Software engineering jargon can be useful for discussing industry topics, but it's not always easy to understand even for seasoned engineers.

The catalogue of Software Engineer jargon includes 14 terms to date, including 1 acronyms, 13 buzzwords, and 0 catchphrases.

This page providers definitions and translations for all software engineering terms in our database.

Software Engineering Buzzwords


What it means: An MBA-approved excuse for turning in broken, half-finished work.


Business definition: The term "bandwidth" is commonly used in the business or corporate setting to describe the density of obligations in your schedule.

What it means: Way of saying you're busy, while insuating that the other party is a waste of your time.


What it means: Obnoxious method of saying 'tell me more about that.'


Business definition: The applications and software components that exist within a "platform" (commonly a particular group of hardware, as in Amazon Alexa skills, or larger software, such as the apps designed for Apple products sold in Apple app store.)

What it means: A way to describe groups of people or products without being even remotely specific about what you mean.


What it means: A word used by people who are not detail-oriented, to describe an advanced level of detail.


Business definition: The term "grok" is used to describe a deep level of understanding, achieved by complete comprehension of a subject.

What it means: Nerd-approved method of saying 'understand,' granted special nerd credibility due to being derived from an obscure 1960s sci-fi novel.

Killing it

Business definition: To do something, usually an ongoing task, with a high level of proficiency. Once the task is complete, the prefered term is "crushed it."

What it means: Term commonly used by mid-level managers to praise employees for working overtime on a long-term project with no reward or compensation commited in writing.


Business definition: To "level-set" means to agree on the definitions of terms and metrics to be used in a meeting or conversation. Commonly used at the begining of meetings, to make sure everyone present has the same understanding of the project, product, or situation being discussed.

What it means: Clever term to use in meetings, which will prompt your team members to define terms and processes that you should probably already be familiar with.

Ping me

What it means: Contact me by literally any means other than a phone call, because I will be ignoring you for at least a day.


Business definition: In the business and tech/startup context, the term "pragmatic" is commonly used to describe things that are practical and functional.

What it means: A fancy way for developers to say 'practical' when describing the latest Javascript framework that will dissapear within six months.

Smoke Test

Business definition: The term "smoke test" describes tests which cover basic functionality of software. Smoke tests strive to answer the question, "does it work," rather than answering the question "does it work well."

What it means: A test run by Jenkins, while the engineer takes a smoke break.


What it means: Term used in job descriptions by companies attempting to hire for engineering roles, when the engineering tasks they expect the hire to accomplish are so absurdly large that only a literal magical wizard could accomplish them.


What it means: The scale at which MongoDB allegedly operates.

Software Engineering Acronyms


Business definition: “IDE” stands for “Integrated development environment”.