Starting your journey into any field is a treacherous adventure, especially If you are preparing to become a developer. When learning new tech terms, you can feel overwhelmed and start to rethink if this career is a good idea at all.
My suggestion is: don't give up!
To relieve some of your anxiety, we prepared a short guide to assist you and all other junior developers like you that are just starting their careers in software development or IT related.
So...Let's start with 10 tech terms you should know!
1) IDE - Integrated Development Environment
This is where you will actually write your code, it is the software you use to write software.
An integrated development environment is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for development and consists of (at least) a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger.
Visual Studio Code is widely accepted amongst developers as the best IDE, this article outlines the top 14 web development IDE's in 2020.
2) URI, URL and URN
URI: Uniform Resource Identifier: a generic term for URL or URN.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator: where something is and how to fetch it.
URN: Uniform Resource Name: a unique name for a resource.
In other words, frontend developers make the web "look pretty".
For more info on these three languages, check out a previous article that outlines the three layers of web development.
4) Backend (REST API, Database, Server)
Also referred to as the server-side, the backend is the part of an application that is not directly accessed by the user. It is usually responsible for storing and manipulating data, including sensitive information like passwords.
Main terms associated with backend:
REST or REStful API: stands for representational state transfer and it is the server-side of an application, service, or solution.
Database: where your data is stored (an organized collection of data).
Server: can be hardware or software, and it is responsible for providing functionality for other programs or devices.
5) Version control (Git)
Version control is a system that records changes made to your code.
Git is the most popular version control software that allows you to keep track of these changes. It is designed to coordinate work among programmers and can be used to update your code repositories (the place where your code is kept)
6) Pair Programming
Pair programming is just as it sounds, two people working together while coding.
It is common for Junior developers to be paired with senior developers to aid in the development of the junior programmer. In pair programming the two work off of one workstation, one will write code and the other will observe. The roles are often reversed.
Some benefits of pair programming:
- Less mistakes are made
- Two people working together is better then 1 person alone
- Communication increases
- Juniors can progress rapidly if paired with seniors
- It is an efficient way to share knowledge
In software development, a framework is a reusable code that provides specific functionality that you can use in your programs.
Frameworks are an abstraction (hiding unnecessary details from the user) in which generic functionality can be changed.
A framework, metaphorically speaking, "sits on top" of your programming language which prevents you from reinventing the wheel as you code.
Perhaps a simpler example is Bootstrap, a CSS framework. When you are creating your applications, you can certainly style your webpage with normal CSS, but Bootstrap provides already made design templates for you to use.
8) HTTP (POST, GET, PUT, DELETE)
HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is the protocol or official procedure used to format and transmit data between web browsers and servers. It is how users interact with different parts of the web to communicate, send, and receive data.
Applications are programmed to send so-called requests to servers, in return the server sends back a so-called response that may (for example) return a packet of data.
The 4 basic HTTP operations can be summarised by the acronym CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) that it is described below.
CRUD is an acronym used to describe the four basic functionalities of a persistent storage application (An application that retains data).
- C - Create data (add data to the server)
- R - Read data (retrieve data from the server)
- U - Update data (replace data on the server)
- D - Delete/Remove data from the server
JWT or JSON web tokens are an industry-standard method, a means of representing claims to be transferred between two parties.
A JWT is an encoded string that contains a lot of meta-data. JWT's being encoded means it can be unpacked and read by the client.
It is generated on the server with an algorithm and a certain "secret" that only the server knows, and can validate incoming tokens.
The client stores that token and attaches it to any request thereafter that is sent to the server which needs to be authenticated.
A Final Word
On your journey into software development, you might feel anxious by the number of terms and languages to learn.
However, if you master the main key tech terms explained above, you’re on track. I hope that this list cleared up some confusion you may have had regarding these terms.