Computer Science Term Dictionary

March 31st, 2016

An ever-growing list of words and phrases related to computer science and computer programming.



Definition: A computer science slang term to describe someone that reports or brings to attention a bug in the programming.



Definition:  A set of related objects that share common characteristics.



Origin: Short for common business oriented language, the term COBOL first appeared in 1959 and is based off of a previous programming language design created by Grace Hopper, who is known as the grandmother of COBOL.

Definition: An acronym for common business-oriented language. COBOL was created by the US Department of Defense to develop a programming language for business data processing needs. It is the second oldest high programming language.



Definition: To translate a computer program into a language that can be communicated to a computer. The act of coding is writing the systematic arrangement of symbols and statements that function as a set of instructions in a coding language or program.


Hour of Code

Origin:, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science, established the Hour of Code. Events can be held year-round, however a worldwide effort takes place each December during Computer Science Education Week.

Definition: A one-hour introduction to computer science that uses self-guided activities. Events are designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics of coding and computer science.



Origin: Developed by James Gosling and others at Sun Microsystems, and introduced to the public in 1995.  

Definition: Programming language used to create web applications and software programs.



Synonym: bean

Definition: A reusable class in the Java programming language that contains numerous objects and allows objects to be contained within a single object, called the bean. This makes it easier to share and reuse the code.



Definition: In the class-based object-oriented computer programming, and object is a combination of variables, functions, and data structures.



Synonyms: Routine, subroutine, function, subprogram

Definition:  A portion of code that is used for a specific task and can be called on and executed anywhere in a program. A procedure is created for common tasks and used rather than writing the code each time.



Origin: First developed by Guido van Rossum and released in 1991.

Definition: A general-purpose, high-level programming language. The design emphasizes code readability, and its syntax allows programmers to write concepts in fewer lines of code.

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