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The top 12 overused IT terms

By James Sudakow | Nov. 15, 2016
A lot of what we talk about in IT confuses the heck out of our business-side colleagues

terms scrum f02 c Todd Kale


I don’t know much about rugby, but I do have a vague notion that a scrum involves a lot of huge guys with no necks diving on top of each other. Are IT guys doing that behind closed doors now? Maybe that’s why it took longer than usual the other day when I called the IT help desk. My guy was potentially buried under 20 big dudes. It may make sense in the IT department, but I would lobby for it to stay there and use another easy-to-understand term that might not get confused with a bruising contact sport.

terms sprint f01 c Todd Kale


Who knew that Joe from IT was in the same league as the great Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt? You wouldn’t know it from looking at the guy. The IT term sprint — as part of agile development and representing a short, focused development and testing cycle — makes some sense. The problem is that we always seem to be doing a sprint of some sort without much time to catch our collective breaths. Maybe if we could start including “catch your breath” into the methodology, we’d be more receptive.

terms cookies f01 c Todd Kale


I’ve got an 18-month-old at home, so we watch a lot of Sesame Street. I love Cookie Monster, but somehow I don’t think that IT talk about cookies and breadcrumbs is the same thing. Most of us who have done anything on the internet have some sense of what cookies are and get the concept of trails that show where we’ve visited or what we’ve searched. Maybe breadcrumbs are the same. Or maybe they’re different. Most of us don’t know. Bottom line for most of us is that we’d love to leave the cookies for Sesame Street and the breadcrumbs for Hansel and Gretel.

terms firmware f01 c Todd Kale


I can honestly report that 83% of people outside of IT have no idea what the difference is between firmware and software. And of the 17% that do, at least half of them are applying for jobs in the IT department. So they don’t count. My 15-year-old son talks about firmware a lot as he tries to explain it to me and my wife. As much as we try to pay attention, it’s hard to stay focused. One definition is that firmware is software that is built into the computer. So firmware is really software? But not really? But it has special powers of not being erased easily like software. There you go. Let’s go with that.


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