The first time I felt embarrassed about not knowing something in my field was back in 2000. I was a junior web developer at Partner Communications and all of a sudden wherever you went, you would hear those 3 magic letters – XML.
It took me some time to understand that XML just stood for another representation of data with no real depth involved.
At that time, IE5 was the most commonly used browser (you can guess why) and it had some built-in capabilities that used XML documents inside HTML (XML islands and XSLT) .
A decade later, XML became a popular mechanism to describe data, but back then, its use was not yet obvious.
This example emphasizes how buzzwords in the software field may be frightening in the beginning, but when you start delving into them, you usually realize that things are not as big or daunting as they seem.
Another example occurred when I was working at Internative Solutions in 2004. I became familiar with a new technology named AJAX, and was surprised to realize that except for renaming a technique we’d been using in our product for the past 3 years with a fancy name, nothing new had happened − just invoking pages asynchronously and parsing their response. The technology was already there, but a new buzzword was coined for it.
There are many other examples of alleged new innovative technologies such as Web 2.0 (remember this? it was just the concept and the grounds for Wiki platforms and sharing content over the web), YAML, JSON and some actual buzzwords such as Big Data, NoSQL, and even HTML5. I’m convinced that a lot of people are still not exactly sure what the boundaries for each one of them are.
In a dynamic world like ours, it takes some time to figure out whether a new technology is just a buzzword without anything really new behind it, or something truly innovative.
About the Author: Yossi Shirizli is the Director of R&D at Correlsense. He has over 16 years’ of hands-on managerial experience in the software development field and is responsible for all R&D activities and leads a group of three teams.