Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between Coding and Programming

Individuals who usually work in computer programming recognize the terms “coding” and “programming” as synonymous because both are often used interchangeably. You can find several forums brainstorming about the differences between the two and this is where the line gets a little blurry. The digital era is a significant shift from mechanical electronic technology to digital electronics which redefined the face of computer programming. This article explains the differences between the two terms that are often used interchangeably – Coding and Programming. They seem same to most people, but they are quite different from each other.

Difference between Coding and Programming

What is Coding?

Coding simple means writing codes and a coder is an individual who codes from one language to another.  Coding is also programming but it’s used to implement the initial steps of computer programming. The term programming is used in a much broader sense, unlike coding which basically involves writing codes in various languages as instructed. Computers don’t interact in our language; it only understands the machine code, which is the binary language. So what a coder does is translate the requirements into a language that a machine will understand. They are more of a language oriented programmers who translate logics into machine-readable codes.

 A coder produces codes at a production level which means he has to have a thorough understanding of the ABC of the language he’s writing in. However, they don’t code on their own; in fact, they receive instructions on what to do and what needs to be accomplished followed by implementation, debugging, testing, and QA. Well it’s easier to code than to program which makes the job of a coder much easier to master. These instructions are generally called “source code”. It’s just a set of written instructions a machine will easily understand. However, writing code is just one part of creating software. This is where programming comes to the picture.

What is Programming?

Programming means to program a machine or application to run without any errors. Programming is the common term used to describe the process of feeding machine with a set of instructions to perform. In simple terms, programming means perfecting a recipe – you manipulate ingredients to cook a recipe, whereas a computer manipulates data to accomplish a task following a set of commands. For instance, take a coffee machine. You can program the machine to be coffee-ready by 9:15 AM. Or take radio, for that matter; you can program the radio to play your favorite channels. Programming is the bigger picture here which involves more than just writing codes.

A programmer creates things, develops logic, and analyzes a problem. Writing code is just the beginning steps of what makes up the tasks of a programmer. While a coder codes at an intermediate level, a programmer works actively on the abstract solutions to a potential problem that may or may not pertain along the process. The idea is to rectify even the slightest problem that can possibly ruin the code and lay out the perfect plan accordingly to navigate the project through its successful implementation without any bugs and errors. The job of a programmer is to craft solutions to problems that may or may not occur. It takes years for an individual to become a professional programmer. They can work as developers, coders, analysts, and more.

Difference between Coding and Programming

Basics of Coding and Programming

– While both the terms are synonymous with each other and are often used interchangeably, they are quite different from each other. Coding simply means writing codes from one language to another such as from English to Java. It’s less intimidating and less intensive. Programming, on the other hand, means to program a machine with a set of instructions to run.

Coders vs. Programmers

– A coder is someone who translates logics into a language machine will understand. Coding is more language oriented, whereas programming is different. It’s the bigger picture and a programmer deals with much more than just writing codes which is just the beginning of what makes up the tasks of a programmer.

Big Thinking

 – Writing code is just the beginning of creating software. Programming is to conceptualize and analyze solutions to problems that may or may not occur,                     and then determine how these problems should be solved. A coder’s job is to compartmentalize lines of code, while a programmer deals with the bigger                   picture; he designs and builds solutions using the best course of actions for the potential problems that may incur.

Experience Level in Coding and Programming

– As a programmer, you need to map out the scalability of the project to minimize the problems in the code. For which, a programmer has to get into the minute details like setting up semantics, analyzing code, designing different patterns, and more. The idea is to save time using minimal lines o code. Programming is complex which requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of the language.

Coding vs. Programming: Comparison Chart

Coding Programming
Coding means creating codes from one language to another. Programming means to program a machine to perform using a set of instructions.
It’s the primary method to facilitate communication between humans and machines. Programming is the formal act of writing code but on a much higher level.
It’s part of a computer programming procedure which involves translating requirements into a machine-readable language. Programming is the bigger picture which involves everything from compiling and debugging to testing and implementation.
A coder compartmentalizes lines of code without worrying about the details. The job of a programmer is to conceptualize and analyze solutions of the problems before they occur.
Coders are programmers but with less expertise. Programmers are skilled professionals who work on substantial logic to solve complex problems.

Summary of Coding and Programming

With the influx of newly tech-savvy generation, the term “programming” began to gain momentum. To further complicate the matters, new words like “coding” and “scripting” with more intimidating histories have come to the picture. We use those terms blindly without actually knowing what they mean or what they do. Coding and programming are two such synonymous terms which seem to mean the same thing, but they are quite different from each other. This article explains how both the terms differ from each other.


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1 Comment

  1. Awesome article!

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References :


[0]Vee, Annette. Coding Literacy. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2017. Print

[1]McCue, Camille. Getting Started with Coding. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2015. Print

[2]Foote, Steven. Learning to Program. Boston: Addison- Wesley, 2014. Print

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