Coding vs Programming: What's the Difference?

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Coding vs Programming: What's the Difference?

Vinay Khatri
Last updated on June 20, 2024

    We often use coding and programming to refer to the same process and use them interchangeably, but in reality, they are not the same. Programming and coding have different meanings, and both terminologies are used for different scenarios. For a Computer Science student, it is necessary to know the difference between coding and programming so he would not get confused as to whether he should call himself a coder or a programmer.

    Here in this article, we have outlined all the key differences between programming and coding. So without further ado, let's get started!

    What is Coding?

    Coding is a simple process of writing only code for an application or software. A coder is a person who is capable of writing code in one or more programming languages. In coding, the coder only deals with code and aims to build a software , application, or part of an application. To become a coder, you need the knowledge of at least one programming language and must be aware of all its syntax. If someone gives you an algorithm to implement, you should be able to code it using that programming language.

    What is Programming?

    Programming is more than coding; we can say that coding is a subset of programming. In programming, we analyze and implement various algorithms, understand the data structure, find solutions for real-world problems, write code, and a lot more. Programming is a broad picture of coding. With coding, we only learn how to code, but with programming, we learn how to write efficient code.

    In Computer Science , programming is a formal approach to address your skills. To be a programmer, you need to improve your skills as a developer, coder, analyst, and more. Also, it takes a lot of time and knowledge to become a skilled programmer.

    Coding vs Programming: Head-to-Head Comparison

    Programming Coding


    In programming, we analyze, code, and solve the problem. In coding, we only write code.


    In programming, the aim is to make sure that the result of the code should be in sync with the human solution. Coding aims to write instructions for a computer program.


    Programming is tough as compared to coding. To be a programmer, you need to develop a wide variety of skills. As compared to programming, coding is easy as you just need to learn the syntax of a programming language so that you can write code for a computer program.

    Higher Thinking

    A programmer should be capable of developing an in-depth understanding of the problem and leveraging critical thinking to devise potential solutions. In coding, the coder does not think of details. They just implement the algorithm required to build a program or software.


    To be a programmer, you have to be a coder, tester, analyst, and more. To be a coder, you just need to have a sound knowledge of a programming language.

    Community Support

    There is a huge community of programmers on the internet. The coding community is bigger than programming because it includes both programmers as well as coders.

    Coding vs Programming: Important Points to Remember

    • There are many online portals that provide programming tutorials. However, they teach you coding, not programming. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to become a programmer.
    • Coding involves writing a set of instructions for a program or software in a particular programming language that the intended machine can understand and run.  On the other hand, programming involves thinking of the algorithm, creating code, analyzing the output, and various other activities.
    • Coding is a subset of programming. Also, without learning how to code, you cannot become a programmer.
    • Programming requires an individual to have a problem-solving mindset.

    To Wrap it Up

    As we have discussed above, coding and programming are two different things. While coding is something that requires you to only write code, programming involves a lot more responsibilities. A coder only needs to focus on developing code that meets the requirements of the software, whereas a programmer needs to be aware of all the phases of the software development life cycle.

    A programmer has all the skills required to progress the development of a software or application right from its inception to the final delivery. We hope that through this article you have cleared all your doubts regarding the topic of coding vs programming. Also, if you have any suggestions or queries, leave them in the comments section below.

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    The primary difference between programming and coding is that coding is just writing the source code, compiling it, and running it for the output, whereas programming involves testing, debugging, and maintaining the code, along with writing it.

    You should learn to code first, as it is an initial step of programming. Start learning to code to become a skilled programmer.

    The internet is replete with a plethora of online tutorials, blogs and articles, videos, and courses that help you get started with coding. Also, you can opt for coding books that provide you with the comprehensive knowledge required for coding.

    Some of the best websites to learn to code are HackerRank, CodeLeet, CodeChef, GeeksForGeeks, Coderbyte, Codewars, and CodinGame.

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