What's the Difference between Coding vs. Programming?

The phrases coding and programming are often used interchangeably, but they have very different meanings. Coding is more narrowly concerned with translating a set of instructions into a language that computers can understand and execute. On the other hand, programming involves creating those sets of instructions in the first place. That said, there is an overlapping gray area between coding and programming. Let's explore these differences in more detail by looking at what each term means, how they're similar to each other, and how they're applied to common cases together.

What is Coding?
When you code, you tell the computer what to do. Coding is a highly specific set of instructions for the computer to follow. You have to use certain particular languages (called programming languages) and syntaxes that computers can understand and execute.
When you write a program, it's an application that runs on your computer or device—like Microsoft Word or Apple Mail—and helps you do something specific: write documents, send an email, manage your spreadsheet data, and so forth. Programs can also be more complex systems such as operating systems (the software at the heart of modern computers), smartphone apps, or websites like Facebook or Google Search.

What is Programming?
The process of writing instructions and commands for a computer to perform a task is called programming. These instructions are expressed in the form of code, which is written using a programming language.
Programming is how programmers use these instructions (i.e., coding) to create software programs that allow computers to perform tasks like storing and retrieving data, translating languages between human languages, showing images on screens, etc. It enables humans to communicate with computers, create new things (like websites and apps), or solve problems that would otherwise be impossible without the help of machines.

How are Coding and Programming Different?
Coding and programming are related, but they're not the same thing.
Coding is the act of writing a computer program. It's a creative process that involves translating human thought into instructions for computers to follow, so it's often likened to writing a story or playing an instrument.
Programming is the act of writing a computer program intended to be executed by a computer; this process involves translating human thought into logical steps that can be easily understood by machines (i.e., computers). As such, it's more about logic than creativity—it's more akin to mathematics than artistry.

Similarities between Coding and Programming
Now that we've cleared up the difference between coding and programming, it's important to note that both are used to create software. While this might be obvious at first glance, it's something you'll want to keep in mind as we explore how each of these skills can benefit your career.
In today's digital world, coding and programming are two essential skills for anyone interested in working as a software developer or web developer. To distinguish between the two terms, coding is a specific skill type that involves writing code for applications (e.g., websites) or apps (mobile apps), whereas programming refers more broadly to developing these types of products. Both coding and programming require individuals who can think analytically about solving problems with computers—a skill known as problem-solving—and they also require an understanding of how computer hardware works so that programmers know what they're building onto their programs while coders understand how their apps will function when executed by computers' processors.

How Coding and Programming are Used Together?
Coding and programming are closely related, but they're not the same. In order to build software or apps, a programmer uses coding to create the product. Coding is just a language for computers to understand so that they can perform their functions. Programming is what makes that language come alive—it tells the computer how exactly it's supposed to behave when it receives commands from the code (or "code").
The two go hand-in-hand; without coding, there would be no way for programmers to communicate with their creations and make them work as intended—but without programming skills (and therefore knowledge of how machines run), coders would have nothing but gibberish on their hands!

Coding and programming are different but can work together to create something amazing!
Coding is a lower level of programming. It involves writing instructions that tell a computer what to do. These instructions are called codes. Coding is more flexible because you can change your mind or make changes at any time without losing progress on your project. This means coding allows you to be more experimental and creative with how you approach problems, which makes it great for beginners who want some freedom as they learn how computers work together with people (or even other machines).
As you gain experience in coding, however, there may come a time when you need more structure in order to get things done efficiently. This is where programming comes into play: it's the next step up from coding because it tells the computer exactly what steps it needs to take in order to achieve its goal—which means less guesswork for the programmer and less room for error too!

Well, now you know! Coding and programming, for most people, are one and the same thing. But in fact, there are differences between these two similar but separate activities. A coder is mainly engaged in writing code, while a programmer does a lot more than that: They create programs from start to finish. Programmers also often get involved in defining the scope of a project. Both jobs can be fun if you're passionate about technology!