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Which of these do you feel you could confidently explain to a non-programmer?

Survey period: 11 Sep 2022 to 18 Sep 2022

"Confidently explain" meaning "explain well enough that they get the gist and could, more or less, explain it to someone else to your satisfaction"

The journey from source code, through compiler/interpreter to machine execution36257.92
How data is stored on a HDD or SSD28946.24
How RAM works27944.64
How a garbage collector works24338.88
How a buffer overrun can lead to arbitrary code execution20733.12
CPU Branch prediction9715.52
What is Quantum computing447.04
How AI works11718.72
How a database stores and organises data (any database)30949.44
I don't feel I could explain any of the above13120.96
Respondents were allowed to choose more than one answer; totals may not add up to 100%

GeneralForced, I was; Pin
Eddy Vluggen16-Sep-22 14:03
professionalEddy Vluggen16-Sep-22 14:03 
GeneralRe: Forced, I was; Pin
trønderen17-Sep-22 8:08
Membertrønderen17-Sep-22 8:08 
Generalhaving taught and mentored for 20+ years Pin
rnbergren14-Sep-22 8:24
Memberrnbergren14-Sep-22 8:24 
GeneralHow to explain management, Agile, why there are so many bugs... Pin
Marc Clifton14-Sep-22 2:18
mvaMarc Clifton14-Sep-22 2:18 
GeneralCache metaphor I used at an IBM server class PinPopular
Rich Shealer13-Sep-22 4:39
MemberRich Shealer13-Sep-22 4:39 
Back in the last century I was at an IBM server class. The subject of memory cache came up and I used this to explain the concept of cache levels.

Beer in your mouth is data in the CPU registers.
Beer in your hand is the CPU (L1) cache.
Beer in your little portable cooler next to your seat is the secondary (L2) cache.
Beer in your refrigerator is the RAM (L3) cache.
Beer in your warm garage is in RAM.
Beer at the store is on the hard disk.

GeneralRe: Cache metaphor I used at an IBM server class Pin
Gaston Verelst14-Sep-22 2:53
MemberGaston Verelst14-Sep-22 2:53 
General2006 computers, yeah, some of these, 2022 😭 Pin
maze313-Sep-22 0:46
professionalmaze313-Sep-22 0:46 
GeneralI've had to explain several of these over the years Pin
obermd12-Sep-22 6:42
Memberobermd12-Sep-22 6:42 
GeneralIt's not too difficult, provided you try to explain it in terms that they understand from the real world... Pin
OriginalGriff12-Sep-22 6:35
mveOriginalGriff12-Sep-22 6:35 
GeneralRe: It's not too difficult, provided you try to explain it in terms that they understand from the real world... Pin
Eddy Vluggen12-Sep-22 10:39
professionalEddy Vluggen12-Sep-22 10:39 
GeneralTwo important factors Pin
Fueled By Decaff12-Sep-22 4:43
MemberFueled By Decaff12-Sep-22 4:43 
GeneralRe: Two important factors Pin
alan@1st-straw.com13-Sep-22 5:00
Memberalan@1st-straw.com13-Sep-22 5:00 
GeneralOnly one thing Pin
Amarnath S12-Sep-22 3:18
professionalAmarnath S12-Sep-22 3:18 
GeneralRam vs HDD Pin
Ron Anders12-Sep-22 3:14
MemberRon Anders12-Sep-22 3:14 
GeneralRe: Ram vs HDD Pin
OriginalGriff12-Sep-22 6:19
mveOriginalGriff12-Sep-22 6:19 
GeneralDo I have to explain it correctly? Pin
musefan12-Sep-22 2:52
Membermusefan12-Sep-22 2:52 
GeneralNo way I could explain any of these Pin
Nemanja Trifunovic12-Sep-22 2:33
MemberNemanja Trifunovic12-Sep-22 2:33 
GeneralRe: No way I could explain any of these Pin
Greg Utas12-Sep-22 3:10
mveGreg Utas12-Sep-22 3:10 
GeneralRe: No way I could explain any of these Pin
BryanFazekas13-Sep-22 2:31
MemberBryanFazekas13-Sep-22 2:31 
GeneralKind of depends... Pin
Sander Rossel11-Sep-22 22:17
professionalSander Rossel11-Sep-22 22:17 
GeneralRe: Kind of depends... Pin
BryanFazekas13-Sep-22 2:40
MemberBryanFazekas13-Sep-22 2:40 

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