Entering the world of coding bootcamps and learning software development can be a little scary when you don’t know all the lingo. Not to worry- we’re defining all of this Djargon (you’ll get that joke once you’ve read this glossary) in easy to understand terms– including examples– and explaining how each term will relate to you as a coding bootcamper. We list everything from coding languages, frameworks, and common programming concepts to refer to on your journey to success.

Did we miss a term? Let us know in the comments! 


Coding Bootcamp Glossary of Key Terms

 Term Definition More
ACTIVE RECORD Active Record is the “M” in MVC (Model-View-Controller). It is the “model” or the layer of the system responsible for representing business data and logic that requires constant storage to a database. Active Record facilitates the creation and use of business data. Expect to learn Active Record at a coding bootcamp that teaches Ruby on Rails.  
AGILE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT Agile Software Development is a methodology that calls for keeping code simple, testing often, and delivering small, functional bits of an application when they are ready (called “Sprints”). Expect to focus on building parts of an application rather than delivering one huge application at the end of the project. You may or may not learn Agile Development during a coding bootcamp, but a hiring manager will probably talk about it in interviews if their dev team uses it.    
AJAX AJAX stands for “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.” AJAX is not a programming language but a set of web development techniques utilizing many web technologies on the client-side in order to create asynchronous web applications. In a nutshell, Ajax allows for website pages to dynamically change content without needing to reload the entire page.  
ALGORITHM An algorithm is a set of rules or processes to follow while creating a computer program. Algorithms are the basis for the theory behind most computer programming. For example, how does Google determine which website should appear on their front page of search results? A Search Algorithm! When skeptics talk about coding bootcamps, they usually point out that bootcamp alumni aren’t algorithm aces. Will you learn about algorithms at a coding bootcamp? Sure. Will you know as much as a Computer Science major? Probably not. Read More: Coding Bootcamp vs. College
ANGULAR.JS Angular.js or Angular is an open-source JavaScript framework maintained by Google. It’s the A in MEAN Stack development. Expect to learn Angular.JS at a Full-stack JavaScript Bootcamp. See Also: Angular vs React Article
APACHE HTTP SERVER Apache HTTP Server or Apache is the world’s most used web development software that played a primary role in the initial growth of the World Wide Web. It’s also the “A” in LAMP Stack. See Also: HTTP Request
API An API is an application programming interface with a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. API’s express software components in terms of their operations, inputs, outputs, and underlying types. For example, you may use a Google Maps API in your bootcamp final project in order to use existing geolocation infrastructure to create specialized maps. Read more about an API project: Student Spotlight: Tammer Galal of Rutgers Coding Bootcamp
APPRENTICESHIP Apprenticeship has been around since the Middle Ages (literally) but today, they go hand-in-hand with coding bootcamps. For bootcamp graduates who take an apprenticeship, they can expect paid, on-the-job training for a fixed time period, resulting in a full-time job at the company. There are even some bootcamps, such as Anyone Can Learn to Code, who require students to obtain an apprenticeship as a part of their bootcamp curriculum.  
ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING Asynchronous learning refers to teacher-student interactions that are happening in different locations or at different times, rather than interactive same-time learning environments. This type of learning is commonly seen in digital and online learning spaces like MOOCs, Treehouse or Udacity. Many online bootcamps also offer synchronous learning options like Thinkful or Bloc. See Also:  Synchronous Learning

Read More: Which online coding bootcamp is best for you
BACKBONE.JS Backbone.js is a JavaScript framework that gives structure to web apps by providing models, custom events, and collections of rich API functions. Backbone.js has a RESTful JSON interface and is based on the model-view-presenter (MVP) application design paradigm. Basically, Backbone gives you the freedom to have the full design experience for your web app.  
BACK END Backend development refers to the server side of development where the main focus is on how the site works. This usually consists of three parts: a server, an application, and a database. Users can’t see the backend work, but code written by back end developers is what communicates the database information to the browser. Examples: Rails, .NET, Python, Java, PHP
Antonym: Front end
Read More: Front End vs Back End
BOOTSTRAP (aka TWITTER BOOTSTRAP) Bootstrap is an intuitive and powerful front end framework that is an open-source collection of tools for creating websites and web applications. It was developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton of Twitter to encourage consistency across internal tools, and was originally named “Twitter Blueprint.” Alternate Meaning: Bootstrapping also refers to starting a company without taking outside funding (ie. Many startup founders first bootstrap their company using personal savings, credit cards, or sweat equity for initial operating expenses.)
BUILD Build, also known as software build or code build, refers to the process by which source code is converted into a stand-alone form that can be run on a computer or the form itself. Builds are created once a certain point in development has been reached or the code is deemed ready for implementation for testing or release.  
CODE REVIEW A code review is the systematic examination of computer source code that is intended to find and fix mistakes originally overlooked. Students will learn and participate in code reviews at bootcamp to prepare for the types of code examinations that will commonly happen in job interviews or on the job.  
CODING Coding is the act of computer programming or software development in a given coding or programming language. Read More: 7 Developer Tips Before Learning to Code
CODING BOOTCAMP Coding bootcamps are intensive, immersive instructor-led learning programs that teach beginners digital skills like Full-Stack Web Development, Data Science, Digital Marketing, and UX/UI Design. Bootcamps vary in length from 8 to 28 weeks, with the average bootcamp being about 10 weeks long. Read More: Choosing a Coding Bootcamp Ultimate Guide
CODING CHALLENGE Coding challenges are tests or projects given to future bootcampers by selective schools during the application process. Depending on the selectivity of the school, coding challenges may vary from solving a logic puzzle to build a full web application in a week. Expect to complete the coding challenge, then likely discuss how you approached it during your one-on-one interview. Read More: Cracking the Code School Interview: Ironhack Miami and Cracking the Code School Interview: Dev Bootcamp
COMMAND-LINE A command-line interface or command language interpreter (CLI) is where a user can enter commands in the form of successive text in order to complete specific tasks. Related Term: Terminal
COMPILER A compiler is a set of computer programs that transforms one type of source code written in one language into a difference source code. For example, the compiler called gcc compiles a C program into an executable like Print (“Hello World”). Simply put, a complier is a source code translator.  
CSS If HTML is the structure of a house, then CSS is the paint and wallpaper. Cascading Style Sheets is a standard markup language that describes the formatting of markup language pages. Before CSS, websites were kept in HTML markup, making the process more complex. CSS is a frontend language that enables developers to separate content and visual elements for better page control and flexibility. CSS defines formatting for HTML, XHTML, XML, SVG, and XUL. Learn More: CSS Bootcamp Courses
CYBERSECURITY Cybersecurity, aka information technology security, focuses on the protection of computer and network data from unauthorized access (or hacking). This is a growing field as the need to keep digital information safe is a constant concern. There are even a few Cybersecurity bootcamps like Evolve Security Academy and SecureSet Academy.  
DATABASE (DBMS) A computer database management system refers to the storage and organization of data. Databases are used for easy retrieval of information.  
DATA SCIENCE According to NYC Data Science Academy, Data science is a multi-disciplinary field that combines computer science and statistics. The objective of data science is to pull insightful and useful knowledge out of datasets which, at times, can be too large for traditional statistics to analyze. This can include anything from analyzing complex genomic structures, to interpreting handwriting, to optimizing a marketing strategy. Most data science bootcamps require an aptitude for math and statistics, and in some cases knowledge of a programming language, such as R or Python. Read More: Learn Data Science at These 22 Bootcamps
DATA STRUCTURES A data structure is a specialized way of organizing and storing information on a computer so that it can be used efficiently. Data structures can implement particular abstract data types (ADT), as a means of specifying the contract of operations and their complexity. See Also: Algorithm
DJANGO A free, open source, web application framework written in Python which follows the model-view-controller (MVC) framework. Expect to learn Django at a coding bootcamp that teaches Python. It’s great for rapid development, along with clean and pragmatic design, and often used in Data Science roles. Read More: Ruby on Rails vs Python and Django
DEPLOYMENT Software is deployed when all of the activities that make a software system available for use are complete, tested, and ready for users. At a coding bootcamp, you should expect to be deploying to a platform like Heroku. Once code is deployed, it’s available to users.  
EXPRESS.JS Express.js is a Node.js web application backend server framework for building single-page, multi-page, and hybrid web apps. It’s the most common framework for Node.js as it simplifies the process and provides additional plug-ins. Want to build a website? You’ll be using Express.js. It’s the E in MEAN Stack, and you should expect to learn it at any Full-stack JavaScript Coding Bootcamp.  
FLIPPED CLASSROOM A type of blended learning teaching method that reverses the traditional educational arrangement by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. Classroom time is then spent on projects and exercises. This is pretty typical in the coding bootcamp world, especially an online school. Read More: Which online coding bootcamp is best for you?
FRAMEWORK A framework is a reusable, hierarchical directory environment that indicates what kinds of programs can or should be built. Frameworks are similar to static and dynamic libraries called by applications to perform specific tasks. You’ll learn various JavaScript frameworks at a front-end or full stack coding bootcamp including Angular.Js, and React.  
FRONT END Front end development refers to “client-side” development, where the focus is on what users see. Front end developers will be engaged in analyzing code, design, and debugging applications along with ensuring a seamless user experience.

Examples of front end languages: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Antonym:Back end (refers to everything that a user can not see; maintaining site functionality).

Read More: Front End vs Back End

FULL STACK DEVELOPER Full Stack Developers are software engineers versed in both frontend and back end development. Software development requires several types of engineers with various knowledge bases including, but not limited to, front end developers, web server administrators, back end engineers, and database engineers. A full stack developer can give insight into all layers of a project. See Also: Stack

Read More: Full-Stack Coding Bootcamps
GIT Git is an open source version control system used for it’s speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows. Think of it as a series of snapshots of your code. Every Git directory on every computer has a complete repository with history and full version tracking independent of network access or a central server.

See Also: Version Control

GITHUB Github is a micro web platform written in Python where developers store Git repositories in order to collaborate with other developers.  
HTML HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language used to create web pages. If you’re a beginner, this is usually the first programming language you will learn at a bootcamp. In the “house” analogy used in our definition for CSS, HTML is the structure of a house, while CSS is the paint and wallpaper. See Also: CSS
HTTP REQUEST HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. If your browser fetches any file from a web server, it’s using an HTTP request.  
IDE An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a comprehensive software suite that consolidates basic tools needed for developers. A typical IDE includes a source code editor, a compiler, and a debugger. See Also: Xcode
INHERITANCE Inheritance in object oriented programming is the process of reusing code to allow independent extensions of the original software. New code classes receive (or “inherit”) the properties and methods of the existing code. See Also: Object Oriented Programming
iOS SWIFT iOS Swift is a multi-paradigm, compiled programming language created by Apple Inc for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux. Swift adopts the best of C and Objective-C, without the constraints of C compatibility. One day, mobile development bootcamps will be taught exclusively in Swift, but for now, expect to learn at least a bit of Swift with Objective-C if you’re enrolled in a Mobile Development Bootcamp. Read More:   Developing for iOS: Objective-C vs. Swift
JAVA Java is a backend, object-oriented scripting language that allows you to create dynamic web pages enabling you to process and maintain data within the browser. Notable sites written in Java include Linkedin.com, AliExpress.com, and Ebay.com. And if you’re an Android mobile lover – Android mobile applications are written in Java!  
JAVASCRIPT JavaScript is a high-level, dynamic front end programming language. JavaScript is one of the more popular languages taught at a full stack coding bootcamp. 33% of coding bootcamps report JavaScript as the primary programming framework taught.
Beginner tip: Java and JavaScript are unrelated languages!
Read More: Preparing for a JavaScript Coding Bootcamp
JAVASCRIPT FRAMEWORK A JavaScript Framework is a web application framework written in JavaScript. It gives structure to how a developer should write their code when using JavaScript.  
JQUERY jQuery is a cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML and is the most popular JavaScript library in use today. Do you dream of being a Front End Developer? You’ll need to master jQuery, as it’s an easy way to add animation and interactivity to a website.  
JSON (JAVASCRIPT OBJECT NOTATION) JSON is a lightweight, readable format that transmits structured data between a server and web application. JSON can be used as an alternative to XML. See Also: XML
JUNIOR DEVELOPER A junior web developer is an entry level software programmer (aka Junior Programmer or Junior Software Engineer). Most coding bootcamps’ goals are to prepare their students to become junior developers. Upon graduation, you should have the skills to be a junior developer, but ready to advance your career in a role that allows for more learning and growth.  
LAMP STACK LAMP is an archetypal model of web service solution stacks: Linux operating system, the Apache HTTP Server, the MySQL relational database management system (RDBMS) and the PHP programming language. LAMP stack is a popular open source web platform commonly used to run dynamic web sites and servers. You’ll usually see startups and large web companies using LAMP Stack like Tesla, SeatGeek, Lyft, and Birchbox. Read More: LAMP vs MEAN vs Ruby on Rails
LINUX Linux is a unix-like operating system assembled under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution. It’s the L in LAMP stack!  
LOCAL ENVIRONMENT The local environment or development environment is where changes to software are developed before they go live. Once code has been tested, it is pushed out of the local environment and deployed to production.  
MEAN STACK MEAN Stack is a free and open-source JavaScript software stack for building dynamic websites and web applications. MEAN is comprised of MongoDB, Express.js and Angular.js, which are all run on Node.js. All MEAN Stack devs are full stack devs. However, not all full stack devs are considered MEAN stack devs.  
MONGODB MongoDB is a cross-platform document-oriented database designed for scalability and agility. Classified as a NoSQL database, MongoDB uses JSON-like documents with dynamic schemas instead of traditional table-based relational database structures. MongoDB is the M in MEAN stack.  
MVC Model-view-controller (MVC) is a software design pattern for implementing user interfaces. It divides a given software application into three interconnected parts and defines not only the roles objects play in the application, it defines the way objects communicate with each other. Applications with a MVC design are usually more reusable, easily extensible, and have interfaces that are better defined.  
MYSQL MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS) that is very popular among small and big businesses. MySQL can support very large databases using the standard form SQL data language, while working on many operating systems with languages like PHP, Perl, C, C++, Java and more. See Also: SQL
NODE.JS Node.js (or Node) is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment written in JavaScript for developing fast and scalable server-side web applications. Node.js runs on OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux and more. Node is the N in MEAN stack.  
OBJECT ORIENTED PROGRAMING (OOP) Object Oriented Programming (OOP) is a programming model based on the concepts of “objects,” which are data structures that contain data, instead of actions. Devs must define the datatype of a data structure and also the types of functions they want that data to perform. The first step in OPP, identifying all objects and preferred actions, is also known as data modeling.  
OBJECT RELATED DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (ORDBMS) An object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) is a database management system that is similar to a relational database, except that it has an object-oriented database model. This system supports objects, classes, and inheritance in database schemas and query language; and is the middle ground between relational and objective databases.  
OPEN-SOURCE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT Open-source software is software that is available for public use. During open-source software development, developers can work on products whose source code is under an open-source license encouraging developers from around the world to study, change, and improve the design of the software. Popular open-source software includes WordPress and Mozilla Firefox. Related Term: RDBMS
OS (OPERATING SYSTEM) A computer’s OS is the most import piece of software, as it controls all functionality of a computer’s memory and processes.  
PAIR PROGRAMMING Pair programming is an agile development technique where two programmers share one computer and work together to code. The “driver” writes code, while the observer reviews each line of code for accuracy. The two programmers will switch roles often. Expect to do a good amount of pair programming at a bootcamp! Read More: How To: Get the Most Out of Pair Programming
PHP Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) is a widely used server-side scripting language designed to create dynamic and interactive HTML web pages. PHP adds functionality that HTML alone can not achieve. PHP is huge and runs on platforms like Facebook and Wikipedia!  
POSTGRESQL PostgresSQL is an open source object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) with an emphasis on data integrity and on standards-compliance. Often referred to as Postgres and has high scalability.

See Also:  ORDBMS

PREWORK Prework is coding coursework assigned before the actual coding bootcamp starts. Prework is a way to accustom students to what they’ll learn at the bootcamp , and gives students an opportunity to be introduced (or reintroduced) to valuable information that will help throughout the program. Many bootcamps are starting to offer bootcamp prep courses as a way to offer pre-work, and give a taste of what it would be like to enroll in the full-time program. Read More: Ultimate Guide to Bootcamp Prep Programs
PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE Programming languages (aka– coding or computer languages) are compiled, formal, high level languages designed to communicate instructions in order to write computer programs. Read More: Why You Must Learn Many Coding Languages
PROJECT-BASED LEARNING Project-based learning is the consumption of knowledge through practice and application. Many coding bootcamps focus on project-based learning by assigning specific project tasks to acclimate students to the real-world experience of being a software developer.  
PYTHON Python is a widely used, general-purpose, high-level programming language designed to emphasize code readability. Python syntax allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than would be possible in languages such as C++ or Java. Want to be a data scientist? Chances are, you need to know Python. Read More: Learn Python at These 9 Web Development Bootcamps
R R is a programming language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. If you’re interested in learning data science, you’ll get to use R for statistics problems.

See Also: Data Science

REACT React (aka– React.js or ReactJS) is an open-source JavaScript library maintained by Facebook that provides a view for HTML data or user interfaces. React is a favorite technology among developers as it allows for increased development speed with trendy techniques. Read More: Angular vs React Article
REACT NATIVE React Native is the next generation of React that helps developers reuse code across the web and on mobile. Since native app creation means writing apps for a specific operating system, developers can now skip building the same app for iOS and Android from scratch; and instead reuse the code across each operating system.  
RELATIONAL DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (RDBMS) Relational database management system (RDBMS) is a program that allows developers to create, update, and administer relational databases. A relational database is a set of tables containing data in predefined categories. See Also: MySQL
RESTful Representational state transfer (REST) or RESTful web services are one way of exchanging data between computer systems on the Internet. REST is the underlying architectural principle of the web and can be thought of as the language of the internet.  
RUBY Ruby is a dynamic, general-purpose, open source programming language focused on simplicity and productivity. Ruby on Rails is a framework that uses Ruby code to produce web applications.

Read More:  Ruby vs. Python

RUBY ON RAILS Ruby on rails is a full stack web application framework that uses the Ruby programming language. It allows developers to write less code by accomplishing more. 25% of coding bootcamps report Ruby on Rails as the primary programming framework taught. Examples of websites which use Ruby on Rails: AirBnb, Hulu, Kickstarter, Github, Groupon.

Read More: LAMP vs MEAN vs Ruby on Rails
RUNTIME Runtime is the period of time when a software program is on and running.  
SCRIPTING LANGUAGE A scripting language (or script) is a programming language with a series of commands capable of being executed without using a compiler. Scripting languages include Perl, PHP, Python (server-side) and JavaScript (client-side). Expect to learn scripting languages at any full stack bootcamp. See Also: Compiler
SERVER All websites are hosted on servers, or places that hold an enormous amount of data information. Heroku is a server that most bootcampers will use to build, run, and operate in the cloud  
SOURCE CODE Source code, or code, is the fundamental part of a computer program. Source code is a text listing of commands written in a high-level language that is converted into object code or machine code by a compiler. Want to see the Source Code of this webpage? Open it in Google Chrome, click on the View dropdown, navigate to Developer, and click View Source! See Also: Coding
SPRINT A “sprint” in agile software development is a regular, repeatable work cycle. As a bootcamper you’ll participate in sprints to simulate a real-world developer job. See Also: Agile Software Development
SQL Structured Query Language (SQL) is a programming language specific for information housed in a relational database management system (RDBMS). See Also: RDBMS and MySQL
STACK A stack, or software stack or bundle, is a set of software components that a company or developer chooses to use. Stacks can be split into two areas – front end stacks and back end stacks. To see the stacks that various tech companies use, check out Stackshare.io. See Also: MEAN stack, LAMP stack, Full Stack Developer
SYNCHRONOUS LEARNING Synchronous learning refers to teacher-student interactions in online, same-time learning environments. This type of learning is commonly seen in mentor-driven or instructor-driven classrooms like Thinkful or Hack Reactor Remote.   See Also: Asynchronous Learning

Read More:   Which online coding bootcamp is best for you?
SYNTAX Syntax refers to the grammar, structure, or order of elements in a programming language. Each programming language will have a unique syntax.  
TEACHING LANGUAGE Teaching language refers to the programming language taught at a given bootcamp . Be sure to choose a bootcamp that teaches the programming languages required for the specific roles you would want to apply for!  
TERMINAL Terminal is the application on a Mac operating system that allows for a command line interface, where you can enter commands directly. See Also:  Command Line
UNICORN A unicorn software developer is someone who knows web development and design skills. Employers love a good unicorn developer so it’s always a good idea for a web designer to learn coding skills (and vice-versa)! Alternate Meaning: A unicorn is also a startup valued at $1 billion dollars.
USABILITY TESTING Usability testing is a user-centered interaction to evaluate how products work with users. Product usability focuses on ease-of-use, visual consistency, and a clear process for evolution.  
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN (UX) User experience design (or UX design) focuses on improving the usability and ease of web application products from a customer satisfaction/loyalty standpoint. A UX designer makes an app easy to use. If you’re looking to be a UX designer, you’ll be learning frontend languages, as well as applications like Sketch and Invision. Read More: Alumni Spotlight: Addison Fuller of DevPoint Labs
USER INTERFACE DESIGN (UI) User interface design (or UI design) focuses on the series of screens, images, and visual elements such as buttons or icons one uses to interact with a device. A UI designer makes an app visually appealing. As a UI designer, you’ll use frontend languages and applications like Sketch, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Read More: Why You Should Learn UI Design
VERSION CONTROL Version control is the management and recording of changes to documents, computer programs, large web sites, and other collections of information. When developers are building out new software, version control keeps the frequent updates and revisions sorted in a central repository. GitHub is a code hosting platform for version control.   See Also: Git, Github
XCODE Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) that contains a suite of software development tools by Apple for macOS, iOS, WatchOS, and tvOS. See Also: IDE
XML XML or Extensible Markup Language defines a set of rules for encoding documents in human and machine-readable formats. XML is unlike HTML in that it allows for documents to display in a variety of additional formats outside of just a web browser.  
WHITEBOARDING  In agile software development, development teams use whiteboarding as a low-tech, manual way to track work progress. Charts and sketches are drawn by hand in order to work through a specific problem or task. Expect to do a lot of whiteboarding at bootcamp as it’s a great learning and development tool used in the coding industry. Whiteboarding is also used during developer  interviews for coding challenges! See Also: Agile Software Development

About The Author


Lauren is a communications and operations strategist who loves to help others find their idea of success. She is passionate about techonology education, career development, startups, and the arts. Her background includes youth/career development, public affairs, and philanthropy. She is from Richmond, VA and now currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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