Tech Terms We’re Sure You’ve Heard But Probably Don’t Really Understand

June 17, 2016

Portrait of young manager pointing at the laptop and show the mistake of her team

Whether you’re new in the tech industry or have been around for awhile, sometimes there are terms that come up in conversations and become a huge head scratcher. In those cases, you start combing the Internet for answers but get even confused with all the different definitions that you come across from your search. Have no fear – here are a few words that you can finally understand.


If you’re anything like me, acronyms get the best of you and often confuse it for another word that’s completely unrelated. In the tech world, API stands for “Application Programming Interface,” which is a set of protocols and rules that enables communication between different applications. By using an API, it comes with many benefits like saving time and offering user convenience. A few of the most popular APIs are Google Maps, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and Amazon Product Advertising.

Augmented Reality

Virtual reality is a popular buzzword that people know fairly well with products like Project Morpheus, Oculus Rift, and Vive on the market but what is augmented reality? If you think that these two things are the similar to each other, think again because there’s a huge difference between them. Augmented reality is a live view of the physical real world with computer generated information and data overlays while virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated version.

Big Data

Big data is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a popular buzzword that explains a massive amount of data that is structured, semi-structured, and unstructured that is difficult to process with traditional databases and techniques because of its large size. It can be classified by 3Vs: variety (the different kinds of formats), velocity (what it needs to be processed), and volume (the extremity of it). Because of the high costs that are associated with its processing, there are new approaches have emerged that can help with this problem.


Bitcoin sounds a lot like money because of “coin” being in the word, and to a certain degree, that is somewhat true. Created in 2009, bitcoin is a form of virtual currency that can be used to buy certain goods and services online. An attractive feature about bitcoins is that it doesn’t use banks, which means there’s no middleman involved in the transaction. Purchases can be done anonymously and are extremely easy because bitcoins aren’t tied to any particular countries or subject to regulation. For those who are interested in obtaining bitcoins, some common ways to do so are selling a product or service and accepting bitcoins as a form of payment, purchasing and selling bitcoins through exchanges, and trading bitcoins for traditional currencies of countries.


If it isn’t obvious at this point, cloud doesn’t refer to the white fluffy ones that are in the sky. In tech, the cloud a metaphor for the internet is a place where you can store things and plays an integral role in cloud computing. To easily put it, cloud is when computers are networked together and can be accessed from anywhere.


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