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.

Sagar Khillar

Sagar Khillar is a prolific content/article/blog writer working as a Senior Content Developer/Writer in a reputed client services firm based in India. He has that urge to research on versatile topics and develop high-quality content to make it the best read. Thanks to his passion for writing, he has over 7 years of professional experience in writing and editing services across a wide variety of print and electronic platforms.

Outside his professional life, Sagar loves to connect with people from different cultures and origin. You can say he is curious by nature. He believes everyone is a learning experience and it brings a certain excitement, kind of a curiosity to keep going. It may feel silly at first, but it loosens you up after a while and makes it easier for you to start conversations with total strangers – that’s what he said."

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11 Comments

  1. Awesome article!

  2. This explanation is complete garbage.

  3. I’m new to this. I’ll want to become a coder. What steps do I need to take now?

  4. In the employment world there is no position called “coder” there is only developer (some times programmer) java, python, and etc.

  5. Finally someone who gets this! I’ve told this to people for years but it typically wasn’t something that people wanted to hear. ‘You’re too pedantic’ (programmers should be pedantic!), ‘You’re too this serious’ (I’m one of the least serious of all the people they ever meet guaranteed), ‘It’s just another way of saying the same thing …’ and other such rubbish.

    And then you have the idiotic ‘learn to code’ movement which only brings in ignorant people without the right aptitude and that brings in disasters. Good example is the kid who wrote some code to steal login information from his friends but he left his contact information in the code itself. Brilliant. Even if that’s good as far as he could be found out it’s the sloppiness and lack of right mindset that’s the issue. They don’t teach secure programming in general and then you have people who are only doing it because other people are doing it and then what do you have? Mistake after mistake after mistake that leads to all sorts of problems. As if there isn’t enough of that already! Plus broken code not to mention bad habits (‘Who cares if I use a statically sized buffer? If it needs to be bigger I can just increase it later!’ or another justification is ‘It’s only a test for another program where I will use the proper way’ – only for that to not happen or for there to be a bug in the test that can hide bugs and insidious bugs too).

    As for the person who says the explanation is rubbish that’s just asinine, really. If their claim was justified they could back it up with why. Instead they rather just criticise it without offering any explanation. Even if it could (keyword) be said this is too simplistic of a definition the bottom line is that programming is much more; the entire process where coding is one part of it and a part of it that doesn’t work well without the rest.

    Nice to see someone else who appreciates these things…

  6. Where the heck are those definitions coming from? There is no such thing as a “coder”. Find me a single job posting asking for coders and I’ll show you someone trying to be cool, not someone looking for entry level code monkeys.

    • ‘Coding’ is a new and pretentious word for programming, used by people to give the impression that they are more skilled and intelligent than they really are, as if they are code-breakers working for MI5. Many self-styled ‘coders’ are barely able to copy and paste a bit of html for their awful-looking websites. They’re the same sort of people that use the word ‘hack’ instead of adapt.

  7. It’s hard to come by well-informed people on this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

  8. Riding hegemony of coders, are the programmers at job like loss risk?
    I have got a grasp of people who look like professional programmers, who hate the sharp rising of coders.

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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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