What’s the Difference Between Coding and Programming?

Coding and Programming often used interchangeably in the industry. You can find several discussion forums brainstorming on the same thing but most of them are incomplete. Both these terms may look the same from outside but there is a significant difference between them.

Today, I will try to explain the difference between coding and programming in the easiest way possible. If you have just started your programming career or even after spending a few years in corporate, you’re not sure about the difference, just be with me till the end.

Also Read: 5 Best Computer Science Jobs that Don’t Require Coding

Difference Between Coding and Programming


Coding simply means writing codes from one language to another. Computers don’t understand our language. They only understand binary language. A coder is someone who translates the requirements into a language that a machine will understand. Though there are many processes in between, what a coder does is translate logic into machine-readable codes.

Coding is a part of programming or can be considered as the initial steps of programming. Unlike coding which mainly involves writing code in various languages as per the instruction, the term ‘programming’ is used in a much broader sense. A coder works on the instructions given by the team leaders and so coding is easier and requires less expertise than programming.


Programming is the bigger picture which involves things more than just writing code. It’s basically a process of feeding machine with a set of instructions to perform whatever you want.

A programmer design thing, analyze a problem, develop logic and make sure a machine or application will run without any errors. A coder writes code at an intermediate level whereas a programmer is responsible to find effective solutions for potential problems that may or may not pertain along the process.

A programmer can’t just sit and write code to achieve specific functionalities. He/She also take care of the smallest issues that can ruin the code along with all the plannings. Programmers do the planning part and navigate the project accordingly for the successful implementation of the product without any bugs and errors.

A programmer can work as a coder, developers, analysts, etc and thus it takes years for a fresher to become an experienced professional programmer.

Coding is writing a chapter, Programming is creating a book

If you are still confused between coding and programming, let me clear it to you with a few simple examples. Suppose, English is a programming language. Now, a coder is a person who knows English at the basic level and able to write a short story in it.

On the other hand, a programmer is a person who knows English quite well and is able to produce long articles or other lengthy work easily.

Another example is a kitchen appliance such as microwave which is used to heat or cook your food. A microwave user who presses the button on the device to perform certain actions can be compared to a coder.

On the other hand, a person who wrote those instructions and made the microwave respond to them can be compared to a programmer.

I hope this article helped you in understanding the difference between a coder and programmer. If you do research, you’ll find lots to other differences too. But here, I tried to keep the things as simple as possible so that both fresher and experienced coders and programmers can be benefitted by this write-up.