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I.T. as...A Second Language

15 Oct, 2008 By: Carla Nasse imageSource

I.T. as...A Second Language

IT may be the only entity to have more acronyms
than the Federal Government. That’s a bold statement, but one I’ll stand by. 
IT can be so foreign to many of us, it’s like learning another language. So for
those who are conversationally challenged when it comes to the IT language, this
is your short course – IT as a Second Language.

To start this “course” you need not have an IT background, but a little
knowledge is helpful.  You will primarily need a sense of humor and the ability
to have some fun. Now let’s get started.

A few of the grammatical rules in the IT language consist of common sense. If
an acronym ends in p, it most likely stands for protocol. IT sentences are often
times structured as English, but be aware. Just as there are differences between
British English and American English, there are differences within IT English. 

Now for your unofficial and very abbreviated English to IT language
translation reference:

- Third Generation Language

A+ - Certification from CompTIA that validates the skills and
knowledge of a PC repair technician. It is no longer the grade you received for
showing up for gym class.

AARP- AppleTalk Address Resolution Protocol is used to map between the
physical hardware addresses of computers and their temporarily assigned
AppleTalk network addresses. Translated, AARP is no longer the membership that
tells you that you’re in the back half of middle-age.

ACL- Access Control List is a table or list of permissions that tells
the computer’s operating system who is allowed to view a document, log onto a
computer or website, etc. It isn’t the ligament you tore when playing a
basketball pick-up game down at the park.

ACT- Application Compatibility Toolkit is a set of freely downloadable
program utilities and related documents from Microsoft for ensuring
compatibility among application programs in Windows operating systems. 

ASCII- American Standard Code for Information Interchange

ATM- Asynchronous Transfer Mode – In American English, it’s where
money is dispensed. In IT English, it’s a high-bandwidth switching and
transmission system with fixed size packets.

Backbone - A larger transmission line that carries data gathered from
smaller lines that interconnect with it.

- The range of transmission frequencies used by a network.
Greater bandwidth allows more information to travel on the network. If the
bandwidth isn’t high enough, the system is severely slowed and can “crash.” IT
people are very sensitive about their bandwidth and the impact any additional
devices have on their bandwidth.

CAM- Client Application Enabler, Common Applications Environment or
Computer Aided Engineering.  It could be any of the 3 depending on the context .

CRM- As sales people, this is Customer Records Management. Common data
systems are ACT and Goldmine, etc.

CSR- Besides Customer Service Representative, in IT it’s Circuit
Switch Routing. It could also be Co-axial Single-Pole Relay. It’s important to
understand the context of the conversation to know which definition of the
acronym is appropriate. There are nearly 152 definitions for CSR!

DNS- The Domain Naming System translates web addresses (domain names)
into the numerical address that is understood by a computer. Remember, computers
only work in zeros and ones.

Gb- Gigabit is 1,024 megabits or “one billion bits of information.”

GB- Gigabyte is 1,024 megabytes or “one billion characters of
information.”  It’s important to note that capitalizing the acronym’s  “b” to
“B” alters the meaning.

GUI- Graphical User Interface (pronounced goo-ey). Not just describing
good s’mores, it covers multiple user interfaces.

ITIL-The Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a hot term
in  IT right now. It’s a set of standards/ best practices for organizing IT
(day-to-day operations).  These professionals are in high demand today.

ISDN-Integrated Service Digital Network, although in some IT circles
it’s translated as “It Still Does Nothing.”

SOA- Service Oriented Architecture has evolved from SAAS (Software as
a Service) and web services.

This is a short list but it makes the point. Learn the difference between
language and protocol - there are no real shortcuts!

Carla Nasse is a member of CompTIA who helped develop the PDI+ certification for the document
technology channel. She specializes in IT training and consulting.

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