Top 4 Common IT Terms in English
Not so long time ago, I had an exciting talk with Mykhailo Seniutovych who is a professional Ukrainian programmer, great traveler, and dancer.
I kindly asked him to share with us some common IT terminology programmers use at work.
– Mykhailo, since you are a professional programmer, could you give us some useful words or collocations or maybe idioms that would be helpful for English learners and for programmers as well?
– I guess the first thing, probably you heard about it, it's called a bug.
- Bug. So if the program doesn't work properly right, if its functionality is broken, we call that a program has a bug. So this program is so hard to use because it has so many bugs. There are many meanings of the word “bug” but probably this is not the primary meaning here. That's why I want to give you a story about why it's called the box, so a bug is this small insect that we probably all know of beetle. I think it's a synonym. So why is it called the bug? Back in the 1950s when those first computers were created, those first computers were huge, they took up whole rooms that were taken by computers and once one of those computers didn't work, and they didn't understand what was going on they started to look inside the computer, and they've literally found a bug in the inside like this insect little animal. From that point on they started to call like when some malfunction happens, they would say it's a bug, but that's where it came from, which is an interesting story.
– There is another meaning to the word “bug”. Probably someone is bugging us. It means they have a bug and if it's our private conversation and someone can be bugging us. So, it’s the third meaning of the word “bug”.
– Yeah, that's good to know. Well, I am talking about the context of programming, and if we talk about this word bug, you can there is also another word to debug.
- Debug. I need to debug a program and usually, it means that you sort of need to examine the code you sort of run the program slowly kind of line by line, and just see where the problem is where this bug is, so you debug your program.
– Well, maybe the explanation would be to identify a bug?
– It's more or less a good explanation, but sometimes you debug a program just to understand how it works better. So it can be used in this context, but “debug” is like the thing that every programmer does and everyone knows.
– Alright, so what’s the next one?
– The next one is a feature.
- Feature. You probably know this word, but in the context of programming, we say that if the program has some rich functionality, like on Facebook, let's say you can send messages to many people at once. So we can say Facebook has a feature to send more multiple messages to multiple users. It's a piece of functionality that the program has and usually when we, as programmers, create our programs, we create a list of these features that the program should have. So in the context of Facebook that would be like you can send messages to one user, send messages to many users, can add friends, and all of these things. These all would be features.
– What about in everyday life because I think that the feature has a lot of other meanings?
– Yes, you tell me, you're the English teacher here (laughing).
– Well, I'm an English teacher with a feature, with many features. So I can talk, I can hear, I can read, I can listen, I can write. It can also be facial features. Probably in this context, everybody knows the word “feature”.
– Yeah, so it's pretty much similar in the context of programs, but it's just something that we use all the time when we write our programs. There is always work like what features this program should have. So it's a very commonly used word among programmers.
- Deploy it to production. And the last one that I've got is what you do when you write your code, you write a program, and then it's ready to go live and for users to use it. When that happens, we say we deploy it to production. So “to deploy” means to kind of like place it somewhere. That's what the word “deploy” means: to place it at some place, and we say “to production” because this is a production environment so usually when we write programs there are different environments. There is a test environment, so the test environment is where the program is being tested. So if I just created some program, but I'm not sure if it works well or badly, I usually give it to testers, but it would not be available for every user, it would be available only for people who will test this program and once they test this program, it's good it works fine. Only then do we release it. So we deploy the program to production, and again that's a thing that is used very often if your program can be deployed.
– Thank you, Mykhailo, for such a fruitful conversation!
– You are welcome!