Did you know that almost 200,000 computer programmers reside in the United States?

Coding and programming might sound synonymous, especially for the uninitiated. But if you aspire to work for either industry, you must know these comparisons. Otherwise, you’ll end up picking the wrong profession.

Don’t feel discouraged yet.

With this guide, you’ll learn about the difference between coding and programming. Read on and find out more:


What Is Coding?

Computer processors only comprehend ones and zeroes. This deviates from human language, meaning in normal situations, you can’t tell machines what to do using your native tongue. That’s why you must get coders to translate these commands to the binary language hey understand.

At its core, coding is the process of translating natural language into its machine command counterparts. Coders use intermediary languages to direct the machine’s steps. But, is coding the same as programming?

This will depend on the programming language used. In most cases, an effective coder must possess skills. If you want to become a coder, you must have a comprehensive knowledge of syntax, keywords, and logic behind these languages. 

What Is Programming?

Software development benefits a lot from coding, but it isn’t the most important component. To make a product, you must take more steps beyond this process. It includes planning, design, testing, and deployment.

This entire process is programming, and it sometimes includes maintenance. This means you need more knowledge, experience, and skills involved. To put it simply, coding is an essential part of programming.

Coding vs. Programming: What’s the Difference?

With the demand for software development rising in the United States, approximately 300,000 new developer jobs will appear within the next decade. As an aspiring professional, getting educated on the minute details of the difference between coding and programming is a must. Here are things you must consider:

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1.Baseline Difference

The very definition of the processes should tell you how different coding and programming are. As mentioned above, the former is an aspect of programming that deals exclusively with converting natural language into binary machine commands. The latter is the overarching process of making a program made using specific standards to accomplish tasks.

2.Tools Used

Coding is a translation process, meaning you don’t need to have an extensive set of tools to do it. Most of the time, a simple text editor is all you need. WordPad is the bare minimum, but an IDE with autofill and debug features are better.

On the other hand, programmers must review documentation and do analysis. This is besides the coding process mentioned above. It means they’ll need extra tools to cater to these tasks, such as:

  • Code analysis tools
  • Code generators
  • Databases
  • Testing frameworks

These aren’t the only tools at their disposal, but they are the most common ones. For more specialized software, they might require custom-built tools.

3.Expertise Difference

The skills needed to perform these tasks have a vast difference. A coder only needs a basic understanding of how programming languages work. To become a proficient programmer, you must understand even more.

It means becoming knowledgeable in making algorithms and math models, data processing, mathematical knowledge, and more. In some cases, event management knowledge can spell the difference between success and failure.


The basic method of accomplishing tasks between coding and programming varies. For programming, you must approach your tasks methodically and thoroughly. Your goal can take from a couple of weeks to a few months to accomplish. 

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For code writing, you can do it without special preparations. A simple solution only takes a few hours to code. In most situations, coding progresses using a trial and error method.


Since programming and coding use varied approaches, their results are different. Your method choice determines the expected complexity of your finished product. That’s why you can’t expect an application with lots of features and an attractive user interface using coding methods.

Most Popular Programming Languages

With the knowledge of the differences between computer programming vs. coding, you might feel compelled to learn the former instead. That’s why we compiled a list of the top programming languages in the world. You can also look at this RegEx cheat sheet if you’re learning about Regular Expressions.


Java’s popularity is because of its portability, scalability, and their large following.  Using the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), you have a platform-agnostic method of running Java on almost any system. It’s also the primary choice for Android-based apps, making it a necessity.

Java’s build emphasizes scalability with its static language. It’s faster and easier to maintain, with backward compatibility. It means when new versions get released, old versions continue running without fail.

2.C Programming Language

This is the oldest and most popular programming language. Its near-universal portability is because of its early adoption by tech titans like Apple, Linux, and Microsoft. It’s also the perfect language to program embedded systems found in cars, electronic gadgets, and others.

But, the C language is most notable as a portable assembly language. It can work with any system, even to the lowest of machines. If you’re an aspiring programmer, you will enrich your career by learning this language.

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Python’s meteoric rise to popularity is because of its prominent use in some of the most innovative technologies around. Some of these include:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Big Data
  • Robotics

It’s also surprisingly easy to learn. That’s why if you’re starting as a programmer, Python should ease you into the more complex languages. For experts, they often pick this up as their second or third language of choice.


JavaScript became popular because of web browser ubiquity. It enables you to put interactivity into various web pages. It’s a great complement if you have HTML, but most web apps nowadays use pure JavaScript instead.

Now You Understand the Difference Between Coding and Programming!

These are things you must consider when determining the difference between coding and programming. Use these when thinking about what career suits you more.

Did this guide help clear up your misconceptions? Are you looking for more technical computer tips and tricks? If so, read our other posts and learn more!