Microspeak: Cadence

Raymond Chen

Originally, the term cadence meant the rate at which a regular event recurs, possibly with variations, but with an overall cycle that repeats. For example, the cadence for team meetings might be “Every Monday, with a longer meeting on the last meeting of each month.”

Project X is on a six-month release cadence, whereas Project Y takes two to three years between releases.

Q: What was the cadence of email requests you sent out to drive contributions?

A: We started with an announcement in September, with two follow-up messages in the next month.

In what I suspect is a case of I want to use this cool word other people are using, even though I don’t know exactly what it means, the term has been applied more broadly to mean schedule or timeline, even for nonrecurring events. Sample usage: “What is our cadence for making this available outside the United States?”


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