It can sometimes feel like the world of IT has its own language. Take a quick look at an IT-based job advert and you're likely to see a number of terms and phrases that you won't hear anywhere else.

Indeed, abbreviations such as HTML, SEO and CSS can seem pretty daunting to the uninitiated. However, there is no need to worry, as the vast majority of these phrases are actually a lot less complex than they sound.

Below is a list of five of the most common terms you're likely to come across in the IT world and a quick summary of what they mean.



This stands for hypertext markup language, which is the standard format for displaying information online. HTML is effectively the language that websites are written in and it tells an internet browser how the content of a site should appear.

2. SEO


SEO is the acronym for search engine optimisation, which is the process of trying to make sure a website or web page is attractive to search engines, such as Google, and will appear in their list of results.

3. CSS

This means cascading style sheets and is similar to HTML, in the sense that it's a language that determines how a website appears. However, CSS focuses on the look and feel of a site, while HTML is more geared towards static content such as text.

4. Java


Java is a computer programming language that's designed to be compatible with as many types of computer as possible. It's found on the vast majority of devices and many websites and applications won't work without it. Java is used throughout the IT industry, from smartphones and games consoles to huge data centres.

5. JavaScript


Don't let the name confuse you; JavaScript and Java are not the same thing. JavaScript is a programming language that makes web pages interactive. It's built-in to most web browsers and is used for functions such as pop-up windows, polls and online forms. 


HTML image: "HTML Code" by Marjan Krebelj © Attribution License

SEO image: "Google Main Search" by MoneyBlogNewz © Attribution License

CSS image: "CSS Poster" by Jim Whimpey © Attribution License

Java image: By Java ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Javascript image: "A Few Lines of JavaScript" by Noah Sussman © Attribution License


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