Abbreviations in Software Development

johnsalzarulo profile image John Jacob Updated on ・2 min read

One of my pet peeve's in the software world is how much we all use abbreviations. Technical or non-technical. Seems half the time we don't even know what they mean.

I've put together a reasonably complete list here of the most common ones the industry seems to use too much.

We actually walk through and explain a bunch of these in the most recent episode of our podcast — Iteration, a podcast about software development and design.

Comment below with essential ones I've missed or gotten wrong. Might turn this into a Github repo so we can try to get a source of truth around this insanity.

Technical / General Software

  • CROn: Command ron on
  • URL: Uniform Resource Locator
  • TTL: Time to Live  — Example a cache's TTL
  • DOM: Document Object Model
  • HTML: Hypertext Markup Language
  • CLI: Command Line Interface (CLI)
  • API: Application Program Interface (API)
  • TDD: Test Driven Development
  • CI: Continuous Integration (CI)
  • UX: User Experience
  • UI: User Interface
  • CSS: Cascading Style Sheets
  • IDE: Integrated Development Environment
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • TLD (Top Level Domain) (.com, .net, .car)
  • SSO Single Sign On
  • JS: JavaScript
  • AJAX Asynchronous JavaScript and XML
  • GUID Global Unique Identifier
  • GUI Graphical User Interface
  • OOP Object Oriented Programming
  • ORM Object Relational Mapping
  • DSL: Domain Specific Language
  • REGEX Regular Expression
  • PHP Personal Home Page/PHP Hypertext Preprocessor
  • REST Representational State Transfer
  • SDK Software Development Kit
  • SQL Structured Query Language
  • XML Extensible Markup Language
  • 2FA: Two factor authentication
  • DNS: Domain Name Servers
  • Web RTC — web real time communications
  • FOSS — Free Open Source Software
  • WYSIWYG: What you see is what you get
  • JSON - JavaScript Object Notation
  • TS: Type Script
  • POC : Proof of Concept

Marketing / Sales

  • CTA: CTA: Call-to-Action
  • CTR: Click-through Rate
  • CPL: Cost Per Lead
  • CPA: Cost per Action
  • CPC: Cost per click
  • PPC Pay per click
  • CR: Conversion Rate
  • CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization
  • CMS: Content Management System
  • PDP: Product Detail Page
  • PLP: Product Listing Page
  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization
  • SEM: Search Engine Marketing
  • SMM: Social Media Marketing
  • MAP (Marketing Automation Platform)
  • MQL: Marketing Qualified Leads
  • LPO (Landing Page Optimization)

Business Terms

  • KPI: Key Performance Indicators
  • OKR: Objective Key Results
  • RFP: Request for Proposal
  • IC: Individual contributor
  • P/E - Price-to-earnings ratio (How much does the stock cost vs how much does the company earn?)
  • P&L - Profit and Loss — How much money comes in the door and what they lost to get it
  • ROI - Return on Investment
  • WC - Working Capital (Liquid money to spend)
  • B2B - Business to Business
  • B2C - Business to Consumer
  • D2C - direct to consumer
  • BD - Business Development
  • QA - Quality Assurance
  • YTD: Year to Date
  • CRM: Customer Relationship Management
  • MOM: Month over Month (compares a metric over to previous month)
  • SAAS Software as a Service
  • ERP Enterprise Resource Planning
  • EPD — Engineering Product and Design
  • NDA Non-Disclosure Agreement
  • YoY Year On Year (compares a metric over to previous year)
  • RDD Requirements Definition Document
  • PRD Product Requirements Definition
  • RFQ : Request for Quotation
  • RFI : Request for Information
  • PO : Purchase Order
  • WO : Work Order
  • SKU : Stock Keeping Unit

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John Jacob


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Also a really important one is TMA: Too Many Acronyms.

Pro-tip: always try to avoid using acronyms. When you do, define it on first usage.


Couldn't agree more — God the overuse of acronyms is so frustrating. I try to always write it out at least once before using it, even casually in slack every new context.

Something like:

Our Objective Key Results (OKR's) are looking good this month, however when looking at our OKR's let's be sure we update them consistently. That way Management has good visibility of OKR progress and blockers.


My favourite is TITSUP, Total Inability To Support Usual Performance


It is great to have such a list in a commonplace. You can also consider adding the below item in your list,
JSON - JavaScript Object Notation

Typo mistakes to be fixed,
CPP -> CPC: Cost per Click
CRT -> CTR - Click Through Ratio


Cron isn't actually an acroynm, it gets its name originally from the Greek personification of time Chronus. This makes sense, as cron is a tool for running tasks at chronological intervals.


you put CRO two times but awesome bro.
really helpful..


Fixed — thanks ✔


You can also add:

KT - Knowledge Transfer
ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival


You can include these also :
POC : Proof of Concept
RFQ : Request for Quotation
RFI : Request for Information
PO : Purchase Order
WO : Work Order
SKU : Stock Keeping Unit


Really nice extensive list! You could put 'TS: TypeScript' in there too, I see that a lot.


Added — thanks ✌️


Am I the only one bothered by the column inconsistency?