...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?

  • 1
    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. Oct 12, 2011 at 5:30

2 Answers 2


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, 2011 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. Oct 11, 2011 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, 2011 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, 2011 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, 2011 at 20:25

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?

  • 1
    Where are you located? Maybe that's a factor
    – user10893
    Oct 11, 2011 at 16:32
  • Is that Java the island, or Java the programming language?
    – JeffSahol
    Oct 11, 2011 at 17:31

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