Questions about the objective meaning or common understanding of words and concepts that programmers encounter

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13
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6answers
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Term for 24-bits [closed]

Is there a term for a 24-bit (3-byte) integer? I know uncommon bit counts (such as a "nibble" or "nybble" for 4 bits) have names, and having 24-bits in both video and audio technology, for instance, ...
13
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3answers
2k views

Object-Oriented Programming: Why “Oriented”?

I am most of the way through my games programming degree. This is not a computer science degree, so a lot of the theory is eschewed in favour of practical portfolio building and what I see as JIT ...
13
votes
3answers
27k views

What are binaries? [closed]

I see very often people using term binaries in different context. What are binaries? Collection on binary files, installation files, .dll files or what? Or is it just an general term for some ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Pure virtual or abstract, what's in a name?

While discussing a question about virtual functions on Stack Overflow, I wondered whether there was any official naming for pure (abstract) and non-pure virtual functions. I always relied on ...
13
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3answers
2k views

Initialize array in amortized constant time — what is this trick called?

There is this data structure that trades performance of array access against the need to iterate over it when clearing it. You keep a generation counter with each entry, and also a global generation ...
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2answers
1k views

What is a “Process Canary”

In the book "Hard Code" by Eric Brechner, he states, Lying is one of a handful of valuable process canaries that can warn you of trouble. I've heard a dev or two toss around the old "canary". ...
12
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4answers
915 views

Why is it called a 'Here Document'?

(Let me know if this is the wrong SE for this) Why is a Here Document (or Heredoc) called that? Wikipedia didn't have anything to say on that particular subject. I did find unix docs describing a "...
12
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8answers
1k views

Complexity point of no return. What do you call that?

As a software developer, one of my main tasks is to keep complexity under control. However, in some projects, there is a moment when the complexity level grows so high that it reaches some kind of "...
12
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5answers
2k views

What is “egoless programming”?

I first heard this term about fifteen years ago. My understanding is similar to that described in the Wikipedia article and a TechRepublic article: you work with your colleagues in a "friendly, ...
12
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5answers
3k views

Formal definition for term “pure OO language”?

I can't think of a better place among SO siblings to pose such a question. Originally I wanted to ask "Is python a pure OO language?" but considering troubles and some sort of discomfort people ...
12
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5answers
1k views

Explain Cloud computing to Grandmother

Technically I understand what is cloud computing, but I'm having difficulties when trying to explain it to a layman. I am wondering if there are any good examples which could easily explain it.
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5answers
1k views

What's the proper term for a function inverse to a constructor - to unwrap a value from a data type?

Edit: I'm rephrasing the question a bit. Apparently I caused some confusion because I didn't realize that the term destructor is used in OOP for something quite different - it's a function invoked ...
12
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6answers
4k views

What are the Characteristics of a Software “Center of Excellence” (CoE)?

Recently a new director of my department came in and expressed his wish that we become a "center of excellence". I expected that since he is my first boss who actually has a programming background ...
12
votes
2answers
886 views

Where does the the term “feature creep” come from?

There is a decent Wikipedia article on the "Feature Creep", but it doesn't state an origin. A Google search only leads to some vague article claiming "Earl Rich" coined the term, but there isn't much ...
12
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4answers
342 views

What exactly comprises 'Documentation'?

When we say 'documentation' for a software product, what does that include and what shouldn't that include? For example, a recent question asked if comments are considered documentation? But there ...
11
votes
11answers
4k views

Opposite term of indent [closed]

We say that we indent code. I'm writing a string builder which can add/remove tabs to indent code. Sample: builder.Add("<ul>"); builder.Indent(); builder.Add("<li></li>"); builder....
11
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14answers
7k views

Better word for Optional Requirements? [closed]

What's a better word for an optional requirement in software engineering? The phrase is contradictory. I've used "Non-Core Requirements" in previous projects.
11
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6answers
842 views

What is the difference between `update` and `upgrade`

What is the difference between update and upgrade in the context of application software?
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4answers
47k views

What is a “Business Intelligence” Developer? [closed]

What traits / skills does the Business Intelligence Developer role expect over a traditional Web Developer role?
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3answers
5k views

What are “class methods” and “instance methods”, in Python?

There has been a discussion in chat relating to a question (the question itself being irrelevant to this one), that has revealed I may not know Python whatsoever. In my mind, although terminology ...
11
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6answers
995 views

What are the differences between a website and a web application?

How do you differentiate a web application from websites? It's language/platform agnostic.
11
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1answer
1k views

What is a development stack?

I am just now in the process of looking for jobs as I am about to graduate from college. An interviewer asked me what my current 'development stack' is? I know this is probably a really basic ...
11
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2answers
2k views

When programmers talk about “data structures”, what are they referring to?

When programmers talk about "data structures", are they only talking about abstract data types like lists, trees, hashes, graphs, etc.? Or does that term include any structure that holds data, such ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

Difference between DevOps and Software Configuration Management

What is the difference between Development Operations and Software Configuration Management? For me it seems to be the same as long as both DevOps and Software Configuration Management are focused on:...
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3answers
5k views

Is the term 'Front-End' synonymous with 'Client-Side'? If so, is this always the case?

As a relatively new (self-taught) web developer, I've heard the terms front-end, client-side, back-end, and server-side quite often. To me, front-end and back-end were always synonymous with client-...
11
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2answers
5k views

What does it mean by expected running time and average runnnig time of an algorithm?

Let's say we want to analyze running time of algorithms. Sometimes we say that we want to find the running time of an algorithm when the input size is n and for the worst possible case it is denote it ...
11
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1answer
3k views

AddIn, AddOn, And Plugin [closed]

Even though at first glance the words AddIn, AddOn, And Plugin give the same meaning, there are some differences between them. Could anyone explain to me the subtle differences between AddIn, AddOn, ...
10
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7answers
835 views

Is there a term used when internal variables are declared public and accessible?

If someone writes code so that an internal variable $_fields is accessible without using getter/setter methods, is there a proper term used to describe that? Something polite enough to use with ...
10
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12answers
73k views

How to explain OOP concepts to a non technical person?

I often try to avoid telling people I'm a programmer because most of the time I end up explaining to them what that really means. When I tell them I'm programming in Java they often ask general ...
10
votes
9answers
951 views

Is it appropriate in a developer's job description to have “error free” as a key output? [closed]

As part of a review of all job descriptions, my company has decided to include the following as a key output: website development completed on time, within specification and error free Given ...
10
votes
5answers
972 views

Violation of the DRY Principle

I am sure there's a name for this anti-pattern somewhere; however I am not familiar enough with the anti-pattern literature to know it. Consider the following scenario: or0 is a member function in a ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What does the term day-one-bug mean?

I came across this term recently in a mail chain. Google tells me there is a term zero-day bug and that Microsoft and Adobe are the frontrunners :) Is there such a term as day one bug? What might ...
10
votes
7answers
360 views

Is reusability roughly synonymous with good design?

Reusability is a feature of good software design. Is reusability an acceptable gloss ("brief notation of the meaning") for good software design? Why?
10
votes
4answers
11k views

The term “interface” in C++

Java makes a clear distinction between class and interface. (I believe C# does also, but I have no experience with it). When writing C++ however there is no language enforced distinction between class ...
10
votes
5answers
686 views

Contractor vs Consultant [closed]

For a programmer, two of the most common terms that seem to be overloaded are contractor and consultant? Is there a difference between the two?
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votes
2answers
685 views

Why is the 'out' keyword used in two seemingly disparate contexts?

In C#, the out keyword can be used in two different ways. As a parameter modifier in which an argument is passed by reference class OutExample { static void Method(out int i) { i = ...
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votes
4answers
5k views

What is a Bootstrapper in programming?

I sometimes see the term "Bootstrapper". I saw it last when creating some learning exercises for Prism. I stumbled upon UnityBootstrapper class. My question is: when would you call a class a "...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What does a “bodyshop” (in context of a programming job /environment) mean

I've kept on coming across the term "bodyshop" in terms of a programming job/environment but despite googling I can't find out what exactly this is referring to? Can someone please enlighten me?
10
votes
3answers
271 views

How to document experimental or incomplete APIs like @deprecated?

Is there a good term that is similar but different than "deprecate" to mean that a method or API is in the code base but should not be used because its implementation is not complete or will likely ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Diminishing Returns on Additional Developers

Is there a term to describe the point at which adding more developers to a software project will provide diminishing returns? I realize that at a high level, it is more complicated that just a number ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Programming knowledge vs. programming logic

Is there any difference between the two topics? I have seen companies asking for Good Programming knowledge some Good Programming logic. I have seen this in Job profiles for a developer – for e.g. "...
10
votes
4answers
26k views

What does “downstream/upstream design” mean?

What does "downstream/upstream design" in software development mean?
10
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4answers
473 views

Where does “method” as a special term in OOP originate?

"Method" is a special term in Object-Oriented Programming. Does anyone know when the word began to be used in this particular sense, and in connection with what programming language or other branch of ...
10
votes
5answers
292 views

Should I incorporate exit cost into choosing a solution

I'm currently choosing between two viable software designs/solutions. Solution 1 is easy to implement, but will lock some data in a proprietary format, and will be hard to change later. Solution 2 is ...
9
votes
1answer
701 views

Is there an explicit word for non-abstract class?

I got mainly abstract classes in my project and there are a few other class which are using/inheriting them. When I'm writing the documentation I would like to specify that a part of it is just about ...
9
votes
7answers
8k views

What is the difference between Static code analysis and code review?

I just wanted to know what the difference is between static code analysis and code review. How are each of these two done? More specifically, what are the tools available today for code review/static ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What does Uncle Bob mean by 'noun phrase names'?

I am reading Clean Code by Uncle Bob. Because I am not a native-English speaker, I couldn't understand following statement: Classes and objects should have noun or noun phrase names like ...
9
votes
5answers
7k views

What is the difference between a Program Manager and a Project Manager?

Is a Program Manager a person who manages mutiple projects (under a single program) which are in turn managed by Project Managers? Or is a Program Manager a person as defined by Joel Spolsky here. ...
9
votes
3answers
615 views

What does it mean to “promote” a file?

I hear this term around the office, and know it's relevant to software development lifecycle. What does "promote" mean? Context: e.g. to promote a file.
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Are “wrapper” and “shim” synonymous?

Are the words "wrapper" and "shim" more or less synonymous, or is there a distinction, perhaps connotative?