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Programming Terminology



If you’ve been through several of the articles on this website by now, you’ll probably have noticed a good deal of Programming Terminology being thrown around. Since this site has to be built to accommodate everyone, I can’t stop mid-way to explain a term. However, I can’t leave those new to this field hanging. Hence this page. We’ll be covering all kinds of programming terminology here, ranging from abbreviations to definitions. Due to the sheer amount of terms, we’ll keep the explanation brief but concise. If you want to know more, remember, google is your friend.

We’ll be arranging these alphabetically, to make it easier people to go through them.


ASCII: abbreviated from American Standard Code for Information Interchange, the ASCII table was created in order to ensure the world followed one common character encoding standard to allow for communication. ASCII only supports numbers, symbols and the English alphabet.

Binary: The language of the computer. It has two digits only. 0’s and 1’s.

Compiler: A type of translator that is commonly used to translate high level languages into low level languages for the computer to understand.

Debugging: The process of identifying and removing errors from computer hardware or software.

Documentation: In software development, documentation is the information that describes the product to its users (can be for other programmers too). It’s purpose is to describe the design of the software by using diagrams, manuals, listings and other materials.

Execute: “Execution” of a program is when a program is activated. The process of it activating and perform it’s task is called Executing. Sometimes, instead of “Executing”, we say “Running”.

EXE file: Exe files refers to an executable file. An executable file is a program that runs and performs various tasks and operations on a computer.

IDE: Integrated Development Environment, a software designed to be used for programming. Comes with a whole host of extra tools and helpful features.

Program: A program is a set of instructions.

Process: A process is a program that is being executed.

Machine Code: The only language that a computer understands, made out of 1’s and 0’s. All other languages need to be translated into this code to be able to execute. Hence, Machine code is the fastest language as it does not require this middle step.

Memory Utilization: Whenever a program runs, it requires some memory space within in the RAM to be able to execute quickly. This is called memory Utilization. The more efficient a program is, the less memory it will require.

OOP: Object Oriented programming, a type of programming in which everything is considered to be made out of objects. These objects contain data and a group of them interacting with each other comprise of a program.

RAM: Random access memory. Stores data that is currently in use by the operating system. Data held in the RAM is deleted when the device shuts down.

String: A string is a data type used in programming, such as an integer and floating point unit, but is used to represent text rather than numbers

Syntax: The set of rules that define how a code is written. Each programming language has it’s own unique syntax.

Syntax Error: An error thrown when there is an error within the syntax of a code.

Unicode: The ASCII encoding set, is merely a subset of Unicode. While ASCII supports the English language, Unicode has support for every language in the world. This is possible as Unicode stores many more values than ASCII, which stores just 128. 128 is hardly enough for all the alphabets, numbers and symbols in the world.