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Web development jargons explained

Technical jargons explained in ways you will understand. Click on an item to see explanations in plain english, in nerdy details, in short videos, in artistical terms, and in programmer speak.

Application Programming Interface (API)

Application Programming Interface (API) is an interface that programmers can use to interact with a software system. For example, Bob is a waiter at a restaurant. He relays your order to the kitchen, and Bob brings the food back to you. The kitchen is the software system, and Bob is the API.


Bootstrap is a CSS framework that lets front-end web engineers add style structure to websites very quickly. Bootstrap provides a set of standards in spacing, typography, color, interactive behaviors, and more.


Bundler ensures a Ruby project is run in the same condition on different machines consistently. It does this by keeping track of a list of Gems and their versions required for a project to run correctly.


CSS is like make up for a website. CSS allows you to specify the exact styling at the exact place on your website, so you can make it look the way you want it. You can specify the positions, sizes, spacing, color, backgrounds, font styles of any content.

Command Line Interface (CLI)

Command line interface (CLI) is a text based input system for programmers to instruct a computer. Programmers need to input lines of precise instructions the computer understands for it to work. It is the preferred way for programmers to interact with computers as it is very fast.


A conditional represents a choice in a program, it dictates what happens next. Such as, if today is a Monday, then make a reservation for dinner with the family, otherwise, eat dinner alone with TV.


Cookies are small data that are stored on a web browser to help websites keep track of your log in status, items in your active shopping cart, whether you are in dark mode, etc.


A database is a collection of data organized for fast access and easy query. An example would be a database of the rental records of all the books in all public libraries so you can find the libraries that have your book available.

Foo Bar Baz

Foo, Bar, and Baz are used as placeholders when giving examples in programming. It's like placeholder names that refer to objects or people when telling a story. Such as widget or "John Doe". The actual names are irrelevant and do not affect the message being conveyed.


In programming, a framework is a standard for building applications. Frameworks deal with low level details so engineers can focus on high level problems that actually matter. Frameworks can significantly reduce development time.


A function can be thought of as a machine that performs a specific task. Such as make sandwich. Every time you want a sandwich to be made, you just have to turn on the machine. Or execute the function, as programmers would say.


Git is a version control system that lets programmers keep track of changes in their projects and manages project collaboration with multiple contributors.


HTML is like a newspaper layout but for websites. A layout is a grid system for us to place content. Instead of using pen and paper to draw the grid, we follow HTML's standards to define the grid.


JavaScript can turn static websites into dynamic websites. JavaScript gives possibility to interactive features such as live chat, infinite feed loading, map navigation, animation and more. If HTML is the skeleton, CSS is the skin/fat/hair, JavaScript would be the muscles.


In programming, a library is a collection of programs that perform specific tasks. Engineers incorporate libraries into their projects so they don't have to write the programs themselves, to save development time.


Loop is a program that repeats a set of instructions until it is asked to stop. As an example, we can write a loop program to print out "Hello" 3 times. Loop is a fundamental concept in programming.


NPM, short for Node Package Manager, is a package manager for JavaScript libraries. NPM is used to deal with installation, removal, updates of JavaScript packages in both front-end and back-end projects.


NodeJs is a system that runs JavaScript programs for back-end server applications. This enables web engineers to use one programming language for writing front-end and back-end projects.

Non-relational Database

A non-relational database is a type of database structure that organizes data in collections ("Books") of data entries ("Moby-dick", "War and peace"). Entries are not restricted to the attributes they can have. One book can have "year of publish" and "genre", whereas another book can have "year of publish" and "ISBN".

Object Oriented Programming

Object Oriented Programming, or OOP, is a design pattern for writing computer programs. OOP uses Classes and Objects to separate and modularise programs that manage different domains. Such as a module for handling the wind shields, or a module that handles the air conditioning system, for a car.


PostgreSQL is a relational database management system for storing and managing data. It is known for its reliability, and is popular for building mission critical applications used by financial services and large internet companies.


Programming is creating instructions for the computer to perform specific tasks. A person who writes programs is called a programmer. There are many different programming languages a programmer can write programs in.

Programming Language

Coding is a way to talk to computers. In essence, when we code, we are telling the computer what to do. It’s the same thing as telling a person what to do. A programming language is like any spoken language.

Relational Database

A relational database is a type of database structure that organizes data in tables of columns and rows. Each table represents one entity type. Relationships then can be linked between data of each table. Such as books and their authors.


Ruby is a general purpose programming language that you can use to write all sorts of programs. It is the base language of the popular web applications framework called Ruby on Rails.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is a web application framework built using the programming language Ruby. It is very popular amongst early stage startups with small teams as you can create a working website very quickly.


RubyGems is a package manager for Ruby libraries. RubyGems is used to deal with installation, removal, updates of Ruby libraries. RubyGems libraries are called Gems for short.


SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a specific programming language for managing relational database management systems. With SQL, you can easily write programs to create, read, update, and delete data.


A variable is a temporary storage unit in a program. You can think of it as a box. You can use this box to hold an item. You can retrieve the item stored, or swap it with another item.


jQuery is a JavaScript library that helps front-end web engineers add interactive features to a website. In essence, it is a collection of commonly used stand alone tools that front-end engineers use to build websites.

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