Buzzword Buster – Forewords

For many of us, buzzwords and jargons have become part of everyday life, and us I.T (yet another former buzzword..) professionals never seem to shy away from the chance to invent new buzzwords/abbreviations to add to our ever-expanding vocabulary of technical terms used in I.T talks which confuses those not in the know to no end. Heck, I could be talking in Chinese for all they care unless they are vaguely aware of what these terms actually mean!

And it’s not a phenomenon associated only with the I.T industry either, think Finance and the terms ‘subprime’ and ‘credit crunch’ (and about 20 different names which all describe a bank..) comes to the fore..

In their defense, buzzwords aren’t just there to confuse outsiders (despite what others have told me in the past!) or to make us look smart, I believe they serve a useful purpose of encapsulating knowledge/experience and capturing essential but subtle details that only those working in the relevant fields care about (i.e. professionals!).

As Malcolm Gladwell said in one of the case studies  in Blink : The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking, all of us can tell whether a dish tastes good or not without being able to point our fingers on what makes it good, which is an ability that seems to reside only with the experts. Their uncanny ability stems from the fact that they, through years of experience and training, have built up a vocabulary which helps them identify, capture and convey the useful information from the overwhelming web of data that is our own sensation. Much like the way Software Engineers use terms like ‘object orientation’ and  ‘cross-cutting concerns’ to describe problems in software design, eh?

So, to tame this necessary evil and help me better understand them myself, I decided to write about the buzzwords frequently used in software development, make them easy to understand so others don’t have to struggle as I do!