“What is my developer really trying to tell me?!”

It’s the question that so many business owners have asked when working with a developer.

Now, hopefully you find a developer who doesn’t constantly throw “tech jargon” at you. Communication is key, and if they don’t care enough to clearly articulate their messages in non-tech speak, you should find a developer who does.

But no matter what kind of developer you have, you’ll benefit by understanding at least a little bit of “tech jargon”.

Your developer won’t have to explain things as much—so you’ll save time and get your project done faster. You’ll save money throughout the development process as well.

And if your developer tries to throw meaningless tech jargon at you, you’ll know better than to accept it.

While it’ll be tough to fully understand the tech/geek speak language that developers know so well, you CAN get a few key phrases under your belt.

Treat this post as your mini-tech jargon dictionary. You can look back at it whenever there’s a hiccup in communication with your developer. Heck, you might even be able to teach them a thing or two!

Without further ado, let’s decode this list of 12 “tech jargon” words and phrases.

1. HTML and CSS

When it comes to website development, these might be the two most common terms you hear. So, what do they mean? HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and it’s the code your developer uses to construct your website. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, which control the bits the visitors see such as fonts, the layout, and the overall style and appearance of the website. CSS gives your site unique and visual flair, and a clear, user-friendly view.

2. CMS

CMS is another crucial term. It stands for Content Management System. A Content Management System is a web application (like WordPress) designed to make it easy for non-technical users to add, edit, and manage content and other aspects of a website. To put it simply, a CMS allows you to write blog posts and other types website content without doing any of the hard coding.

3. Mock-up

A mock-up is a way your developer to plan out your website/application design before the actual coding and design begins. Usually, your designer/developer takes your ideas and creates a non-functional website so that everyone can understand how to make changes to the look and feel of the site before the expensive programming begins. In terms of the mock-up itself, it’s a visual of what your visitor will see when they visit the site.

4. Wireframe

This is similar to a mock-up, except there is no design element. Think of it as the blueprint for your website or application. The wireframe is a visual guide that represents the skeletal frame of the website. It allows all parties to see how the usability and layout will work before working on the design itself. The main purpose of the wireframe is to arrange the elements to best accomplish a particular purpose.

5. White Space

This is one of the more confusing terms on this list. Why? Well, it’s a bit misleading. When developers say want more “white space” around the content, they’re not actually talking about literal white space. What they really mean is that they want more space around the elements on a webpage. Why? White space enables elements to stand out more for the visitor. And no, the space does not have to actually be white, it can be any color!

6. “We should make this website responsive”

Responsive is the hot new thing in the development world, and it’ll probably stick around for a while. With responsive web design, your website will adjust and perform optimally for whichever type of device accesses it—whether it be a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or something else. When your developer starts talking about going responsive, you’ll definitely want to listen closely!

7. “We have an agile development process”

Agile is one of the BIG buzzwords of the IT development industry. Basically, agile is a different way of managing development teams and projects. It’s a time boxed, iterative approach that builds software incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at the end. That way, if changes can be made and new features created, without messing up the structure of the project.

8. “We need to build an MVP”

MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. The Minimum Viable Product is the version of a new product that allows you and your developer to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least amount of effort. Basically, it’s the product with the highest return of investment versus risk. So, if you’re building a website or application, the MVP will be the earliest version that gets released to visitors.

9. “That code has bad architecture”

When your developer says this, he means that your code is badly organized. However, if he says “complex architecture”, he means that “my code has badly organized”—basically, he probably carelessly constructed your code.

10. Landing page

A landing page is different from your homepage, but the two are often confused. While the homepage allows users to find a specific piece of information for your website, the landing page is more geared towards promotional content or information.

11. Call to action

The call to action is the most crucial part of the landing page (and other pages in general). It encourages visitors to interact with your website by using a specific button or graphic for them to click to take action. Examples of a call to action would be something like: “Buy Now!”; “Click here to download”; “Sign up”.

12. Exit page

The exit page is the last page a visitor reaches before leaving your website. Now, this information is crucial, as it helps evaluate the success/progress of your website. For many visitors, the exit page is also the landing page.

Are you tired of developers throwing tons of unnecessary tech jargon at you? Here at Caffeine, we break everything down and use as little tech jargon as possible.

Click here to schedule a free call to discuss your project!

Dustin DeVries

Dustin DeVries

Living and breathing software strategy and architecture, Dustin has been building software for over 20 years. He really enjoys working with clients to determine the right technology, whether it’s a web application framework like Django or NodeJS, or a simple CMS solution like WordPress. He received his BS in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University. During his spare time, Dustin enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, playing guitar, running, and hanging out with his family.