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Home  > Article

Learn the Words that Make Technology Tick

By Matt O'Brien

Learn the lingo used in the technology industry.

IT (Information Technology)

A field that deals with computers and software, and that directs the managing and processing of information and technology.

ICT (Information and Communication Technology)

An umbrella term that covers any communication device or application, including radio, TV, cell phones, and satellite systems along with services like video-conferencing and distance-learning. ICTs are often referenced in terms of particular industries, like education, healthcare or libraries.

Silicon Valley

Geographically, Silicon Valley in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay, but the name usually refers to the area's high concentration of technology-related businesses.? Thousands of tech companies are headquartered in the Valley, including big-name firms like Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Google, and eBay. This is a great place to look for a tech job.


Computer security borrows this term from firefighting, where a firewall is a barrier that is created to prevent the spread of fire. A network firewall protects the resources of a private network from users from other networks.


A start-up company is a young firm with new and experimental ideas. This type of company is very common in the technology industry. Entrepreneurs often found start-ups with money from venture capital firms who own a piece of the company. These start-ups are high-risk/high-reward organizations and fail more often than they succeed.?

Storage Management v. Asset Management

These terms describe distinct job functions for a person working in IT. Storage management refers to the responsibility for managing, maintaining and recovering a company's assets with regards to data, whereas asset management has to do with purchasing and maintaining a company's hardware resources (computers, servers, printers, monitors, etc).

Dot-com bubbleand burst

The dot-com bubble refers to the period just before the turn of the millennium when speculative investing poured enormous sums of money into the technology industry.? The optimism surrounding the boom caused tech companies to throw out standard business models and forget traditional financial indicators.? Unfortunately, the bubble burst in 2001, leading to a nationwide recession and even bigger losses in the tech industry.

ISV (Independent Software Vendor)

An ISV makes and sells software products that run on operating system platforms like Microsoft, IBM and Apple. Those big name companies sometimes partner with ISVs for applications that will add value to their platforms. The big guys make applications, too, but they often don't have the resources to make them all.

Open Source

Open source refers to any program whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. Recently very trendy, open source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available. For example: Wikipedia.

CIO (Chief Information Officer)

The head of the IT department of a company.? Some consider this the pinnacle of geekdom. They might be right.

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