Justin Kan: The Power of Vocabulary
When designing a new program, you are forced to come up with names for everything on the backend. Those names then tend to bleed into to common usage among the team, even though there might not be any particular reason to be consistent. For example, at Justin.tv, since we designed the system around streams of live video, we ended up with Users and Channels. When we started saving video for playback later, we naturally called these videos Archives. Now, when we talk about video, we talk about archived vs live, all because of the names we picked to describe objects in the database six years ago. […]
I think having a unique vocabulary has a positive effect towards group cohesiveness.
I’ve noticed this same effect, and that it ends up being a good thing for culture, at every company I have worked with. It’s similar to having a series of inside jokes. At best, the custom
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