Recently at a job interview, I mentioned that I taught myself modern OpenGL and rendering with vertex buffer objects because my university only taught the fixed function pipeline with immediate mode rendering at the time. The interviewer briefly interrupted me to say that VBOs have effectively been replaced by something called "zero state rendering" and then let me continue.
I forgot to ask later on about what that meant, because we quickly moved onto different subjects and the interviewer had run out of time at the end due to a busy schedule.
Later, I searched online for "OpenGL zero state" and "zero state rendering" with no results that seemed relevant, mostly just things about the OpenGL state.
The organization in question is very heavily research based, so is there a chance that it is an extension with currently little support, or that the terminology used varies due to it's cutting edge nature?