Glossary of terms


This is a glossary of terms you might hear working at Sourcegraph. Although we try to minimize the use of acronyms, they do appear from time to time and this can be a helpful resource to figure out what people are talking about. In your day to day, try to avoid using them, or at least explain them the first time you use them.

Technical terms

GQLGraphQL (a type of API, sort of like HTTP or Rest APIs)
VSCEVS Code Extension, referring to either the Sourcegraph integration extension for the VS Code IDE, or the Microsoft tool called ‘vsce’ used to publish extensions
BextBrower extension, sometimes pronounced literally as “bext” or “baxt”
LSIFLanguage Server index Format, a specification created by Microsoft which Sourcegraph uses to provide code intelligence.
RFCRequest for comments
RFHRequest for help
RCERemote code execution (a security vulnerability)
MSPManaged Services Platform. The standardized tooling and infrastructure for deploying and operating managed Sourcegraph services.
SAMSSourcegraph Accounts Management System. The centralized accounts system for all of the Sourcegraph-operated systems.
SSCSelf-Serve Cody. The system that lets PLG customers sign up for Sourcegraph and manage their subscription.
SSRFServer side request forgery (a security vulnerability)
SEOSearch engine optimization, making Google understand our web pages better
SSBCServer-side batch changes. Large scale code refactoring that runs as part of the Sourcegraph server, rather than on a developer’s laptop.
POCProof of concept
PRPull request, where code is sent to be reviewed before becoming a part of the product
TODOA note left in the code as a comment indicating something we should do
DFSDamn Fine Source code
Easy stamp, stamp pleaseChange that needs approval but not review
CIContinuous Integration, a server that runs our tests and ensures things are not broken. Often stated as “CI is failing” and “CI is slow”
DogfoodEither (the “dogfood” instance) or just saying “we should try what we built” in general
devSomeone who can barely write code, but does so professionally
k8sKubernetes, a thing for deploying software across multiple computers. The “8” is because there are 8 characters between the letter K and s. Kubernetes
a11yAccessibility, the “11” is because there are 11 characters between the letter A and Y. accessibility
i18nInternationalization, like having the UI show in multiple languages.
GCPGoogle Cloud Platform, servers hosted on Google’s cloud
AWSAmazon Web Services, servers hosted on Amazon’s cloud
SMTPSimple Mail Transfer Protocol, email server protocol
IMAPInternet Message Access Protocol, email server protocol
IDEIntegrated Developer Environment, the text editor people use to write code
HGHorse Graph
StandupEveryone sits down for 15/30/60m and says what they are doing. Sometimes they just type it.
pgsql/psqlPostgres database
MVPMinimum viable product, the bare minimum needed to see a feature working for example. Think “very early stages, experimental”
MVCModel-View-Controller frontend/JavaScript pattern. React. Google “MVC”
TDDTest driven development, you write the tests before you write the code that would pass the tests.
APIApplication programming interface; like when your browser makes a request to your bank’s web server to send money
DOMDocument Object Model, a tree of buttons/text/etc that are displayed in browsers. “The DOM” refers to all the stuff making up the web page.
LOCLines of code
LOELevel of effort
FSMFinite-state machine. An abstract machine that can be in exactly one of a finite number of states at any given time. See
airgapped instanceSelf-hosted customer instance that does not allow any outbound network requests; offline to any external network requests.
private instanceSelf-hosted customer instance that does not share telemetry data (to be enforced via license tagging); does allow outbound network requests.
airgapped code hostA code host that is physically isolated from the internet. For example, the code host is deployed on hardware (server) that is within the customers’ office/private data center and the only way to connect to this code host is to be physically connected to this air-gapped network; a user has to be within the office and be connected to the air-gapped office network via ethernet cable of wi-fi.
private code hostA code host deployed in a private network (for example AWS EC2 instance within VPC).
public code hostA code host that is publicly accessible on the internet - a user can CURL it via IP or open the URL in the browser. This also includes a code host with a public interface but restricts access to IP allowlist.
KTLMKeeping The Lights On, time set aside during each product cycle for handling bug reports, user feedback, general maintenance, dealing with tech debt, etc.

Business terms

CACCustomer acquisition cost (how much $ spent to win a new customer)
ICPIdeal customer profile (the hypothetical perfect customer for your organization; lists all of the qualities that make them the best fit for the solutions you provide.)
LCVLifetime customer value (the total revenue a customer will generate for a business throughout the relationship)
B2BBusiness to business, i.e. we sell to other businesses
B2CBusiness to consumer, i.e. we sell directly to individual consumers
GAGeneral availability, either “lol we shipped to prod” (unusual?) or “it was approved by marketing, legal, product, there were design docs, etc.”
ROIReturn on investment
WoWWeek over week, “We currently have 2% WoW revenue growth” means that last week had 2% more revenue than the previous week.
First quarter of the year. At Sourcegraph, we use a fiscal year that is offset from the calendar year.
Fiscal Year 2022. BEWARE - means the first quarter of 2021 not 2022
NPS scoreOne of those “please rate our product on a scale of 1-10” things. Google it for more info.
ARRAnnual Recurring Revenue - if we have a contract with a customer over any timeframe, how much we get in a one year period.
IARRThe change in ARR from one period to another.
New IARRIARR, but only including new customers
Expansion IARRIARR from customers who we already had at the start of the period
BookingA customer committed to paying us money, a new customer signing a contract, a contract signed to expand the number of seats, etc.
APAccounts Payable, i.e. our own bills we can pay right now
ACVAnnual Contract Value. The ACV sales metric enables businesses to track the value of individual customer contracts over a year. Basically, it’s the average annual dollar amount a contract is worth, excluding any one-time fees or purchases.
ARAccounts Receivable, bills customers should pay to us
Cash, AR, AP, Accruals, and Deferred RevenueVery specific terms defined here
CLAContributor license agreement, non-employees must sign this before contributing code
UXUser experience, the experience a user would have going through a flow for example
UIUser interface, how buttons look, the layout, etc.
SaaSSoftware as a service
PQLProduct Qualified lead
PLGProduct led growth
MQLMarketing qualified lead
SLAService level agreement
GolinkCanonical, internal-only link for a piece of information in the form of “go/…” link (ex. go/glossary)
EOQEnd Of Quarter
KTLOKeep The Lights On. The minimum engineering maintenance work required to keep the product running and keep customers happy.
OTEOn-Target-Earning. An individual’s compensation package is composed of base pay and/or commission. Where applicable, OTE is the total compensation an individual can expect to earn if they achieve all of their targets. For individuals without commission, this is just their salary.
OTIOn-Target-Incentive. Specifically the commission or incentive portion of an individual’s compensation package. Where applicable, Base Salary + OTI = OTE.

Role terms

EPDEngineering, Product, Design - refers to the department that includes those three teams.
AEAccount executive - responsible for maintaining an enterprise customer account and our relationship with them
CECustomer Engineer, e.g. pre-sales engineer
IEImplementation Engineer
TATechnical Advisory, e.g, post-sales customer success
SESupport engineer
SDRSales Development reps - focused on reaching out to customers, determining if they’re good leads to follow up on
MBAMaster of Business Administration - a degree, not to be confused with the NBA which is a basketball team
GTMGo to market
EMEngineering manager
PMProduct manager
PDProduct designer
POPurchase order
ICIndividual contributor, not managing other people. Still works on a team with other ICs.
Releases team (formerly Release Guild)A captain of releasing the product, drives releases, gathers and informs others about the release, helps test the release, fixes and discovers issues in the release before it goes out.
DevRelDeveloper relations, they post on Hacker News, Reddit, and Twitter about how cool we are. They give talks and go to conferences
DevInfraDeveloper infrastructure, improving lives of devs working on sourcegraph
People opsThe HR department, scheduling interviews etc.
Biz opsBusiness operations, like financial modeling, managing legal aspects, etc
IT tech opsIT team, if you have laptop issues or need to order a computer
OpsOperations (includes Finance, Accounting, Legal, People, Data & Analytics, Strategy, and Tech Ops)
DRIDirectly responsible individual, the “one true owner” of something

General terms

PTALPlease take a look
LGTMLooks good to me
SGTMSounds good to me
IIUCIf I understand correctly
ICYMIIn case you missed it
NBDNo big deal / not a big deal
AFAIKAs far as I know
LFGLooking for Gutekanst - sometimes Looking for Group
YAGNIYou aren’t gonna need it

Developer lingo for non-developers: a guide

This guide is made to define and explain many of the terms that are commonplace in conversations at the Sourcegraph office but not necessarily outside of it. The goal of this guide is to break down these terms in a way that your average person can comprehend, at least at a very high level. Think of this as an “intro to dev-speak” :)


The simplest form of computer code or programming data. It is a series of 1s and 0s that makes up the “language” that computers understand. It’s also used to refer to a pre-compiled executable program. Source code is generally compiled into a binary to be executed on specific operating systems.


The fundamental component of a computer program that is created by a developer. It can be read and understood by a human and then translated into machine language (binary machine code).

Humans don’t usually write in the language that computers understand since it’s just a series of 1s and 0s. Instead they write in different programming languages that can be “translated” to instructions a computer can understand.

Programming Language

Language used by developers involving certain vocabulary and set of grammatical rules for instructing a computer to perform specific tasks. (examples: Go, JavaScript, Python, and many more). Basically, it’s a type of language used by developers to make a computer do what they want.


A compiler takes computer programs written in a programming language and converts them into machine language that a computer can understand and run.

For example, if you’re traveling to France, but you only speak English, you will have to figure out how to communicate in French. You will probably need some sort of translator (a friend, a book, an app, etc.) to translate your words from English to French. Compilers “translate” what developers write in a programming language to binary– a language that computers understand.

Open Source

In software, open source code is any publicly accessible code/project/design that can be read and modified and redistributed for any personal, commercial or educational use.

For example, if you have a recipe for cookies that you want to share with others, so you share it in a public blog– anyone now has the ability to read it, make it, and modify it for whatever they want.


A code editor is a text editor program specifically made for editing code of computer programs by developers. It may be a standalone application or it may be built into an integrated development environment (IDE) or web browser.

Basically, it’s the environment where developers write code. Similar to how someone can use Google Docs or Microsoft Word to write and edit an essay.

IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

A software development tool that is similar to an editor, but has other necessary tools (debugger, tester, compiler, etc.) integrated.

Imagine a Google Doc that has tools built in for error detection, previews, and language translation.

Code Host

A service like GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket which provides storage and remote access to code. It’s basically where your code lives.

Version Control

A system that tracks changes to a document or project over time in an orderly and systematic way.

This is similar to how a Google Doc allows you to review a document’s history (see what changes occurred, who made which changes, etc.) Version control provides the ability to “time travel” and restore previous versions of the document in case something went wrong with one of the changes.


A version control system, developed for the maintenance of code with particularly strong support for simultaneous efforts by many developers.


This is the file outlining the project and is written by the project developers for others to read. It is comparable to a “front page” of a project, where the project is outlined and described by those that worked on it.


A report of a possible problem with a project or piece of software. (Just like a real issue!) It is something of concern that you want to flag so it can be corrected.

Pull Request (AKA “PR”)

A request in GitHub for someone else to review your work for any possible errors or flaws before finalizing changes. For example, if you had written an article, and you were almost ready to publish it but first you wanted someone else to review it. They would have the option to provide feedback through comments or approve it for publishing.


The act of taking a series of changes in a document or project (commits, for Git) in a branch and applying them to the existing repository. Generally, merging happens once your pull request has been approved.


In Git, a single set of changes. This is how you store changes in your repository.

Repository (AKA “repo”)

A collection of (usually related) source code and other files, plus the history of those files. It is a location for your project, similar to a Google Drive folder that stores related documents in one place.


A specific series of changes in a repository, usually used to isolate changes during their development. Branching lets you make changes, test them in a staging area, then merge them into the “main branch” (the “live” part of your code).

Main Branch

The primary branch of a repository, usually holding the actively-developed product and working of features (non-working versions tend to stay in branches). This is the “live” part of a project that can be viewed by the public. Sometimes referred to as the “master” branch.


A copy of a repository, including its full history. Similar to a copy of a Google Doc with all its revision history.


Making of a new repository which starts as a clone of an existing repository. Usually used to create changes for submission back to the repository, but also used to make a version that has changes that the original repository’s owner won’t include.

For example, if you took a Google Doc template and made a copy of it so you could use it and edit it, but you also altered the original template to add things the original template didn’t include.


A word which simply means that you make a feature or product available to customers.


A word to describe the act of using your own feature or product. Software is often deployed internally for employees to use before going live for customers.


A text markup language to allow plain text to convert to styled text using common conventions, such as _ italics _ or ~~ strikethrough ~~ It’s just a shortcut to edit text (bolding, italicizing, underlining, etc.) without having to click the buttons on a toolbar.

Command Line (AKA “terminal”)

A text-based interface for controlling computers by issuing textual commands. Basically, it’s a place where you can enter commands for your computer to execute.

API (Application Programming Interface)

An API allows a piece of software to interact with another piece of software.


A computer (virtual or physical) that runs services and/or “serves information” to other computers. It could also refer to an instance of a computer program. There are several different kinds of servers (application server, web server, cloud server, etc.).


Early Access Program: a software feature or product shared privately, most often with a small set of NDA’d customers.