Tech definitions for the 21st century

Hackterms: A crowd-sourced developer dictionary

Jane Elizabeth
© Shutterstock / GlebSStock

Keeping up with new tech terms is difficult. How can we keep from embarrassing ourselves at work? Thanks to a new crowdsourced dictionary, Hackterms, you can get the details on everything in tech directly from developers and coders.

Tech terms change at the speed of light. Sometimes, conversations at work can seem like a high stakes game of Pokémon or programming language roulette. And there’s nothing more embarrassing than having no idea what your colleagues are talking about.

Enter Hackterms. It’s a crowd sourced dictionary for tech terms, giving a succinct definition as to why, where, and when someone would use a tool, process, or language. Hackterms also goes over the pros, cons, and alternatives, as well as where this term fits in within the coding ecosystem.




Hackterms is a simple but powerful resource for beginners and experts alike. It’s impossible to know everything, and sometimes googling doesn’t help. Definitions are simple and easy to follow. Everything is submitted by the community and reviewed by a human to make sure that the definition is constructive, objective, and not offensive.

These definitions cover anything related to computer programing, from the common to ultra obscure. Here’s a short but incomplete list of what you can find on Hackterms:

  • Tools
  • Languages
  • Processes
  • Libraries
  • Frameworks
  • Data structures
  • Algorithms
  • Architecture
  • Project management jargon
  • and more!

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Obviously, programmers have personal preferences about what tools and frameworks they uses. However, Hackterms makes no judgement calls as to the superiority of one system or another.

They also don’t go over code snippets or examples. This is a dictionary, not a how-to explainer. The goal here is to provide definitions as clear and concise as possible. In the struggle between accuracy and simplicity, Hackterms goes for simplicity and high-level understanding. After all, there are a lot of other resources available online for every programming topic out there.

Interested in helping out? You’ll need to make a free account if you want to submit a definition.  But this free reference should be helpful for all developers, whether they’re just starting out or brushing up on a new skill.

Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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