Monday, 25 August 2014

What is the difference between Coding and Programming?

This seems to be a question I get asked very often.

Many people think and say that they are the same thing but there is a real difference.

Programming is generally about how to solve the problem what is often called the algorithm. It is about how to solve the problem. It can be written in English as a series of steps in how to solve the problem. Sometimes this is called pseudo code.

Coding is taking this program or algorithm and turning it into the actual computer program which is written in  a particular computer programming language, such as C or Python. The code would do the same thing but be written differently using the coding structures or syntax of the language you are using.

Many can code - they can take the algorithm and turn it into a computer program. What is much harder is to take an idea and turn this into a way of doing something. This is programming. This is the much harder problem.

Many courses teach people to code in Python or in  Java. Programming is really the topic of software engineering, examining the problem and working out the pseudo code in how to solve it. There are very few courses on this. Programming is the art of working out were to start and how to do it. It is not written in a specific language although some people do. They for instance program in Java; they think, solve the problem in the Language and code it it the same time. To them programming and coding are one and the same.

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