System – often abbreviated to OS, a software that manages computer hardware, files, devices, and memory.


Python – a high-level programming language known for its simplicity, readability, and versatility.

Plugin – this adds new features and functions to an existing piece of software.

PHP – a scripting programming language designed to be embedded into HTML code to create content for web pages.


QA Testing – this is an analysis to make sure the software being developed meets the desired quality standards and requirements, highlighting any fixes and changes to be made.


Ruby – a programming language used for scripting and web development tasks.

Resolution – the process of identifying a problem or issue within the development process.


Sitemap – a file that lists all pages and sections of a website giving a clear structure of the content.

SSL / Secure Sockets Layer – a critical layer of security for websites and applications that handle sensitive information.


User experience – the overall experience a user has when using a piece of software.

User Interface – the visual elements that go into a website.


Web accessibility – designing and creating applications that are usable by people with disabilities e.g., visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments.

Wireframe – a visual representation of the layout and structure of a website or application.


XML – A markup language used for sharing data from computer software with people.


404 – ‘Not Found’ error message.

At first glance, all the technical jargon might seem overwhelming, but don’t worry, it’s not there to trick you… Though it might feel like it is at first!

Once you get familiar with these terms, they will help you in your software development journey and allow you to communicate effectively with your software team.


Ready to put your new knowledge to good use?

Our Level 3 Software Development apprenticeship is a great way to get started in the industry and advance your software career. Our 12–15-month programme offers hands-on training in a virtual SMART classroom building high-quality skills needed to tackle the software industry while building friendships and networking with fellow apprentices across the country on our Community platform. You will be guided by an expert coach, gaining the skills needed for a successful career!