Glossary of technology: Terms & Definitions from A to Z

By working with technology companies, one may encounter a lot of technical jargon on a daily basis. Ateliware prepared a complete Glossary, with the most common IT terms and definitions that are very easy to understand. Check it out whenever necessary.

Pamela Mazini Stürmer

Pamela Mazini Stürmer

August 12, 2021 | leitura de 20 minutos

business

If you have just started to have contact with the universe of technology and digital products, you may find it difficult to understand some words, expressions and concepts used in the sector.

While working with technology, IT terms will be used on a daily basis. This can be difficult for those who are not familiar with it. It is important to understand their meanings so you can, at least, communicate properly with your tech team. 

We created this Tech Glossary with the most common technical terms used by technology companies. 

Check it out and clear up your questions. If you have any suggestions, feel free to get in touch with us. 😉

A

Accessibility

Accessibility guarantees that all people, including people with disabilities (PwD) can use spaces, devices and services safely and autonomously. Digital products also fit here and must be created considering visual, hearing, motor and cognitive impairments.

Agile

That which offers greater autonomy and efficiency. In the world of technology, it is related to Agile Methodologies, Agile Development, Agile Design and Business Agility.

Agile Design

Agile Design is linked to agile methodologies and is a set of techniques and practices based on the development of small incremental deliveries and their validation by the client, thus enabling a faster route of correction. It involves the experience of the user with a digital product, as well as its interface.

Agile Methodologies

Agile Methodologies are project development methods focused on short development cycles, well-defined deliverables and continuous improvement of each of these stages. Thus, it is also possible to identify errors and correct them much faster and more promptly. Scrum, Lean and Kanban are some examples of Agile Methodologies.

Ajax

Ajax, or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, refers to the set of web development techniques for working with these two types of applications asynchronously. It is used to make web pages more dynamic and interactive.

Analytics

It is the term used to refer to the use of data and statistics for analysis and decision making.

Angular

Angular is an Open Source JavaScript framework, created by Google and used for web and mobile development.

API

API comes from the acronym "Application Programming Interface" and refers to the set of programming routines, commands, functions, protocols and objects that work as connectors for systems, software and applications.

Approval Environment

Saying that an environment is an approval environment means that it is in the testing and validation phase. In practice it is a copy of the production environment with the purpose of testing the software, access to which is available only to the developers and the customer.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence simulates the human capacity to solve practical problems, simulate situations and find answers. It uses Machine Learning and other algorithmic systems to independently make decisions from digital data.

Atomic Design

Atomic Design is a methodology created to assist in the construction and evolution of digital interfaces from modular systems. It is divided into 5 phases: Atoms, Molecules, Organisms, Templates and Page.

B

Backend

Back-end development is about programming and processing the data behind the interface of applications, systems or digital products.

Big data

It refers to the large volume of data, structured or not, that can be used by institutions to generate products, strategies and research.

Area of ​​knowledge that studies how to treat, analyze and obtain information from sets of data that are too large to be analyzed by traditional systems

Boilerplate

Boilerplate is the term used to refer to a piece of code that can be added over and over again with little or no change. Generally, this boilerplate code has no function related to the business or the problem you want to solve.

Business Agility

Business Agility is the ability of a business to adapt to market demands. The faster and more efficient it is, the more agile it is.

Business Analytics

Business Analytics is the process of collecting and measuring information and data, to use these analytics to make business decisions.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence is the process of defining how data will be collected and monitored to be used in strategic planning later.

C

CEO

Acronym that means "Chief Executive Officer". It is one of the main leadership positions within companies, responsible for making decisions, managing resources, operations and acting as a central point of communication between the administrative and the operational teams.

CFO

CFO is the acronym for "Chief Financial Officer", a position of director responsible for all financial activities of a company.

Clean Architecture

Clean Architecture is a software architecture pattern created by Robert Martin, which favors the implementation of systems with code reusability, cohesion, technology independence and testability.

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is the technology that allows you to store and access data "in the cloud", that is, without the need for local servers. This option saves resources and facilitates access to data, which can be checked anytime, anywhere, without compromising information security.

Co-creation

Co-creating is the act of developing a solution together with colleagues from other teams, customers or even other companies.

COO

Acronym for "Chief Operating Officer", or "Operations Director". This professional is responsible for the operational routines of a company.

CRUDs

CRUD is an acronym for 4 basic functions of a system that works with a database: Create, Read, Update and Delete, that is, creating a new record, displaying its information, updating the data and deleting it. These 4 actions are performed whenever we manipulate the database tables of a system, regardless of their complexity. As most software needs to perform CRUD operations to speed up its construction, we can use a development framework, which is a set of ready-to-use components and libraries, such as AdonisJs, CakePHP and Django to automate part of this development.

CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) code is a mechanism created to change the style and appearance of an online page or document. CSS code can be applied directly to tags or within <style> tags.

CTO

CTO is the acronym for "Chief Technical Officer'', or Directorate of Technology. Whoever occupies this leadership position is responsible for the strategic vision, planning and execution of all technological demands of the company.

Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD)

The CFD Chart, or Cumulative Flow Diagram, is responsible for tracking how healthy the  project is by monitoring activity status from week to week. This type of control allows observing the main bottlenecks according to the proportions between delivery states.

Customer centric / Customer centric

We say that a product, strategy or business model is "customer centric" when it prioritizes the needs of consumers, not only the company's.

Customer Experience

Customer Experience (CX) are the perceptions and impressions that a person has when buying a product or contracting a service. Those who work in this area are responsible for the relational part of the business, ensuring that the customer has the best possible experience. In addition, he/she assists the product team in project management and produces updates and metrics reports to facilitate strategic decisions.

Customer Success

Customer Success (CS) is a strategy used to keep customers active longer and retain more revenue. It aims to ensure that the customer gets the desired results when using a product or service.

D

Dashboard

Dashboards are reporting mechanisms also known as management dashboards. Data, metrics and evolution of performance indicators (KPIs) can be monitored through this type of tool.

Data Center

Data Center is a physical information processing center used by companies to host applications, servers and databases.

Deep Learning

Deep Learning is an area of Machine Learning that uses deep neural networks to train artificial intelligences to perform cognitive functions associated with intuitive learning.

Deploy

It is the act of running the program for approval or production environments.

Design System

The Design System is one of the main design tools used to facilitate the development and update of different digital products. This file contains reusable components that guide visual patterns and can be combined to build any number of applications or programs.

Desktop development

It is the programming area dedicated to the development of applications and software that are accessed through the operating system natively, without the need for a web browser, for example.

Developer 

This professional is responsible for the development and programming of websites, applications, software and any other type of digital product.

Development Metrics

Digital product development metrics are indicators adopted to monitor the execution of a project, pointing out improvements, promoting discussions on the progress of activities and facilitating decision-making.

DevOps

DevOps is the combination of the terms "Dev" and "Ops", created to designate the collaborative culture between the Development and Operations teams, aiming to deliver functional, quality, secure, stable and reliable software.

Digitization

It is the process of transforming physical data (on paper) into digital format, with the generation, transmission and access of information completely online.

Digital Product

Product is the physical or digital object that appears after a manufacturing process. Generally, they are created to satisfy market demands that arise from people's needs. Digital Products use digital technologies in their development and can be software, mobile applications, web or desktop.

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation represents a deep and significant change in companies, which involves structural and cultural changes, using technology to achieve goals such as improving productivity, generating value for customers and increasing competitive advantages.

Discovery

The discovery step of a project allows you to better understand the proposal, verify assumptions about the product and validate features, flows and concepts, thus optimizing time and money.

E

Elixir

Elixir is a dynamic programming language that uses the functional paradigm, concurrent by default, and runs in Erlang's virtual machine. The main focus of the language is to productively provide tools for building distributed and maintainable applications.

Endpoint

An endpoint is a service, a URL that the software exposes so that other pieces of software, such as the front end, can request information.

F

Flutter

Flutter is a framework created by Google that uses Dart as its main language and allows the creation of iOS and Android mobile applications.

Framework

In a simple way, we can say that a framework is a set of libraries or components used to resolve recurring problems during the development of a software with a more generic approach. This way, the person developing the application will be able to focus his/her efforts on the resolution of the problem itself, instead of investing time on rewriting the software or reinventing the wheel.

Front end

Front-end development is related to graphical interface programming, to what the user can see and interact with in a digital system or product.

Full Stack

The professional Full Stack Developer is one who works on the front-end, back-end, database and mobile. As he is a very versatile professional, more and more companies are looking for his/her services.

H

Hard skills

The so-called hard skills are those skills, abilities and technical knowledge that we acquire throughout life, usually through courses, graduations and practical experiences.

Hardware

Hardware is the physical components of computers and other microelectronic systems. For computer engineering, hardware is the central processing unit, memory and information input and output devices.

Hyper collaboration

It is the term used to define the creation of innovation ecosystems, involving different partners, technologies and networks to co-create truly transformative solutions.

I

IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is a provision of service that offers an automated and scalable IT infrastructure from its own servers, charging only for what the user consumes. This infrastructure includes storage, hosting and networking. Thus, instead of acquiring software licenses or their own servers, companies allocate their resources according to their needs.

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is also called the 4th Industrial Revolution. The term was created to relate the integration of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, internet of things and cloud computing, applied to production models and industrial automation.

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

Integrated Development Environment or IDE is a software that helps in the development of applications, combining several tools in a single graphical user interface.

J

Java

The term Java can refer to an object-oriented programming language based on C, as well as a computational platform created by Sun Microsystems in 1995.

JSON

JSON is an acronym for JavaScript Object Notation, a compact format for representing data in human- and machine-readable text form, based on JavaScript, that allows the exchange of data quickly and simply between systems.

K

Kick-off

In the world of business and technology, it is used for the first meeting between the customer and the supplier, between teams or project participants, where all the elements necessary for its planning and execution are defined.

L

Lead Time

The Lead Time graph is responsible for identifying bottlenecks in the development process of a project, by monitoring the periods between the beginning of an activity and its completion, seeking to understand how long each activity or delivery takes to be carried out.

M

Machine Learning

Machine Learning or Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence that uses analytical models (algorithms) that learn to identify patterns, make decisions and carry out tasks from the collection, analysis and correlation of data. Before the Machine "learns with itself", there is data analysis and pre-processing work that is done by the development team to ensure that the technology responds as expected.

Monte Carlo

The Monte Carlo report uses estimates and statistics to define the time probability of feature deliveries, miltones, or the project as a whole.

MVP

MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. MVP is the smallest and simplest version of a project, with the delivery of a first full version, with simplified functionalities, even when we talk about very robust digital products.

Mock-ups

In design, a mockup is a scaled or full-size model of a physical or digital product. It is used to present an idea clearly, in addition to allowing for evaluations. Mockups can be of low, medium or high fidelity, where the larger it is, the closer to the final result it is. However, unlike a prototype, a mockup does not allow for interactivity. In it we find only the visual details, prints, drawings, texts and the applied layout of the digital product.

Mobile development

It is the programming area focused on the development of applications and digital products designed for mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.

N

NodeJS

Node.js is a runtime environment, a platform for developing scalable, high-performance web and desktop applications that uses JavaScript as the language.

NPS

NPS or Net Promoter Score is a metric created to measure a customer's loyalty to a brand or company.

O

Open Scope

A project with open scope is delivered in stages and has the flexibility to understand the needs during the development of the digital product.

Over Engineering

Over Engineering is the act of developing a digital solution that is much more complex, robust and with resources and functionalities that are exceeding or unnecessary for the proposed objectives.

P

PaaS - Platform as a Service

PaaS (Platform as a Service) is the service that, in addition to offering all the basics of IaaS, provides tools and resources necessary to create and manage applications in a secure way. A good example of PaaS is servers that host websites.

Persona

Persona is a fictional representation of the ideal customer of a business or users of a physical or digital product. It is based on real data about the characteristics and behavior of customers/end users. Its objective is to guide the construction of strategies and solutions to arrive at the best option a solution needs.

Proofs of Concept (PoC)

Proof of Concept, Proof of concept or PoC are nomenclatures for the act of representing a user experience with the least possible cost, validating assumptions and generating new definitions quickly, simply and cheaply, thus providing a more accurate view of the path to be traced during the project.

Product Design

Product Design or Product Design is the area responsible for the conception, creation and development of new physical or digital products. It involves market research, user research, MVPs, Experience Design, Interface Design, among others.

Product Designer

Product Designer or Product Designer is who works in the conception, creation and development of physical or digital products. In digital, this person will carry out research, studies, create wireframes, think about the user flow, the experience, the interface, among others.

Product Illustration

Product Illustration or Product Illustration are drawings that, along with other graphic elements, such as text and buttons, inform the user about something. Its purpose is to transmit empathy and add value to the product.

Product Manager

Product Manager or Product Manager is the person responsible for managing product development. Actively participates in identifying requirements, planning scope and monitoring status report, budget, contract, among others.

Product Owner - PO

Product Owner is the one who bridges the gap between the customer and the technology provider to align expectations during the development of a solution. He/she is responsible for product definitions, maintaining the conceptual and strategic integrity of the software under construction. He/she helps in prioritizing the backlog and needs to be present in all routine schedules.

Project Management Office - PMO

The Project Management Office is the department within a company responsible for defining and maintaining delivery standards for projects under development.

Production Environment

To say that an environment is a production environment means that it is operating, processing, generating and storing data. Unlike the approval environment, the production environment is accessed by end users from a public URL or download from an app store.

Process automation

Process automation refers to the act of automating repetitive and commonplace activities, that is, making them automatic through the use of technologies.

Prototype

It is a study model created for testing before a physical or digital product is finalized and goes to market. Therefore, the main objective of a prototype is to identify points of improvement and learning. This way, the chances of the product being successful after its launch are greater. Usually a prototype is built in the discovery phase.

R

React

React is one of the most popular libraries among developers working with JavaScript, used to enhance the front-end work and to build the User Interface (UI).

React Native

React Native is a hybrid framework for app development. It works as a library and facilitator of JavaScript resources, which enables the development of mobile applications, both for Android and iOS.

Ruby

Ruby is one of the leading programming languages in the world. It was created from a mix of other languages (Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada and Lisp). Its main differences are the increase in productivity and the range of tools offered to facilitate the work of software engineering.

S

SaaS - Software as a Service

Software as a Service is a place where you can host your software for web access, usually from a login. Most of the time, companies hire subscription plans and use the programs they need "in the cloud".

Software

Among other definitions, it is also the product developed by software engineering. It includes the developed system, manuals and specifications, and is considered a capital asset. It can be developed for internal use or to meet a market need.

Software Architecture

It is the definition of software components, their external properties, and how it will relate to other programs. This term is also used to refer to the system's software architecture documentation, recording the initial decisions about the project, which in addition to facilitating communication between stakeholders, allows the reuse of components and standards between projects.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are behavioral and interpersonal skills and abilities. Also called "human skills", they are those that shape the way a professional manages to apply their baggage and experience in the day-to-day with teams, employees and clients.

Scanning

Digitization is the action of making a business digital, something that requires changes in the operating model, based on new processes, systems, tools and means of collaboration.

Style Guide

Style Guide is a manual that contains style rules and standardization of a digital product. This guide is essential to ensure consistency in the user experience, both in terms of usability and accessibility.

Systems integration

A system integration is a software development activity in which components from different systems (separate from each other) are combined into a whole.

System in production

Keeping a system in production means keeping it up and running.

Synthax of Programming Languages

Each language has its own rules. To understand how they work is to understand their syntax.

T

Team Leader

A team Leader is the person who leads a team, providing guidance, instruction and direction throughout the development of a solution. This person does not necessarily hold a management or board position within a company, he/she is a leader in that context of the product/ team.

Throughput

The Throughput Graph shows how many features have been delivered over a period of time and is used to keep the project going healthy.

U

UI Design

UI Design or User Interface Design is the design focused on the interface presented to the user, responsible for creating screens and interactions easier and more friendly. We call a UI, a Designer who works professionally in this area.

User flow

User flow refers to the mapping and path that the user takes within an application, software or digital product.

User Interface

It is the space where man-machine interaction takes place, whether in the physical or digital environment. An example of a physical interface is remote control. On the other hand, the screen of a computer program or an application are examples of digital interfaces.

User tests

User tests are studies carried out with the participation of those who will use the product under development to verify if it meets their needs and expectations. The purpose of the test is to validate and optimize the solution for market launch.

Unit Test

Unit Testing is an automated piece of code, that is, an executable program that tests another program to simulate an internal function or processing. It can be run repeatedly to check if the expected behavior remains the same after changes to the system code.

UX Design

UX Design is an abbreviation for User Experience Design (or User Experience Design). Its objective is to continuously improve the usability of a digital or physical product, simplifying steps and optimizing interfaces. We call UX Designer the person who works professionally in this area.

UX Research

User experience research or UX Research allows you to collect data and insights from users through a variety of methodologies throughout the entire process of building a product. It is the results of these methods that guide development through the process and increase the project's chances of success. Whoever works with this is called a UX Researcher.

UX Writing

UX Writing is a content strategy for digital products. Writing is designed to aid navigation and ensure the best experience between interface and user. Those who work professionally here are called UX Writers.

W

Wireframe

Wireframe is a simulation of a product's interface to assess how its screens (or parts) interact with each other.

WBS (ou Work Breakdown Structure)

WBS stands for Work Breakdown Structure, a tool used to break down the development of a digital product into smaller parts. The goal is to organize the work into components that are easier to manage and to simplify understanding of the project as a whole. This way, we can communicate to everyone involved what steps and activities will be carried out to achieve a goal. In companies that work with agile methodologies, tasks are detailed on cards distributed on a board that visually shows the stage of development in which each one is.

Web Development (native or hybrid)

It is the programming area dedicated to the development of websites, applications, software and digital products designed for the internet. Native web development is only performed for a specific mobile operating system (Android or iOS) and hybrid web development is performed to serve different operating systems at the same time.

Pamela Mazini Stürmer
Pamela Mazini Stürmer

Negócios Internacionais | futurista, entusiasta tec e people person. Tenho uma queda por culturas diferentes e qualquer lugar que ofereça um bom cinammon roll.

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