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Experts Translate 10 Tricky Tech Buzzwords

Tricky tech buzzwords

In the tech industry, there will always be new techniques and gadgets. As the industry is constantly evolving, the language will continue to change as well. You’ve probably already come across some unfamiliar words and acronyms while chatting with colleagues or found yourself frustrated after a professor’s lecture. There’s a lot of tech lingo floating around out there but in order to stay up to speed, you can’t shy away from educating yourself on even the trickiest of tech buzzwords.

If the tech industry is where you see your future, it’s important to stay current on the industry jargon. We enlisted some tech experts to help us define some of these tricky tech terms so you have a solid understanding of what’s happening in your field of interest.

10 tricky tech buzzwords decoded

You won’t find any boring textbook definitions here; just simple and straightforward insights from the experts on these trending tech buzzwords.

1. Big data

Big data refers to collecting and making sense of enormous amounts of unstructured data … such as communication with customers, customer preferences, etc.,” says Boris Kontsevoi, founder and president of Intetics Co. He says the reason it's become so important today is because it's finally possible to process and analyze the amount of data needed to receive viable business intelligence in return.

Click to learn more about big data.

2. The cloud

The first thing you need to know about the cloud is that it’s not a physical thing; it’s a network of servers. “At its most basic, ‘the cloud’ just refers to computing power that’s not right in front of you,” says tech columnist, Jaq Anders of Zco Corporation. There’s a good chance you already use the cloud on a daily basis with applications like Google Drive, Evernote or Dropbox.

Click to learn more about the cloud.

3. Gamification

Anders explains that gamifying (or turning a task into a game) encourages people to do it—kind of like tricking a toddler into playing “who can be quiet the longest?” In apps or websites, it usually comes down to giving users rewards like badges or points for completing tasks. It’s very common in multi-user environments where people can compare their achievements to others.”

Click to learn more about gamification.

4. Growth hacking

Growth hacking is what companies—startups in particular—do in order to market their company, according to Jackie Emory, marketing lead at job-search software company Briefcase. She says companies do this using social media, creative thinking, social metrics and other cost effective methods to gain exposure and reach new followers. Growth hackers have exactly one goal: to stimulate growth for the company.

Click to learn more about growth hacking.

5. MDM

MDM refers to “mobile device management”, which is security software employers use to monitor employees’ mobile devices (such as tablets or smartphones) to ensure they are up to date, secure and being used properly, explains Reuben Yonatan, founder of Get VoIP. This has become increasingly important as BYOD policies have flooded the workplace, resulting in a variety of personal devices being used for organizational purposes.

Click to learn more about MDM.


NGFW is an acronym for “next generation firewalls.” Like traditional firewalls, NGFWs block out malicious threats from entering a company’s network, says Daren Boozer, CEO of NCC Data. NGFWs differ in that they are smarter and can provide deeper inspection by incorporating an intrusion prevention system (IPS) and application controls.

Click to learn more about NGFWs.

7. SaaS

SaaS stands for “software as a service” and is a term associated with cloud computing. It’s a way of delivering software via the Internet, in which the availability, performance and security of the application is managed by the provider. Benefits to this service model include simple administration, automatic updates, easy collaboration and global accessibility, as explained by tech writer Margaret Rouse in a article.

Click to learn more about SaaS.

8. SoLoMo

SoLoMo is an abbreviation for “social-local-mobile” and emerged as a result of the growing popularity of smartphones. The term refers to the intersection of social media, GPS technology and mobile device usage, according to Boozer. Local entries are being served up in search engine results based on the user’s location. SoLoMo allows coupons, events and other opportunities to be broadcast to a mobile user based on his or her geographic proximity.

Click to learn more about SoLoMo.

9. SOA

SOA stands for “service-oriented architecture” and refers to the underlying structure that allows multiple services to communicate with one another, Rouse explains in an article at She uses the online shopping process as an example: You choose the items you’d like to purchase using one service, place them in your shopping cart which is provided by another service, provide your billing and shipping information through another service and track your shipment using yet another service. The communication among each program throughout the process is supported by SOA framework.

Click to learn more about SOA.

10. Web-scale IT

Web-scale IT refers to the efforts of large cloud services firms like Google, Amazon, Netflix and Facebook in order “to achieve extreme levels of service delivery as compared to many of their enterprise counterparts,” as explained by Gartner, the research firm that coined the term. These tech tycoons have found ways to scale not only in size, but also in speed and agility.

Click to learn more about web-scale IT.

Stay in-tune with the trendy tech terms

Now that you’re in the loop with the lingo, you’re one step closer to gearing up for your dream tech career. But like we mentioned before, the tech world is ever-evolving. So if you want to stay in-tune with the latest tech trends, follow the Rasmussen College School of Technology Blog. You can also keep tabs on Facebook and Twitter.

If you found this article helpful, pass it along to your soon-to-be-techy friends!

Megan Ruesink

Megan is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She hopes to engage and intrigue current and potential students.


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