The Difference Between Coding and Programming

In every field, some vocabularies have different meanings depending on their context. In the evolving and growing professional industries such as software development, there are many new vocabularies that many people not in the field may find hard to understand. For instance, coding and programming are two terms used in software development, and many people confuse and use them interchangeably.

Although coding and programming are quite different, many people who are not in the field do not debate about the terms, and their difference does not bother them at all. This article gives the distinction between the two words by exploring the terms and finds out why people in the software development industry use them differently. The article makes a comparison of the terms using different factors, such as the definition of the terms, templating, and the required skills, among others.


Coding and programming have different definitions. Likewise, coders and programmers have a different level of expertise and do different tasks as outlined below:

  • Coding vs Programming

Coding involves translating a natural language into machine commands. Therefore, it is basically translating the requirements to the language which a machine understands, and it involves coding language as an intermediary. Coding is a subset of programing that involves machine-readable inputs, writing codes, and language and syntax.

On the other hand, programming is the creation and development of an executable machine program that can accomplish a set of commands. It also involves testing and debugging, translating requirements and reviewing documentation and analysis.

  • Coders vs Programmers

Coders are people who translate logic into a machine-readable language. On the other hand, programmers are more advanced, and they don’t just write codes, but they complete a set of commands. They are involved in conceptualizing and analyzing solutions before problems occur. Therefore, coders are programmers with less expertise.

Templating Used

Coding aims at facilitating communication between humans and machines. It achieves this by using intermediary coding language. Programming aims at making human inputs and machine outputs sync through writing codes formally.

Skills Required

Coding is a subset of programming, and a coder has fewer skills than a programmer. On the other hand, a programmer has more advanced skills since programming is the primary human and machine communication. Also, programming involves complex structures, and hence need a high level of expertise.


Since coding is part of the first steps of programming, it is easier than programming. Programming is an advanced coding version that works on complex queries to produce quality machine level outputs. This makes it more complex than coding.

Approach Used

Coders do not have to worry about the details of their lines of codes since coding is the initial step of communication. A programmers’ approach to communications is knowledgeable, and they produce correct machine outputs by conceptualizing and analyzing different communication aspects.

Support Community

Coders receive a lot of help from the online support communities. These support communities help them in understanding and using different approaches to coding. Since programming is usually a bigger aspect of coding, it has wider online community support, which is instrumental in its development and improvement.

Advanced Features

Coding includes requirements translation. It also involves writing and implementing machine-readable inputs. On the other hand, programming has a wider scope, which consists of critical aspects such as debugging, compilation, testing, and implementing. It is important in human and machine communication.


With the increase in the tech-savvy generation, the term programming has begun to be widely used. However, this is complicated by the emergence of other new terms, such as coding and scripting. These terms have been used by many people blindly without knowing what they actually mean.

From the above comprehensive comparison of coding and programming using different factors, we can conclude that the two terms are quite different, although they have been used interchangeably. Each of them can be used to develop software. However, coding is basic and straightforward, while programming is complex and requires an advanced level of skills. You know what the two words mean, and next time you are using them, you can use them correctly.