Decoding the Language of Software Engineer

07 April 2023 Alejandro Acosta

Decoding the Language of Software Engineers

As a software engineer, I know that sometimes my technical jargon can be confusing to those outside of the field. Here are some common phrases I use and what I really mean:

"It's a non-trivial amount of work" = This task will take significant effort and cannot be accomplished quickly or easily.

"This is a temporary solution" = This solution will work for now, but it will need to be replaced with a better one in the future.

"I'll be finished by Monday" = I will complete the task as soon as possible, but I cannot guarantee an exact timeline.

"That's funny" = I'm not sure what you mean, can you please explain?

"Do you want it done fast or do you want it done right?" = If I prioritize speed, there may be errors or issues. If I prioritize quality, it may take longer to complete.

"Just file a bug" = Please report the issue you're experiencing so that I can investigate and fix it.

"That's an expansion of scope" = That feature was not included in the original plan and will require additional time and resources to implement.

"I can't realistically estimate that" = I am not confident in my ability to provide a precise timeline for completing this task.

"I fixed the bug" = The issue is resolved, but I'm not entirely sure what caused it in the first place.

"I don't think users will care about that" = This particular feature is not a priority for our users and may not be worth implementing.

"I need to check the documentation" = I have no idea how this works.

"We need to optimize for mobile" = The website is not mobile-friendly and needs to be updated.

"We're working on a fix" = The software is broken and we're trying to figure out how to patch it.

"We need to decouple this code" = The code is too tightly integrated and needs to be separated for better modularity.

"Let's phase 2 that" = We're never going to do that.

"We are focusing on high-priority fixes only" = We're not going to fix anything that isn't critical.

"We have a lot of technical debt" = We've been cutting corners for a while, and now we're paying the price.