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Coding vs Programming
Updated on 15th Feb, 23 802 Views

Coding and programming are the two critical establishments in the world of technology. Today, we will help you to get a perspective of what each of them means and how they work in conjunction.

With the rise in learning in the field of computer science worldwide, there has been an expansion of our personal vocabularies, which sometimes may sound intimidating to laymen. To make matters even more complicated, many learners themselves stick strictly to what has been taught and blindly repeat what seems correct to them without actually understanding the usage and history of the terminology. One such instance is the synonymous usage of coding and programming.

Check out this video by Intellipaat on the difference between coding and programming

What is coding and programming?

The only way to map out the difference is by understanding what coding and programming are, separately. So, let’s quickly get to it

What is coding?

Coding is the process of translating human language to a machine-based one. Doing so provides instructions and information to the computer. It can be essentially considered a subset of programming because it requires applying the initial steps of programming. An intermediary language is used by coders to feed in the step-by-step actions the machine needs to take.

The level of difficulty depends on the programming language and coding requires a skillful approach. A coder must be familiar with the syntax, main keywords, and the basic logic behind the chosen language, which is the key point in the coding vs. programming debate.

Read this blog by Intellipaat on ‘How to Code’.

What is programming?

When you think of software development, you may immediately think of coding. While it is definitely a part of programming, it is not the only part. When a product needs to be developed, there are several steps involved like planning, designing, developing, testing, deployment, and maintenance. The entire process involved in the project can be referred to as programming.

So, when you ask if coding and programming are the same thing, it is like asking whether water and river are one and the same. While water is essential to make a river, there are also other factors involved. Similarly, programming requires a substantial amount of knowledge, a variety of skills, and experience.

Now that we have got the definitions out of the way, let’s move on to how to differ these in more detail.

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What is the difference between coding and programming?

Even though coding is a part of programming, in a project, one can be more beneficial than the other depending on the complexity and scope. They have the capability of introducing a fundamental difference in the approach.

More often than not, when a professional Developer is faced with coding vs. programming, programming is the way to go. Before writing the first line of code in crucial projects, a clear outline for your program and the resources are necessary. Once the code is completed, it needs to be reviewed, optimized, and exhaustively tested.

So, when is coding a choice in the coding vs. programming dilemma? Coding is used to solve simple problems that don’t involve a lot of planning (for example, one-page websites or one-task apps). Coding is the first step for those who are just getting introduced to this domain.

Knowing how to handle each part of an intricate program is crucial. It takes years to become an expert programmer. That is exactly where the knowledge of programming comes in.

Difference Between Coding and Programming

1. Definition

Coding is a part of programming that converts language into binary commands for machines. Programming is the process involved in program creation that abides by certain standards and performs certain tasks.

2. Scope

Coding involves the translation of the required logic into machine-understandable code. On the other hand, programming requires study and conception of different aspects of any program as well as solving issues that may occur during the process. Programming also includes debugging, compiling, testing, and implementation.

3. Tools

Coding doesn’t necessarily require or involve many software tools. A simple text editor like WordPad or Notepad is sufficient. Nowadays, IDE and debug tools such as Bootstrap, ATOM, Eclipse, Delphi, etc. are also used.

Programming, on the other hand, requires a wide range of tools like code editors, code generators, code analysis tools, databases, linkers, compilers, testing frameworks, GUI designers, performance analysis tools, assemblers, debuggers, etc. for the purpose of document review analysis, and coding.

Programmers should also have a knowledge of Git and GitHub, database tools, analytical tools (Apache Spark), cloud tools, presentation tools, etc.

4. Skills

Coders can suffice with a basic knowledge of programming languages. Unlike in coding, programming demands algorithm creation, math models, data structures, as well as data processing.

Programmers usually have a specialized degree and experience in writing logic, analyzing, designing, and writing complex programs. They also have to be creative and use analytical skills for problem-solving. They are also proficient in complex data structures and algorithms.

The coder follows the technical specifications provided by the programmer to ensure that the final outcome meets the requirements.

5. Outcomes

The outcome of coding is what we get after a set of instructions is given to a computer in the form of code. After programming, however, the outcome is a software product, a complete application, or a working website.

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Coding vs. Programming Comparison Table

coding vs Programming comparison table


This useful guide was made to help you understand the differences between coding and programming. In the article, we have covered the comparisons and key differences. You can refer to the comparison table for a quick overview.

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