Tech Terms You Should Know from A-Z

May 18, 2021
Emilie Mitchell

We get it. When you’re new to an industry, it can feel like you’ve stumbled into a conversation where everyone is speaking Spanish, while you only know English. Every field has its own lingo; comprised of countless acronyms and complex terms that may make you feel like you're reading another language, the tech industry is no exception.

Don't worry, WynHouse is here to help. Sometimes a short and simple explanation is all you need to get your foot in the door with understanding a new concept. That’s exactly why we made an easy-to-understand compilation of tech terms that you should know, all the way from A to Z.


Short for "Application Programming Interface", APIs are a set of rules and procedures that allow communication to happen between two or more different programs. APIs handle the behind-the-scenes work of data transportation and can significantly help businesses by putting this data to use. With the aid of APIs, businesses can incorporate existing software into their systems to further improve capabilities.

Back-end Development

Also known as the server side, back-end development includes the behind-the-scenes elements that the user doesn't see. Back-end development is in charge of the server and communication between the front end and database. Overall, the back end works closely with the front end to deliver the final product to the end user.


CSS stands for cascading style sheets; this front-end development language tells web browsers how elements should appear on each webpage. Working hand-in-hand with HTML, CSS helps simplify and create consistency by controlling the layout and style of multiple webpages at once.

Database Management System

A database management system (DBMS) is a software system that optimizes and manages the storage and retrieval of data from databases. Through a DBMS, data is entered, organized, and extracted by users or other programs in a systematic way.


The term ecommerce refers to the buying and selling of goods or services via the internet. Four basic models of e-commerce include B2B (Business-to-Business), B2C (Business-to-Consumer), C2B (Consumer-to-Business), and C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer.) These categories help classify who the online interactions are happening between.

Front-end Development

Commonly referred to as the client side, front-end development includes everything the user experiences directly. Front ends make up both the user interface, the space where the user and a computer system interact, and the user experience, how the user interacts with and experiences the product. There are three main front-end languages: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. While each of these languages serve different purposes, they work together to create the elements that are visible to the user on their webpage.


A gateway is a device that connects two networks by allowing traffic to enter and leave the network, serving as a gate. All data must either pass through or communicate with the gateway before being routed to the destination through the most efficient path.


HyperText Markup Language is the standard markup language for structuring a webpage and its content. HTML consists of a series of elements that are defined by a start tag, some content, and an end tag. For example, "<p>Paragraph content goes here...</p>". These elements give specific directions such as, "this is a paragraph" so the browser knows exactly how to display the inputted information.


Also referred to as an "ad view" impressions are a metric used to quantify the number of times your digital content is viewed by users. Impressions are not action-based, meaning the metric doesn't require engagement such as likes, comments, or shares and simply considers the potential of the post being viewed. This makes impressions an ideal measurement tool to evaluate when aiming to spread brand awareness.


JavaScript is a programming language that adds ways for users to interact and engage with your website. For example, timely content updates, interactive maps, animated 2D/3D graphics, scrolling image bars, or basically any webpage element that isn't static is made possible through JavaScript.


Keywords are search queries, or words and phrases that users choose to describe what they are looking for. Google, Bing, and other popular search engines use keywords to determine what content is most relevant to each search query. This determines how webpages rank in search results for specific terms and phrases.

Landing Page

Created specifically for a marketing or advertisement campaign, a landing page is where visitors "land" after they click on a specific link, such as a Google text ad or display ad. Landing pages are designed with one goal: to convert visitors into leads.


A minimum viable product refers to the product or project version you can release with the least amount of resources while still learning the essential information about your consumers. Determining your MVP helps you get closer to your consumers by utilizing your available resources in the best way.


Also known as a net promoter score, NPS is a common measure used to rate how likely consumers are to recommend your business to others. A NPS is arguably one of the best predictors of a company's long-term growth. Your business's NPS is calculated from first-hand feedback from current or potential consumers, typically in a survey format. These consumers can choose to rate your business on a scale from 0, would not recommend, to 10, would highly recommend.

Operating System

An operating system (OS) is a system software that manages computer hardware and software resources, as well as provides common services for computer programs. This system issues the user interface, which is how users interact with and receive information that the computer processes.

Programmable Logic Controller

A programmable logic controller (PLC) is an industrial computer that has been strengthened and adapted for the control of manufacturing processes, such as assembly lines or robotic devices. A PLC essentially takes inputs, performs logic on the inputs in the central processing unit, and then turns on or off outputs based on that logic.


Queries are requests for data results and action. A query can be used to answer a simple question, perform calculations, make changes to a data table, or combine data from different tables. Queries are similar to questions, except queries are sent to a computer system to be processed by a software program rather than a person.


React is an open-source, front-end, JavaScript library that is used for building user interfaces. It was specifically designed for single-page applications such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail, and any other app that doesn't require reloading during use. The main goal of react is to perform exceptional rendering that is fast, scalable, and simple.


Also known as SEO, search engine optimization is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on increasing the quality and quantity of your website's traffic. SEO targets unpaid traffic through organic search engine results. Search engine optimization is an essential part of marketing, benefitting your business and your customers' experience at the same time.

Tech Stack

Sometimes referred to as a "solutions stack", a tech stack is a collective list of the technologies, softwares, and tools used to build and run websites, apps, and other digital products. These essentials work together so often that they are referred to by a group name rather than each separate component. Even though these elements are different, they work together for the same purpose: to yield a fully functioning software solution.

UX/UI Design

User experience (UX) design puts the user first and considers the overall feel of the interactions and experience with a product. UX design involves problem solving to determine how to make experiences and interactions most valuable to the user. How does it make a user feel? How easy is it for the user to complete tasks?

User interface (UI) design focuses on the user’s visual interactive experience, such as tapping a button or swiping through images. What happens when a user clicks on this, or taps on that? User interface design creates an emotional connection with the user and contributes to the presentation, look, and feel of a product.

Vector Graphic

Vector graphics are comprised of points, lines, curves, shapes, and colors that are mathematically defined. When you scale a vector graphic up or down, it does not lose any quality. This means it can be sized however small or large you need it to be without issue. Because of this, vector graphics are ideal when creating company logos or other images that often need to be scaled to various sizes.


Wireframes are like blueprints or visual guides that represent the framework of digital products. These help improve communication to designers, software teams, and potential partners by serving as a clear visual representation. Wireframes enable focus on user experience factors such as layouts and user interaction, exposing you to potential issues early on.


Short for extensible markup language, XML is a software and hardware independent markup language that was designed to store, transport, and share data. XML does not actively do anything, but instead holds information wrapped in tags. From there, software is needed to send, receive, store, or display the information.

Y Combinator

Y Combinator is an American seed money startup accelerator. They work with startups on their ideas and help deal with investors and acquirers. Their goal is to build your company to become impressive enough to raise money on a larger scale and introduce you to later stage investors. Y Combinator has been used to launch over 2,000 companies including Stripe, Airbnb, DoorDash, Dropbox, Twitch, Reddit, and more.


Zip is a common type of file compression that "zips" together two or more files to create a version that takes up less disk space. An archive compressed with zip has a ".zip" file extension. In order to open the file(s) in the archive, you have to "unzip" or decompress the archive. Zips are useful tools when backing up files and reducing the size of data, making it easier to transport and store.

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