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English for Information Technology

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Computer specialists develop and maintain the computer equipment and software programs that form the basis of the Internet. They make up the majority of professional and related occupations, and account for about 34 percent of the industry as a whole. Computer programmers write, test, and customize the detailed instructions, called programs or software, that computers follow to perform various functions such as connecting to the Internet or displaying a Web page. Using programming languages such as C++ or Java, they break down tasks into a logical series of simple commands for the computer to implement.

Computer software engineers analyze user needs to formulate software specifications, and then design, develop, test, and evaluate programs to meet these requirements. While computer software engineers must possess strong programming skills, they generally focus on developing programs, which are then coded by computer programmers.

Computer systems analysts develop customized computer systems and networks for clients. They work with organizations to solve problems by designing or tailoring systems to meet unique requirements and then implementing these systems. By customizing systems to specific tasks, they help their clients maximize the benefit from investment in hardware, software, and other resources.

Computer support specialists provide technical assistance to users who experience computer problems. They may provide support either to customers or to other employees within their own organization. Using automated diagnostic programs and their own technical knowledge, they analyze and solve problems with hardware, software, and systems. In this industry, they connect with users primarily through telephone calls and e-mail messages.

Essential English for Information Technology

List of the Top 200 Information Technology Vocabulary

Speak about development needs using modals

Examples:

Our portal needs an SQL backend.
The landing page should inlude blog posts and an RSS feed.
Users can access use the tag cloud to find content.

Speak about probable causes

There must have been a bug in the software.
We can't have used that platform.
They might test our product if we ask.

Speak about hypotheses (if / then)

Examples:

If the zipcode textbox is required for registration, users outside the US won't be able to join.
If we used C++ to code this project, we would have to hire some developers.
Our UI would have been much more simple if we had used Ajax.

Speak about quantities

Examples:

There a lot of bugs in this code.
How much time will it take to ramp up this project?
Our client has a few comments about our mockup.

Distinguish between countable and uncountable nouns

Examples:

Information (uncountable)
Silicon (uncountable)
Chips (countable)

Write / give instructions

Examples:

Click on 'file' -> 'open' and choose your file.
Insert your user ID and password.
Create your user profile.

Write business (letters) e-mails to clients

Examples:

Writing e-mails
Writing memos
Writing reports

Explain past causes for current situations

Examples:

The software had been installed incorrectly, so we reinstalled in order to proceed.
We were developing the code base when we were put on the new project.
The legacy software had been in place for five years before the new solution was designed.

Ask questions

Examples:

Which error message do you see?
How often do you need to reboot?
Which software were you using when the computer screen froze?

Make suggestions

Examples:

What don't you install a new driver?
Let's create a wireframe before we go any further.
How about creating a custom table for that task?

Information Technology Related Dialogues and Reading

Hooking Up My Computer
Hardware Deductions
Social Networking Sites

Information technology job description provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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