On the Internet, buzz words are jargon thrown around by people who have a very narrow understanding of their actual meanings. Although I’m not the most seasoned developer around, in my experience of not living underneath a rock, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing these types of words be used like a delusional, conservative Republican nut-job. You can already guess who I’m supporting for in the upcoming U.S. election even though I am not Amurrrican.

These are some of the buzz words I have come across and the ridiculous contexts I have heard them in:

CSS (Cascading Style Sheet)

I’ve heard things from “OMG, your CSS is so prettayyy” to “I provide a lot of high-quality CSS layouts”. If you of course insert the meaning of the acronym into these sentences, you will see how “buzzed” this word has become. Why can’t people just understand that CSS is just a type of file that contains a set of elements and rules to format a web page? Saying CSS layouts, for instance, is just unintentionally redundant. There is a correlation between people who say this and hideous, unbearable CSS design. Just sayin’.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

I remember looking at a resume and seeing the line, “I can SEO”. What the hell, it’s a noun! I’ve noticed that a lot of buzz words are used as verbs. In the businesses that use them, there’s always that emphasis of being “over 9000 productive”. If you want to work for them, all you really have to do is throw around buzz words like nobody’s business. There was a particular experience I had when a client asked me to do SEO. In all honesty, I am familiar with the techniques that are employed, but frankly, I do not have the working experience to do it myself. When I had informed them of this downfall, their response was something along the lines of, “We want SEO, we want our site to appear on Google.” That has got to be the most watered down, soggy understanding of the term! To be fair, they had no technical knowledge whatsoever… To reiterate the point, SEO is more than just employing Google Analytics. There’s Mixpanel, Omniture, the list goes on… SEO involves scripts that allow search engines to pick up on keywords and the analysis of indexed pages.

CMS (Content Management System)

CMS is an umbrella term for a variety of systems that allow users to modify information on their website via an administrative panel. There are a lot of people who believe this is limited to blogging systems like WordPress or Textpattern. I’ve seen people claim expertise with CMS, when really they only experience they have is modifying a theme on WordPress and blogging about how skilled they are. They fail to realize that CMS is just a general term for whatever products a company, business, or person uses to update their content. For instance, there’s Desire2Learn which allows university and college professors and instructors to post course material and interact with their students. Then there’s Netsuite which is used by businesses to manage orders, inventory, and tasks. There are many applications for CMS out there and it’s a shame that there are people who restrict it to blogging ones.

These were the top 3 buzz word annoyances I could easily rant on about haha. I hope more people take the initiative to learn about these terms and what they really mean. There was a time when I used to throw buzz words around like the uncoordinated person I am. It’s not only valuable for finding work, it’s also valuable to be well-informed. You know, humans have this pursuit of knowledge thing we always strive for 😛

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