This is a survey on the theory of skew-cyclic codes based on skew-polynomial rings of automorphism type. Skew-polynomial rings have been introduced and discussed by Ore (1933). Evaluation of skew polynomials and sets of (right) roots were first considered by Lam (1986) and studied in great detail by Lam and Leroy thereafter. After a detailed presentation of the most relevant properties of skew polynomials, we survey the algebraic theory of skew-cyclic codes as introduced by Boucher and Ulmer (2007) and studied by many authors thereafter. A crucial role will be played by skew-circulant matrices. Finally, skew-cyclic codes with designed minimum distance are discussed, and we report on two different kinds of skew-BCH codes, which were designed in 2014 and later.