Technology Terminology - Does It Really Matter?


It was just last year I came to know that this dog breed name is 'PUG'.  And you know what I used to call this dog before?........... Yes, 'Vodafone wala kutta' :). To those who did not understand this - This dog has become famous in India after Vodafone/ Hutch has released so many advertisements featuring a boy and this dog, the boy's best friend who follows him everywhere. You can see that beautiful Ad here. So after watching this Ad, people started calling it as 'Vodafone wala kutta' ( Vodafone's Dog ).

You must now be wondering why am I saying this now... Well, I encountered a similar situation a few days back when a friend of mine asked a question:

Can you tell me any one Niladic function in SQL Server? 

He asked me another question when I didn't respond - 

Can you atleast tell me any one Variadic function in SQL Server?

I just didn't get what he was asking until he said CURRENT_TIMESTAMP is a Niladic function and COALESCE(..,..,..) is a Variadic function.

These are the technical definitions I found after a quick google search,

  1. Niladic functions are functions that do not accept any parameters, are specified without parentheses
  2. Variadic functions are functions (e.g. printf) that take a variable number of arguments

Okay, so he is right. But does that mean I don't know these functions? NO. I have been using these functions for many years. It's just that I call these functions with a different name (Timestamp function and Coalesce function).

So, the point I am trying to make is, IT IS OKAY NOT TO REMEMBER THE TECHNICAL TERMS as long as you know the concepts and the usage/applicability.

And my sincere request to those friends/ colleagues/ interviewers out there is... Please try to detail/ explain/ elaborate your question when the other person does not understand this technical jargon.

Your comments are always welcome :)