Programming & Coding Terms, Defined 

As with any skill, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the fundamental terminologies used in that field before fully committing to practice mode. Understanding coding words can speed up and improve your knowledge of your area. This blog looks at simple definitions for programming and coding terms.   

We have provided you with a list of some key coding terms that might serve as your learning 101 manual whether you are learning to code or are new to system software.

Coding Terms and Definitions

Here are the common programming words that every beginner should know. 

Agile Development

Agile development refers to a collection of iterative development-based approaches for creating effective and solution-oriented services and products through the joint work of self-organising and cross-functional teams that include the customer or end user.

Algorithm

A set of guidelines or instructions created to address a specific issue is known as an algorithm. The issue could be simple, like adding two digits, or complicated, like changing a video file format.

These are some examples of algorithms:

  • A list of procedures to mail a letter
  • The methods needed to calculate taxes
  • Rules for resolving a Rubik’s cube
  • Script to alphabetise a list of words

Application Programming Interface (API)

A set of guidelines, procedures, protocols, and resources known as an API are used to create software programmes. The language that systems or programmes use to communicate with one another is called an API.

Public APIs are created by businesses like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and others so that other developers can create applications and services based on their offerings.

Arrays

Arrays are containers that include variables which are used to collect related variables. They can be compared to the shelves of a pet shop. The animals in kennels are the variables within the array, which is the shelf.

Arithmetic operators

Arithmetic operators are important in most applications, particularly games. Experience gained by a game character must be added to the overall amount. The amount of harm an enemy receives from an arrow must be calculated. These tasks are carried out by arithmetic operators. 

Asynchronous programming

Simply said, it’s a method that enables a programme or application to keep running while awaiting the completion of other activities.

The capability of a website like Instagram to allow the user to read your feed while the messaging chat is still loading is a classic example of web development. These days, many modern websites and applications employ this strategy.

Back-end

The element of a computer system or programme that is normally in charge of storing and maintaining data but which the end user does not directly access or utilise is the back-end. The person in charge of creating back-end services is a back-end developer.

Binary numbers

The method used by computers to display information is a binary number. Millions of 1s and 0s are processed by computers every second, and various rules are used to interpret them as numbers, characters, operators, and anything else entered into a computer.

Boolean

An expression that can only produce TRUE or FALSE statements is known as a Boolean expression. In coding, search engines, algorithms, and mathematics, boolean expressions combine conditional statements with the AND, OR, XOR, NOT, and NOR operators. 

Branch

A branch in Git is a new version of the main repository that includes copies of all the documents and history at the time of separation without actually duplicating all the contents. This enables the subsequent merging of all changes made to the branch back into the main repository.

Bug

A bug is a descriptive term for an unanticipated fault or flaw that leads hardware or software to malfunction. Even while bugs are frequently thought of as minor computer errors, they have occasionally resulted in serious issues as well as huge monetary losses. This makes it essential to invest in the bug-finding process before applications are released for use.

C++

C++ is a simple but functional programming language. People who learn this language will be capable of comprehending complex instructions and understanding how programmes operate.

Cache

To help with faster load times from repetitive activities, a cache is the temporary storage of data and information.

Without caching, it would take some time for each user that calculates taxes to finish. However, with caching, only the initial user would need to conduct the calculation; subsequent users who meet the same “tax criteria” would have access to the pre-calculated results and receive their results almost immediately.

Char

One alphabetic symbol is equal to one display unit of data called a “char character”. A char variable’s value could be any single character, including “a,” “1,” “$,” and “X.” This definition of character is predicated on the common understanding of a character as a single literary element. In contrast, the abbreviation char is a conserved keyword in the programming languages C, C++, C#, and Java.

Camel case

The first word of a variable’s title should be written in lowercase, and any additional words should be capitalised. This is known as the camel case. 

Cloud Computing

The on-demand accessibility of computer system components, like data storage and processing power, without the user’s active and direct supervision is known as cloud computing.

Command-line (CLI) / terminal

It is a programme that enables you to type commands to carry out particular activities. The operating system and CLI programmes you have installed will determine what you can accomplish, although there are a lot of options.

CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It is what adds style and colour to every webpage. While HTML controls the structure of a document with paragraphs, headers and images, Cascading Style Sheets allow you to specify colours, fonts, layouts and more. 

Database

A platform designed for data storage, organisation, and retrieval is called a database. 

Data Type

Computers categorise information based on its fundamental categories to be more precise and effective. This classification is known as a data type, and while they can differ between programming languages, each one has several well-known types. 

Django

Django is a framework written in Python that has been around since 2003. It aims to make software development projects easier to build. Django was initially developed in-house to manage a series of online news websites. To avoid repeatedly building the same types of pages, the developers built a framework that suited their needs under such pressure. They called it Django after a shared love of the jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

Endless Loop

An endless loop is a set of instructions that won’t stop until something outside the loop causes it to. Although they frequently result from coding errors, it is possible that they are done on purpose (for example, during game creation).

Else Statements

When the “if” statement’s condition is false, “else” statements are utilised to take another action.

Firewall

It is a piece of hardware or software used for network security that keeps track of and classifies incoming and outgoing network traffic in accordance with pre-set security policies.

For Loops

For loops allow users to repeatedly run a block of code. They repeat a piece of code a predetermined number of times.

Framework

A framework is a collection of tools, libraries, designs, and organisational principles that assist product development. A framework, which should not be mistaken with a library, offers not only functions and procedures but also recommendations for how to approach particular issues.

Front-end

Front-end development is client-facing coding, the pretty side of code. As a user, you usually only see a website’s front end. This is why a lot of front-end developers are also graphic designers and vice versa. Traditionally, front-end coders work closely with their back-end counterparts to create a great front-end, although “headless” implementations, where front and back are decoupled, have gained significant traction. Retail brands have long recognised the importance of design, but even in B2B eCommerce, a dull and uninspiring front-end is now unacceptable.

Full Stack

A full-stack developer is skilled at both the client-side (the front-end) and the server-side (the back-end) of software development. Depending on where a full-stack developer learns her trade, she will come equipped with many skills in many coding languages. They will understand languages, technologies, libraries and frameworks such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Python, Bootstrap, GitHub, jQuery, APIs, MongoDB, Django, and much more. The Code Institute Diploma in Full Stack Software Development does what it says on the tin and teaches all these subjects.

Function

A function is a collection of instructions that, when executed, carry out a certain task. It is not required to return a value. However, it can. 

GIT

It’s crucial to keep backups of your work when dealing with development projects in order to prevent loss, track changes, and facilitate collaboration. Git is a distributed version control solution that is free and open-source.

GUI (graphical user interface)

The app or website’s GUI is the end product of front-end design.

HTML

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. A markup language is a computer language that uses tags to define elements within a document. It is human-readable, meaning markup files contain standard words rather than typical programming syntax. While several markup languages exist, the two most popular are HTML and XML (Extensible Markup Language).

HTTP

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol for the web outlines the data transmission and reception between browsers and servers.

IDE (integrated development environment)

It is a piece of software that offers a wide range of resources to help programmers create websites and applications.

IntelliJ

Use IntelliJ, an IDE designed for creating and running code, to begin writing Java code.

Java

The Android operating system and all of its applications, as well as many other professionals and business applications, utilise this strong multi-platform programming language.

JavaScript

The JavaScript programming language is text-based and can be used on both the client and server sides. It controls multimedia within web pages and allows them to become interactive. JavaScript empowers a developer to do many things, like adding animation to images or updating content automatically on a page. JavaScript is what allows you to interact with the vast majority of web pages that you visit. Whether it’s filling out forms, scrolling through maps, or registering for an event, it’s most likely that JavaScript programming is what’s allowing you to do it.

JWT

JWT JSON Web Token, sometimes known as JWT, is a standard for establishing user identity between server and client. They carry data about the user who is currently signed in and are sent between different BE systems.

Kebab Case

It is the practice of using a dash to separate words when naming variables, functions, etc. (-). It frequently appears in URLs.

Linux

An open-source operating system called Linux is made to function on a variety of devices, including computers, mobile phones, tablets, robots, and many more. Actually, Linux is the foundation of the Android operating system.

Library

A grouping of files, programmes, scripts, routines, or functions that address certain issues and assist programmers in producing code more quickly, securely, and effectively is a library.

Local Environment

Before code changes are transmitted to servers or installed on other environments, the developer can run, test, and debug them using the settings and tools on his or her own machine.

Loops

Loops run a code block after checking a condition. Until a certain condition is met, the loop will keep checking and running.

Machine Learning

Using machine learning, a computer can operate without being specifically instructed to do so. It’s an instance of artificial intelligence in which we give machines access to information and allow them to make their own discoveries using that information.

Memoisation

Memoisation is a method for enhancing the efficiency of an application by caching the output of expensive computational functions such that, when the same feature is called again with the same arguments, the result is returned from the cache rather than having to repeat the calculations.

Meta Tag

A meta tag is a piece of information that a website provides that is not meant for users but rather for other systems like browsers or search engines like Google.

Neural Network

Neural networks, which are collections of algorithms based on biological neural networks, are required to train an algorithm.

NPX

Some NPM packages, such as those that let you create a new project, are not intended to be installed. Without having it installed, we may download the code and run the script using NPX.

Open Source

Open-source software is the pride and joy of developers since it is freely available for anyone to use, modify, distribute, or expand upon.

Object-Oriented Programming

Programmers have developed an approach known as object-oriented programming (OOP), which centres on data and objects rather than “actions” and “logic.” In OOP, a data structure’s data type and the kinds of functions that can be used on it are both specified. As a result, the data structure is transformed into an object that includes both data and functions.

Pair Programming

It is a method where two programmers collaborate on a single computer. Junior developers frequently engage in these activities with more experienced developers.

Pascal Case

Capitalising all nouns when naming variables, functions, etc., is known as the Pascal case. 

Plugin

A plugin is a piece of software, a library, or a module that may be added to another programme, framework, or piece of software in order to enhance its features, function, or security.

Python

Python is an interpreted programming language created in 1991 by Dutch programmer Guido Van Rossum. This means it has an interpreter to execute the program directly instead of depending on more complicated machine languages. Van Rossum wants Python to be as understandable and clear as plain English eventually. He has also made the language Open Source, meaning anyone can contribute to it.

“Readability” is a key factor in Python’s philosophy. It aims to limit code blocks (blocks of source code text) and have white space instead for a clearer, less busy appearance. It’s a versatile language that runs on many systems.

Repository

Consider it to be essentially a folder that houses all the project’s source files (together with a record of changes), and it is kept in a place you can access to view those files.

REST API

Information can be transferred via the HTTP protocol using REST APIs, which adhere to certain standards and conventions. Computers running software on servers do specialised activities, including serving websites, APIs, databases, etc.

Sitemap

The pages on your website are listed and arranged in a sitemap, which is a web page.

Script

When programming, a computer is instructed to carry out a sequence of scripts, or sets of steps. The steps are carried out by computers line by line, bottom to top.

Training

Massive volumes of data are fed into an algorithm during training so that it may adapt and get better, just like a human learns.

Undefined

Undefined is a primitive value that is automatically assigned to a newly declared variable whose value has not yet been specified.

UX 

UX considers how the user will interact with the programme and builds it to be enjoyable and ideal for the intended demographic.

Variable

A variable is a storage space for a single word, number, or other pieces of data that can be used again throughout a programme.

Wireframe

Even a drawing on a napkin might serve as the basic framework or wireframe of a website. Prior to adding content and design, this layout is the initial step in evaluating the concept.

Wrapping Up

So, we’ve discussed some of the A-Z of coding terms. But, nothing can be achieved just by reading the blog. With our free coding challenge, you can learn some of the basics of the skills listed in this article. In fact, after one hour a day, over five days, you will have built your first webpage. Register through the form at the bottom of this page. If you want to go even further, check out our full-stack development programme here.

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