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...results in a relatively long lead time for our software products.

Should I use this expression in an article for average software developers? (i.e. an international Java magazine) Would it generally be understood?

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I think it's a business phrase more than a software-developer phrase. I'd expect the answer to whether a person is familiar with "lead time" is about the same as whether the person is familiar with, say, "deliverable". In any case, whenever there is doubt about whether a phrase will be understood, it's always safe to rephrase. –  ShreevatsaR Oct 12 '11 at 5:30
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2 Answers

I would say that most educated people, especially those used to working in project environments, will understand the term.

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This. It would be understood by almost anybody in the U.S., at least, and I'm sure by 99.9999% of those who had occasion to read a Java magazine. –  Robusto Oct 11 '11 at 13:37
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Also: software developers are usually good at groking the meaning of a word from context: if the rest of the sentence gives a few hints at what it could mean, then you should be golden. –  Joachim Sauer Oct 11 '11 at 13:49
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He did say it is an "international" magazine, so many readers are not native speakers of English. –  GEdgar Oct 11 '11 at 14:18
    
Be careful though of lead(time)/lead(metal). Supposedly Led Zeppelin made that their spelling so people would call them 'leed' Zep! –  mgb Oct 11 '11 at 19:09
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@Robusto初夢 I'm a Danish Computer Science student and have often used Java and read Java-related English articles, but I've never heard of "lead time" before. I think your assumption is a bit naive. –  kba Oct 11 '11 at 20:25
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I have been in development for about 6 years now, and I came over here to find out what lead time means.

I asked around and four other people don't know what this means. I think it is not commonly used.

From Wikipedia:

A lead time is the latency (delay) between the initiation and execution of a process.

Does it mean the same in Java?

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Where are you located? Maybe that's a factor –  simchona Oct 11 '11 at 16:32
    
Is that Java the island, or Java the programming language? –  JeffSahol Oct 11 '11 at 17:31
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