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!