Decoding Tech: A Jargon Cheat Sheet

How to Speak Tech

Breaking into the tech industry is no small task. Even the language that everyone throws around to describe their positions can seem completely foreign to a newbie, and that’s ok! The first step to being good at something is not knowing anything about it. We’ve helped you out with this little tech cheat sheet: a helpful list of definitions about our position categories and competencies.

(These are intended as general guidelines and as useful information, not as hard rules.)

Positions

Web – Front End

Description: Someone who builds the look and feel of a web application. This includes laying out elements on a page and creating functionality for users to interact with the page. Important core skills include Javascript, HTML and CSS. Design and user experience play a part in front-end development.

Related Competencies and Skills: JavaScript, Unit Testing, HTML, Angular, CSS, Flex, jQuery, React, Elm, Backbone.js, Knockout.js, Ember.js, Sails.js, SASS, LESS, CoffeeScript, Bootstrap, RxJS, TypeScript, D3, Marionette Js, Grunt, ExtJS

Web – Back End

Description: Someone who works on the server side of a web application. This requires competency in at least one server-side language (e.g. Node, PHP, Ruby, Python, C#) and working knowledge of databases.

Related Competencies and Skills: JavaScript, .Net, PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, Database, Unit Testing, C#, Java, HTML, Ruby On Rails, SQL, NoSQL, NodeJS, CakePHP, Google Web Toolkit, Spring, Groovy, CSS, Grails, Vaadin, ASP, Hibernate, JavaFX, SpringMVC, Django, Symfony PHP, Laravel, Sinatra, Express, Bootstrap, TypeScript, Zend, Magento, LAMP, Yii, JSP, Google Go, WordPress, Razor, Cold Fusion, Maven, Java Server Faces (JSF), Struts, Flask, Python 2, Python 3

Web – Full Stack

Description: Someone who can build the entire web application (front and back end) and everything in between.

Related Competencies and Skills: Unit Testing, HTML, Angular, CSS, Flex, jQuery, React, Elm, Backbone.js, Knockout.js, Ember.js, Sails.js, SASS, LESS, CoffeeScript, RxJS, TypeScript, D3, Marionette Js, Grunt, ExtJS, JavaScript, .Net, PHP, Java, Ruby, Database, C#, SQL, NoSQL, NodeJS, CakePHP, Google Web Toolkit, Spring, Groovy, Grails, Vaadin, ASP, Hibernate, JavaFX, SpringMVC, Django, Symfony PHP, Laravel, Sinatra, Express, Bootstrap, Zend, Magento, LAMP, Yii, JSP, Google Go, WordPress, Razor, Cold Fusion, Maven, Java Server Faces (JSF), Struts, Flask, Python

Mobile Developer

Description: Someone who builds native mobile applications – applications originally intended to be used/viewed on a smartphone – for iOS or Android.

Related Competencies and Skills: Android, iOS, Unit Testing, Object Oriented Design, Java, Objective C, Swift

Software / Enterprise Developer

Description: A catch-all for software development outside of Web and Mobile. Generally, these are jobs at larger companies. Common languages include Java and C#/.Net, but many other languages could be used.

Related Competencies and Skills: .Net, Java, Python, Database, Unit Testing, Object Oriented Design, C, C#, Visual Basic, Windows Mobile, Perl, R, Scala, Haskell, F#, Scheme, SQL, NoSQL, Microsoft Access, Cobol, Ada, Erlang, Spring, Groovy, Lua, Pascal, Flex, Lisp, ASP, Adobe Flash, Hibernate, JavaFX, Django, Prolog, Elm, C++, Google Go, Razor, Maven, Flask, Python 2, Python 3, Pandas, Swing, J2EE, FORTRAN, Apex

Data Scientist / Business Intelligence

Description: Someone who analyzes data using various statistical techniques and tools and effectively shares their findings. Common tools for date science include R and Python.

Related Competencies and Skills: Python, Database, Statistical Analysis, R, SQL, NoSQL, Hadoop, Microsoft Excel, Mathematica, Python 2, Python 3, Pandas, SPSS

Project Manager / Analyst

Description: Someone who plans and manages execution of a software project. This is a non-technical role, but having a technical background helps understand the project holistically.

Related Competencies and Skills: Application Development, Agile, Project Management, User Experience Design, Microsoft Excel

Quality Assurance Analyst

Description: Someone who tests a software project. This is a non-technical role, but having a technical background probably helps.

Related Competencies and Skills: Agile, Behavior Driven Development (BDD)

System Admin / DB Admin / Network Support

Description: Someone who manages the technical infrastructure of a software project. This work ensures that all systems function properly. This may be configuring servers, administering databases or building tools that enable other software developers to do their job.

Related Competencies and Skills: Agile, Version Control, C, Perl, SQL, Data Archival and Backup, Shell Scripting, MongoDB, Linux, Amazon Web Services, Oracle, MySQL, Postgres, SQL Server, ETL

Technical Assistant / User Support

Description: AKA help desk. Non-technical. Someone who assists non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Related Competencies and Skills: Data Entry, Technical Writing, Website Administration

Technical Writer

Description: Someone who translates technical requirements into clear and concise English.

Related Competencies and Skills: Technical Writing

Graphic Designer

Description: Someone who designs the look and feel of a software product. Needs to be able to create pretty/practical designs and know how to use photoshop and related tools.

Related Competencies and Skills: Graphic Design, User Experience Design, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Creative Suite, CSS, Adobe Illustrator, SASS, LESS, Adobe InDesign

Competencies

Android

Description: Google’s toolkit for building applications for Android mobile devices. Relies on Java, and uses a framework provided by Google.

Related Skills: Java

iOS

Description: Apple’s toolkit for building an iOS application, to run on iPad and/or iPhone devices. Relies on Objective-C and/or Swift.

Related Skills: Objective C, Swift

JavaScript

Description: The language of the web, javascript is the language that runs inside browsers. Required for front-end development but also useful for backend development through Node.

Related Skills: NodeJS, Angular, jQuery, React, Backbone.js, Knockout.js, Ember.js, Express, Sails.js, CoffeeScript, RxJS, TypeScript, D3, Marionette Js, Grunt, ExtJS

.Net

Description: Microsoft developers’ ecosystem. Relies on C#, which is very similar to Java, and is often used to build the back-end of web applications or internal systems. Popular in larger enterprises.

Related Skills: C#, Visual Basic, Microsoft Access, ASP, TypeScript, Razor

PHP

Description: PHP is one of the most widely-used and oldest back-end web languages. Used to build many content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, as well as popular sites and apps such as Facebook, Flickr, Yahoo, and WordPress.com.

Related Skills: CakePHP, Symfony PHP, Laravel, Zend, Magento, LAMP, Yii, WordPress

Java

Description: One of the most ubiquitous languages with a variety of uses. Considered the classic object-oriented language, it can be used to build the back-end of web applications, as well as desktop and other types of applications. Popular in larger enterprises.

Related Skills: Java, Google Web Toolkit, Spring, Groovy, Grails, Vaadin, Hibernate, JavaFX, SpringMVC, JSP, Maven, Java Server Faces (JSF), Struts, Swing, J2EE, Apex

Ruby

Description: Ruby is a high-level object-oriented language that emphasizes readability and ease of use for the programmer. It is particularly popular for web development, due to the excellent Ruby on Rails framework.

Related Skills: Ruby On Rails, Sinatra

Python

Description: A multi-use programming language most often used to build the back-end of web applications, or to carry out data analysis. Python emphasizes simplicity, clarity, and readability.

Related Skills: Django, Flask, Python 2, Python 3, Pandas

Database

Description: Skills involving storing and updating data in a database. Could be a SQL database or a NoSQL database.

Related Skills: SQL, NoSQL, Data Archival and Backup, MongoDB, Oracle, MySQL, Postgres, SQL Server, ETL

Statistical Analysis

Description: Someone who uses statistical techniques to analyze and interpret data and draw conclusions.

Related Skills: R, Microsoft Excel, SPSS

Cyber Security

Cyber Security is a broad field that includes activities such as monitoring for attacks, finding vulnerabilities in systems, investigating after a cyber incident, or ensuring that your organization is in compliance with state and federal laws.

Related Skills: Kali OS, WireShark, BurpSuite

 

/// Want to become a LaunchCoder and land your dream job in tech? Applications are opening soon for LC101 and CoderGirl in St. Louis so you can skill up! If you’ve already got the skills, skip ahead to apply for our apprenticeship program and polish up that resume to land your next tech job. (Seriously, you can do it right now, what are you waiting for?!)

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