Welcome to Yak Shaving (& other weird words in tech)

Ever feel like there’s too much yakking going on? Need a straight-talking tech partner who won’t try to bamboozle you with tech lexicon faster than you can say Phablet? We believe that’s us – so here’s a handy list of phrases to help cut the yak, and get on with building great software.



Software that the developer has abandoned and doesn't support anymore, like a lost ship at sea.


BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

A term thrown around in the tech world to explain employees who use their own computer, mobile etc. for work.

"Thanks but I would rather BYOD and etch my meetings onto this stone than use that Blackberry"



A small app that has a limited amount of functions and isn't worth the energy it takes to open it.


Dead Tree

The shameless murder of a tree to print out an electronic file; frequently done single-sided and in full vibrant colour.


Easter Egg

Stemming from the ages-old tradition of hiding colourful eggs for children to seek out, programmers may also embed Easter Eggs in their programs for motivated non-time conscious users to find.



From an old military jargon term, this means “Fouled Up Beyond All Repair”.


GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

A European Union law drafted on April 27, 2016 and instituted on May 25, 2018. It replaces the EU Data Protection Directive, which was adopted in 1995. The primary purpose of GDPR is to protect the personal data of residents of countries within the European Union (EU). The secondary purpose is to create a lot of pretty buttons for designers to make and loopholes for marketers to find.


  1. A legendary love sick Bristol giant, who built the Avon Gorge
  2. An awesome software development company based in Bristol



A mild demonstration of pride. This subtle bragging pops up in comments on Facebook and as tweets. It's a soft pat on your own back, a way to draw attention to an accomplishment or ability. Even the humble amoungst us need to blow our own trumpet sometimes.


IoT (Internet of Things)

An umbrella term that refers to anything connected to the Internet, laptops, smartphones, tablets, cars, toothbrushes, your shoes and even maybe your brain - the list really does go on!



Developed by Sun Microsystems this programming language is a popular choice for creating web applications. Not to be confused with Java the coffee, a key ingredient in running developers using this language.



The spacing between the characters of a font. Kerning allows the characters within the font to overlap for example an A next to a V.



Stands for "Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP." Together these can be used to create a fully-functional web server.



An open source database management system. Based on the structure query language (SQL), which is used for adding, removing and modifying information in the database.

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Short for "Internet etiquette", this is the code of conduct for how all us humans behave online. As is evident by the internet at large, this is not an enforcable law.



The tech equivalent of turning it up to 11, overclocking involves increasing the clock speed of the CPU past the to the rate it was designed to run.



A phone so big that the word phone doesn't do it justice, normally requiring at least two hands to use it.

"I couldn't find a tray for our drinks but this Phablet is working nicely"



The term used to describe a standard Latin alphabet keyboard because the first six letters are Q-W-E-R-T-Y. A keyboard was originally laid out this way to reduce the jamming of typebars in typewriters.



Gemstone, song by the Kaiser Chiefs but more importantly an object-oriented programming language.


Sass (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets)

An extension of CSS providing variables and nested rules.



A standard for hardware interoperability, this was originally a type of technology without an interesting name, until someone was inspired by Rudyard Kipling to borrow from the Ballad of East and West, since it seemed that "...never the twain shall meet."



Unmounting a disk makes it inaccessible by the computer. Of course, in order for a disk to be unmounted, it must first be mounted.



This stands for "Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Netwide Index to Computerised Archives" catchy! The Veronica utility allows you to search all of the world's gopher servers using keywords. No gophers are hurt when conducting this search.


Web browser

If you're feeling unsure on what a web browser is then kudos for making it this far! Rather than the popular past time of inspecting spiders, a web browser, or "browser", is an application used to access and view all the wonderful websites the internet has to offer.

Note: watch out for rogue browsers under the guise of Internet Explorer, or IE, this beast poses as a browser but is really a panic inducing problem for everyone involved.


XML (Extensible Markup Language)

A "metalanguage" that can be used to create markup languages for specific applications.


Yak Shaving

Any apparently useless activity which, by allowing you to overcome intermediate difficulties, allows you to solve a larger problem.

"I was doing a bit of yak shaving this morning, and it looks like it might have paid off."


Zone File

A zone file is stored on a name server and provides information about one or more domain names. Each zone file contains a list of DNS records with mappings between domain names and IP addresses.