Glossary

  • 18F - 18F develops partnerships with agencies to help them deliver exceptional digital experiences that address their strategic initiatives. They also aim to strengthen government technology practices in ways that last beyond their formal partnerships. 18F is a division within TTS.

  • 2FA - Two-factor authentication: entering a second, temporary code in addition to a username and password. 2FA provides added security when logging in to programs, like GitHub, remotely.

  • 508 - The federal regulation that requires government IT projects be accessible to people with disabilities.

  • API - Application programming interface. Think of them as a way for computers to interact, either internally or between one another. If you wanted to make a website that shows the current temperature wherever you are, your code talks to one API to get your location, then another to find out the weather in that area.

  • ATO - Authority to Operate. It’s a sign-off from an authorized agency official for a website to be allowed to engage with citizens, including security and some other stuff.

  • AWS - Amazon Web Services. When we make websites, this is where they all live. Read easy-to-understand descriptions of the different pieces here.

  • AWS - Alternative Work Schedule. Working eight, 10-hour days or working nine, nine-hour days in a pay period.

  • Back end developer - The people who write the code for the parts of a web site you don’t see, working in programming languages like Ruby, Python, or NodeJS. They work on pieces of the application that, for example:
    • Generate shopping recommendations
    • Gather all of the information for search to work
    • Trigger emails being sent
  • CHRIS – GSA’s Comprehensive Human Resources Integrated System was an e-Tool that enabled employees to access their personnel files online. GSA now uses HRLinks.

  • CoEs – The Centers of Excellence accelerate the modernization of IT infrastructure across government by leveraging private sector innovation and existing government services, and by centralizing best practices and expertise. The CoEs are a division within TTS.

  • Dev - someone who does software development. A “coder.”

  • Dogfooding - To “eat your own dog food.” For our purposes, this means using the things we build.

  • ENT - Your username and password (which are called “credentials”) for doing things like:
    • Dell computer log on
    • GSA two-factor authentication
    • BookIT
    • Logging on to gsa-wireless
  • Front end developer - The people who work on the parts of the site that you see, making the page look the way it’s supposed to, have buttons in the right places, etc. They write HTML, CSS, and usually JavaScript (though it can be anywhere from “I’ve copied-and-pasted a couple of things” to expert).

  • Full stack developer - Someone who does both front end and back end development.

  • GCIMSGSA Credential and Identity Management System, a GSA internal web database that provides authoritative information on GSA personnel, work locations and credentials. GCIMS also stores your contact information, so you may need to update that from time to time.

  • GDS - the UK’s Government Digital Services are government pioneers and fellow technologists across the pond.

  • GitHub - A website to help people collaborate to build software. It’s a tool that can be used for finding projects, proposing fixes, having discussions, and more.

  • Grok - To fully understand something.

  • HR Links - HR Links is GSA’s system for HR actions, including requesting leave and managing performance review documents.

  • IAA - Interagency agreement. A contract between federal agencies.

  • MOA - The Memorandum of agreement, created between GSA and FAS establishes us through 2018.

  • MOU - Memorandum of understanding.

  • OLU - On-Line University, where our agency’s mandatory training classes are hosted.

  • OPP - The Office of Products and Programs helps the public use and understand government, and helps agencies understand and serve the public. To achieve this, they create, discover, connect and share practical solutions and products that transform government. OPP is a division within TTS.

  • OTP - One-time password. In Atlanta, this refers to “outside the perimeter,” as opposed to ITP (inside the perimeter).

  • PIF - The Presidential Innovation Fellows program pairs innovators with top civil-servants in the highest levels of the federal government to tackle some of the biggest challenges. The PIF team is a division within TTS.

  • PII - personally identifiable information.

  • PRA - the Paperwork Reduction Act, enacted in 1980 aims to reduce the burden of federally imposed paperwork for U.S. businessess and the public.

  • SLT - Senior Leadership Team.

  • USDS - The United States Digital Service is a startup at The White House, using design and technology to deliver better services to the American people.

  • UX - User experience. Basically, this means building things with a focus on who the user is and what they want to do, rather than just what it should look like.

  • VPN - Virtual Private Network is a way to pretend that you’re on the GSA network when you’re not in a GSA building, which also makes your Internet connection more secure. It’s required for access to some GSA sites. See VMware Horizon or AnyConnect.

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