Coding vs Programming: What’s the Difference?


Computers only understand the binary language, the long sequence of ones and zeros, not comprehensible by the natural language. Coding is the process of converting the natural language into machine commands, while programming is the whole process of building and executing software programs. Then, how comes that coding vs programming debate even exists? It is because coding is an entangled component of programming. They cannot exist without each other.


What is coding? 


Coding is the primary step of developing a software therefore it is easier to digest and implement. Coders need to have a full understanding of the programming language to transfer the required logics into a code recognized by the machine.   

Depending on the program, functional coding may require the knowledge of syntax, the basic logic behind the programming language.

Overall, coding dealing only with codes is easier to understand and analyze. 


What is Programming?


Programming is the process of developing a thoroughly feasible program used to provide a machine-level outcome. So, if the coding is just a part of programming, the letter is a broader perspective of building software. Programming is responsible for dealing with various scenarios and making sure the program is being successfully implemented. 

Programmers do not only handle codes but also inspect and explicate diverse aspects of the program and try to come up with optimal solutions in case of any problems.

So, programming includes the whole process of planning, deploying, executing, and testing the code. It does incorporate the coding approach but is much more than that. 


Difference Between Coding and Programming


Basic Difference


As already described above, the difference between coding and programming lies in their core definitions. Programming is the general working procedure of developing and supporting a program, while coding is a part of programming only accountable for the running of certain codes. 




Coding and programming have different approaches to implementation. Coding follows a deploy-to-test based approach, while programming requires a detailed and methodical approach to operate. Coding, being a small part of the project, results in a simple solution, while programming is the whole scope of building a program from scratch. 




Because coding and programming serve different purposes, they naturally utilize different tools. Coding needs a text editor to function, such as Notepad or Wordpad. The debugging tools may include Bootstrap, ATOM, Delphi, and others. 

Programming, on the other hand,  needs tools to review, analyze and generate codes, testing, debugging, and code editing tools.

The programmer needs to know Git and Github at an advanced level, also master presentation tools, cloud tools, and more.




Programming covers writing algorithms, logic, coming up with optimal solutions to out of blue coding bugs, data structure, and more. Therefore, a good programmer is expected to have a degree in computer science and experience with creating complex data structures. 

Coders can know the essentials of programming languages and make sure that the written codes meet the requirements supplying the desired outcome.

In conclusion, the coder needs to know at least one programming language such as Javascript, C++, Java, while programmers' range of skills includes analytical skills, testing, debugging, code generating, and integrating skills.




In coding vs programming debate, the result is as important as the working procedures. What outcomes are expected from coding and programming individually?

With coding, the anticipated result is a piece of code ensuring that the instructions applied to a computer function properly. We cannot expect complex and highly executed software programs with a good touch of UX and UI. Programming, on the contrary demands more rigorous operating procedures, therefore the results can be higher in complexity, such as a whole application, website, product, and more.



Just because these two terms can be used interchangeably, it does not mean they are the same. Coding is the process of translating the code from one language to another. In coding, all you need to do is to provide a solution no matter how you write your code. 

Programming is the process of writing a code based on profound analysis performing several optimization methods. In programming, you need to find the most effective and optimal solution to create your code.




Both coding and programming have a huge amount of support to improve continuously. There are many websites, coders and programmers can use such as, Github, Toptal, SAP Community Network. 


Other skills


Coding is very easy to learn and implement compared to programming. A coder needs to know the syntax of the programming language. As you may already know, the syntax is the arrangement of words and expressions to form a comprehensive sentence. Syntax in computer programming refers to all the rules that manage the structure of the symbols, punctuation, and all the words used in the code. Without mastering syntax, it is impossible to create a working code.

For programming, broader skills are required than just knowing how to code. The skills the ideal programmer needs to have include


Programming language proficiency 


This does not necessarily mean that programmers need to be fluent in several programming languages simultaneously such as C++, SQL, Java, Python, and more. However, to be a competent software engineer, it's advisable to know at least two programming languages. You may, first of all, decide on what you want to build as a programmer, then choose the programming languages accordingly. 


Mathematical skills 


Programming requires a thorough understanding of math including algebra and arithmetic beyond the school level. Fields like Cryptography, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence surely require a lot of math. Math is also important for understanding algorithms even though a programmer won’t be required to create new algorithms at the beginning, though problem solving skills will surely play a huge role when applying to programming jobs. Mathematical skills directly include problem solving skills.


Analytical skills 


Analytical skills go hand in hand with problem solving. Imagine working with an enormous amount of data. The ability to organize, analyze and interpret data as well as using logic and analytical skills will efficiently pay off. 


 How Coding and Programming Work Together


Well, now that we know how coding and programming are quite different things, let's comprehend their interchangeability. The perfect example can be comparing software development with writing a book. Coding is writing just a chapter of the book, while programming is coming up with the whole plot, planning, developing the story, and publishing it. 

Still, you cannot have the full book, if you do not work on the chapters individually. The same goes for coding and programming. Coding is the fundamental part that makes programming a whole procedure of creating software.


 Sum up


In conclusion, the misconception between coding and programming is because many people fail to see the level of complexity and the requirements these two activities demand. Coding is all about working with codes, making codes intelligible to machines. Programming is the complete process of creating a code with the most optimal approach and solutions.