BCS Glossary of Computing, 14th edition

BCS Academy Glossary Working Party

Published by

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT




Reviewed by

Dean Burnell, MBCS


8 out of 10

The BCS Glossary of Computing was first produced in 1977 as a resource for schools. It continues to this day (this is the 14th edition) and is a key reference resource for students of Computing. It is aimed at those studying for computing or industry qualifications at secondary school level (GCSE and A level). It has also achieved wide acceptance in higher education.

The book contains over 3,400 terms, describing how computer systems are used, what they are made of, how they are developed, and how they work.

It is divided into 6 sections:

Overview - including introduction of key terms used in computing, basic computer science concepts, and the systems lifecycle.

Concepts - including networking, modelling, artificial intelligence and professionalism and ethics.

Programming - including syntax, testing and flow of execution.

Data - including storage and representation.

Hardware - including machine architecture, memory, truth tables and logic gates.

Effective use of computer applications - including spreadsheets, word processing and user interfaces.

The glossary aims to be an accessible and ‘plain English’ guide, and it assumes no prior knowledge of computing. It includes a useful index and helpful reference sections including everything from common file extensions to geographical domain extensions to an ASCII code reference. It also includes a wide range of diagrams and photos which help to further explain the concepts introduced in the text. I tested the content using a number of key concepts from my university days, as well as some new terms and concepts which have emerged over the last 10 years and was impressed by the coverage, depth and breadth of the material in this book. I can’t help but admire the achievement of the authors in providing accessible coverage of such a wide field. I feel this book is reasonably priced and an essential addition to the computing student’s bookshelf.

Further information: BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

March 2017