Looking for some powerful, formal words with a slight negative connotation for a resume/performance assessment. The general context pertains to computer software development.

These aren't my problem areas, they are areas that were problems in someone else's work that I have identified (thus saving the day).

Here's the actual context:

Regularly conducted memory audits to identify problem areas

  • It's not clear what problem you have with the term "problem areas". You've mentioned in another comment that you problem is with the use of "areas" / locality but haven't explained why. Nor have you explained the overall context. I assume (from the reference to 'memory audits') that you are discussing computers?
    – TrevorD
    Aug 20, 2013 at 16:50
  • Yeah, sorry. This is with respect to computers/technology. I don't mind the term problem area, but I end up using it a lot. Looking for variants that have the same feeling.
    – convoke
    Aug 20, 2013 at 17:25
  • 1
    Of course, you could just say "to identify problems." (omit " area").
    – TrevorD
    Aug 20, 2013 at 17:32
  • What @TrevorD said. If "areas" is an important word here I think it needs to be retained. That's to say if the purpose of the memory audits is to identify areas where [multiple] problems occur, I don't see how OP's original can be improved on. If it's actually supposed to identify individual problems, just discard that pointless extra word. Aug 20, 2013 at 18:06
  • Welcome to the site, @convoke. Your use of tags can help those who are watching them for their areas of specialty. Enjoy! Aug 20, 2013 at 18:22

6 Answers 6


Regularly conducted memory audits to identify opportunities for improvement. Regularly conducted memory audits to identify issues that needed to be addressed.







Following your comments, if I get the drift I would propose* chink in armour. Alternatively weak area,weak spot or *blind spot*are perfectly acceptable expressions.

  • Not bad... but those are mostly just covering the "problem" half of things. A problem area is different than a problem, in my mind at least; the locality is important.
    – convoke
    Aug 20, 2013 at 16:39
  • Perhaps adding domains to the above problem identifiers, such as domains of deficits. A more esoteric verson could use locus or loci (Latin for place and places), as in loci of weaknesses.
    – bib
    Aug 20, 2013 at 16:48
  • @convoke please see the updated answer in response to your comments
    – user49727
    Aug 20, 2013 at 17:20
  • Thanks user. Chink in armour is too informal. Weak area is too similar to problem area; I'm trying to avoid doubling up on any of the words. Weak spot works, but doesn't feel powerful enough. Spot doesn't really have a strong connotation.
    – convoke
    Aug 20, 2013 at 17:30
  • I have a feeling you will like my last suggestion - blind spot
    – user49727
    Aug 20, 2013 at 17:38

You might consider a qualifier on the term technical debt, such as

Unidentified Technical Debt

This will use a term common to management, "technical debt", while also casting it in one of the most dangerous lights, misidentification.


Whenever I had to talk to parents about their children's progress in English I tried to be tactful but also honest. There are ways to soften the blow and be supportive at the same time. I hope these phrases are of help.

E.g. Computer software development is [name of employee] Achilles' heel.

(... software...) is his main/principal weakness.

(His ...) is in need of improvement/requires further attention.

(His ...) is inconsistent/unremarkable.

(His skills in ...) have been (until now) unsatisfactory/flawed/limited.

[Name of employee] needs to focus on .....

P.S: I may have completely misinterpreted the OP's question. If that is the case, if he would be so kind as to inform me and I will delete this answer.


You can use "Grey areas", "Snags", "areas for improvement", but all these depend on the context in which you intend to use this.


I use, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, suboptimal

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