Difference Between Coding vs Programming

Difference Between Coding vs Programming

There is a lot of widespread confusion between the words coding and programming, but today we’re going to show you why they’re different and how they both relate to different areas of computing. Though these two words are often used as part of the same sentences to describe similar activities, the difference between coding and programming is significant. One (coding) is used to lay the foundations for the other (programming).

Coding relates specifically to one function whereas programming can be one or more functions that ultimately involve making sure that a computer can effectively run and operate with a human. Let’s now dive deeper into the coding vs programming discussion, including a look at the definition of each word so that you can more effectively set them apart.

Definition of Coding

Coding is defined as “Creating code, for use with a computer that helps to translate computer language into human language.”

The difference between coding and programming mainly revolves around how code is used and the purpose behind it being put into practice. It’s the language element mentioned in the above description that you need to absorb to help you to separate these two words. A computer speaks a very different kind of language to a human.

Coding is ultimately there to serve as a digital translator for open communication between a computer and a human as well as to establish a foundation that allows humans to build computer programs. Once we’ve “coded” a foundation, that’s when we can start to develop software via the use of programming to allow us to effectively “use” a computer.

Definition of Programming

Programming is “A process whereby computer programs are written and created.”

The difference between programming and coding mostly lies in the two descriptions. Coding is the building of a foundation, but programming is writing the content to place on it.

Programming also cannot exist without coding being put in place beforehand. Everything that a developer needs to perform effective programming and create software (like an operating system) relies on the existence of coding.

If no coding has been performed, then we don’t have any basis on which we can develop a program to make use of the coding. It’s a little like drawing comparison between a TV and the programs that we watch on it. You could view coding as being similar to the creation of a television.

Programming would be the channels in this instance, and the content that we fill those channels with. It would obviously be somewhat pointless to create a television if it didn’t have any channels or content. That’s the same function that programming serves for a computer. It makes them usable.

Main Differences Between Coding vs Programming

We’re now going to introduce a reference table for you to look over that’ll hopefully help you to easily decipher the variants between these two words at a quick glance.

Basis of Comparison CodingProgramming
FunctionThe digital translation of machine language to human To create software using code that directs a machine on how we’d like it to operate
Who creates them?Coders (they usually have a lower level of expertise when compared to a programmer)Programmers, who usually have more in-depth knowledge about “computer language”
OutcomeFacilitates smooth dialogue between a machine and a humanThrough high level creativity and testing, code is used to “learn” new ways of making a computer function
ExamplesJava script, SQL, Python, PHPVideo games, operating systems, apps, search engines

Difference Between Coding and Programming: Conclusion

Though you came here today asking yourself what is the difference between coding and programming. Hopefully, your questions have now been effectively answered.

The lines can certainly get blurry when you hear these words mentioned in spoken language, but our quick reference table in the previous section plus the definitions mentioned earlier should help to negate any confusion for you going forward.

Just remember: “Coding creates the foundation, programming builds on the foundation.” If you remember this sentence, then you’re unlikely to get lost over the meaning of these two words again in the future.