Breaking down tech lingo for beginners

February 5, 2023

Tech lingo can be very confusing if you're coming from a different industry (I feel your pain my teachers, healthcare professionals, etc.). Here's an attempt to demystify it a bit, and something we'll be spending more time on teaching at School16.

Welcome to the world of tech acronyms

SEO, PPC, SEM, CRM, CMS, ERP, DM, etc. Tech companies love using them.

They can be used to reference internal software, methodologies, internal processes, and more. A lot of this will be learned on the job, but a quick hack not to feel lost when you hear it for the first time in an interview is to start writing down all of the acronyms you find in a job post, and Google it.

If you're interested in working as a marketer, and you even have a surface level understanding of SEM (Search Engine Marketing) you'll know enough to feel confident in an interview.

To keep your learning focused, only worry about learning acronyms that pertain to the job you want to get.

So, for a marketer knowing the difference between SEM and SEO is important, for a sales professional understanding the importance of a CRM should be the focus.

The best way to learn is to prioritize what's most relevant to you first, and ignore the rest.

Internal Software Tools

Every company runs on dozens of tools, and some of those tools have more than one name.

When you're starting off this can be incredibly frustrating, but don't worry about learning all of this before you even interview for a role.

Every business is different, so you'll be wasting your time.

Something you learn for one company will not transfer to another, so get comfortable with your ignorance and make sure you prioritize learning it in your first 30 days on the job.

If you feel embarrassed asking someone internally about it, just find someone in the org that's only been there a few months and ask away. They just went through the same exact thing as you, and will empathize.

Tech company job titles

Check out this recent post where I break down some common tech company titles.

But remember, oftentimes companies use totally different titles to mean the same thing. BDR (Business Development Rep) is the same thing as an SDR (Sales Development Rep). Account Executive is the same thing as Sales Rep.

So, instead of learning every single title, focus on the keywords you might find in a job description to understand the plethora of job titles that are out there.

For example, almost every sales job will have "client" or "sell" or "call" or "email" in the job description. Start searching for roles based on the keywords you're likely to find in the description to study them, instead of trying to guess the 10 different titles that might apply to the same position.

I'll be discussing tech lingo more in future posts!

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