What should I learn first: Coding or Programming?

Alex Rivers

“Hold on! So you’re telling me that coding and programming are not the same!?”

Yes, readers, they are quite not the same thing. In fact, coding is a subset of programming. Many engineers and computer science enthusiasts use these words interchangeably because they also think they mean the same. But it is not so.

“Hmm, well, what do we learn first, then?”

This is an interesting and valid question. Many ponder whether they should start with programming or coding. Before we begin and explain which one should be learned first, it is vital to know the difference between the two.

What is Coding?

Coding means converting computer instructions from human language to a language that the machine can comprehend. You apply your algorithm and code in a programming language. So, it means to write the languages in such a way that both the person who is coding and the computer understand.

What is Programming?

On the other hand, programming is all about creating an outline or giving structure to the program’s code before developing the actual code. Once the code is done, the programmer has to ensure that it is functioning correctly and also look after its maintenance.

The scope of these two words is different. Now we shall discuss the differences so that you get a clearer picture.

Differences between Coding and Programming

Programming is about developing a program for the device with a well-structured plan and design.
Coding, as we mentioned before, is about converting human language to a language the machine can comprehend.
For programming, one needs a high level of skills. To be a programmer, you have to be an expert or close to being an expert.Coding might not require much expertise.
Programming gives you the whole picture of how the program will function. A code is what you write in a program and is part of the programming language.
A detailed plan and a layout are needed when you are programming. For writing a code, you need to know the syntax, schemes, and semantics to create a program.
In the case of programming, there is no dedicated software tool, although it focuses on the interoperability between different software applications with the help of data connectors.You need an editor for writing your code, such as Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime text, Vim, Notepad++, and many more.
Programming involves programming languages such as Java, Python, C#, C, C++, TypeScript, and more.We say that one writes code in that particular programming language.

Programming is the whole journey of developing software, while coding is part of that journey. See it this way, programming is the entire train with an engine and compartment and takes you to the final destination, and code is the passengers sitting inside that train.

What should I learn first: Coding or Programming?

It is best to start with programming because it teaches you the basics and all the concepts you need to learn for developing a program/software. Coding is a part of it. So, first, learn programming 101, and then try your hand at coding.

Also Read: Is Haskell hard to learn?

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