Programming Vs Coding

Explore the difference between coding and programming.

Roland Sankara
3 min readDec 8, 2023
Image Source:

Early this year, I had the pleasure of catching up with a long-time friend, a seasoned senior software engineer. Over lunch, our conversation delved into the intriguing world of programming and coding. These terms are often used interchangeably, creating a buzz in the tech community.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that programming and coding are not synonymous. Let’s explore the nuances between the two and understand why drawing a clear line between them is essential.

Programming vs. Coding:

At first glance, it might seem like splitting hairs to distinguish between programming and coding. However, a closer inspection reveals distinct differences. Coding is the act of translating human-readable instructions into machine-executable code. It involves writing specific syntax and commands to perform a particular task. On the other hand, programming encompasses a broader set of activities. It involves problem-solving, algorithm design, and system architecture, going beyond the mere act of writing code.

Why Draw a Clear Line?

Understanding the disparity between programming and coding is crucial for several reasons:

Scope and Complexity:

  • Coding is focused on implementing a specific solution or functionality.
  • Programming involves the entire process of creating a software solution, including planning, design, and testing.

Problem-Solving vs. Implementation:

  • Programming emphasizes problem-solving and system design.
  • Coding is the implementation phase, turning conceptualized solutions into executable code.


  • Coding skills may be more task-specific.
  • Programming skills are versatile and adaptable to a broader range of challenges.

How to Approach These Paradigms and Leverage Them:

To navigate the worlds of programming and coding effectively, consider the following approach:

Understand the Why Before the How:

  • Before diving into coding, understand the problem, the user’s needs, and the overall project goals.
  • Programming starts with conceptualizing the solution and defining the architecture.

Emphasize Problem-Solving:

  • Focus on developing strong problem-solving skills when programming.
  • Coding becomes more efficient when driven by a clear understanding of the underlying problems.

Programming is King: 👌

Programming takes the throne as it involves critical thinking, strategic planning, and a comprehensive understanding of the software development life cycle. While coding is a vital component, it serves as the implementation phase guided by the principles and decisions made during programming.

Examples to Drive the Point Home:

Consider a scenario where you need to develop a website with a login system:


  • Coding involves writing the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create the login form and handle user inputs.
  • It focuses on the syntax and structure needed to execute the login functionality.


  • Programming precedes coding and involves understanding the project’s requirements, user authentication needs, and potential security concerns.
  • It includes designing the overall architecture of the system, considering scalability and user experience.

In the dynamic landscape of software development, acknowledging the distinctions between programming and coding is paramount. While coding is the hands-on implementation, programming sets the stage for a holistic and efficient development process.

As a boot camp facilitator, imparting this understanding to aspiring developers will equip them with the skills needed to excel in a rapidly evolving industry.


I hope you found this insightful.



Roland Sankara

Fullstack Web Developer | Technical Writer | Passionate about tech mentorship