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What is the coding that the coders are working on?
©Photo by Pixabay

“What is coding?” Before you make a decision into joining the bandwagon of the software industry, you need to understand how coding works. And the best way to understand them is by learning the basics. Wherein, it includes its basic terminologies such as the battle between coding vs programming.

But, before diving right into the coding software industry, one must understand that coding prior to the existence of a computer. And in order for a proper computer to function, both the hardware and software is essential. Let’s admit that some of us have good knowledge of a hardware but many of us are still scratching the surface of what a software truly is.

It’s undeniable that software development is a complex process. But without it, no computer will exist, not to mention any other applications. So, what’s happening in the software development is it creates precise instructions for the computer (the hardware part) to execute correctly.

In general, the process of telling your computer what to do is using a specific programming language is called coding. And in every line of code, it tells your computer to do something. When there’s a document full of coding lines it’s called a script. On the contrary, programming is the way you give instructions to your computer for a specific reaction with respect to your commands.

However, there is a lot of terminology confusion as what is the difference between coding and programming. Let’s examine it in the next section.

 

Coding vs Programming: Which is which?

What is coding?

When we speak with our mother tongue, it is very easy, and we can communicate well with one another. However, it is important to take note that learning a new computer programming language is akin to learning a new language. Hence, it is not a simple process but a tedious one. It is especially difficult at the beginning but it can also be very rewarding along the way.

The confusion of terminology can be quite puzzling, especially for beginners. And it’s proven by the historical blur between coding and programming terms. In the 1950s, professionals who wrote codes are known as coders. With time, they became programmers and later on advances into developers. In fact, on top of the software ecosystem are software architects that design the systems. Thus, it is important to know the difference in the beginning.

Coding is at the very bottom of the professional ladder in software development. It is the process of creating codes that act as a bridge between humans and machines. Besides, it also used to translate design requirements and logic into machine level language. As a subset of programming, it deals with less complex codes, but it serves as the frontline of software development.

 

What is Programming?

Programming, on the other hand, is one step ahead of coding. A programmer is responsible for building an executable program that follows design requirements and can carry out the expected outputs. As compared to coding, programming focuses more on the analysis, intensive code development; and considering all possible scenarios to ensure the correct deployment and proper implementation of a system.

As programmers, they are responsible not just the deployment but also troubleshooting. In the coding software industry, troubleshooting is called debugging. Programming is analyzing the different aspects of the process, the program, and its likely scenarios. It is like thinking ahead of time, predicting what will happen if you are going to do this and what happens next if you’re doing the opposite? The ultimate questions a programmer should bear in mind is to ask “What if ?”

Programmers are not called programmers if they do not know how to debug their programs. They must be very logical in providing solutions, learn all the aspects and attributes of their preferred language; thorough understanding with the compiling and testing process; and highly-skilled analytical approach during the implementation of the system fails.

Coding is the beginning of getting into software development, thus let’s dig deeper into this underrated process.

 

Coding for beginners like java or python
©Photo from Pixabay

Coding for Beginners

Distinguishing the difference between coders and programmers already allowed you to clear your mind and made that decision to get started. Of course, you will deal with the coding process first. With the tremendous amount of information available on the Web, this is not a difficult kickoff.

There are a lot of media to choose from about the step-by-step information about coding for beginners. You can have it in various forms such as video tutorials from Youtube. There are also paid specialized training websites such as Udemy and Pluralsight to name a few. Also, you can grab the opportunity as experts shared their knowledge and expertise with quality ebooks and cheap online classes.

We already established the difference between coding vs programming. To have a good start, examine the on-demand niche of coding such as Web development, Web design, and mobile development. In this way, you can assess yourself with what skills you lack and the training you need. There is no limit on what to learn from these niches, but it is important to take one step at a time.

Another thing to consider is the demand in the market. Study sources such as Stack Overflow and TIOBE Index are legitimate sources of surveys and information on what’s hot or what’s not. It is important to know the latest trend on what niche or language you are going to study first. After all, once you already master one specific field, you can easily learn and adapt to a new language.

The massive resources available in the Web will guide you to make an informed decision to start a coding career. As mentioned earlier, coding can be tough at the start, but it can be beneficial in the end. In the next section, we will examine the benefits of coding.

 

The 5 Benefits of Coding

In its truest sense, coding is learning how to write codes. However, here are the benefits of coding that makes it more meaningful in the long run:

 

1. Enhance Problem Solving Skills

In every running software solutions in today’s market, it always has a backstory. When you create solutions to community problems, you are enhancing your problem-solving skills. Also, in doing the process, you will have a grasp on how to decompose problems into smaller achievable tasks. The lesser the task, the lesser the code, and the lesser time to investigate and perform debugging.

 

2. Teamwork

Coding software development involves collaboration. That means, it includes several roles that have the opportunity to build meaningful projects. Coding allows you to experience project management, communication, discussion, and learn how to negotiate and compromise.

 

3. Authentic learning

The results of authentic learning is when you empower your presentation skills and have the capability to discuss your codes to your peers. Be open-minded with the constructive criticisms and accepts suggestions as it led to widening your knowledge.

 

4. Continuous learning

For every problem you encountered during coding, there is no answers right away. Thus, this encourages you to continue learning, experiment, perform trial and error operations, expand your research. Remember, in order to reach an answer the process is crucial. Embrace the mistakes as it allows us to remember how it works better in the future.

 

5. Economical and Psychological Advantage

In terms of financial success, coding helps you to start an impact on a software development career. Coding skills are useful especially with the type of lifestyle that we have right now. Aside from financially capitalizing this opportunity, it also boosts our empathy. We learn about user experience and how to put ourselves into the shoes of our users. This way, we will have the mindset of writing codes that will make the system user-friendly, easy, and pleasant to use.

 

lines of codes in script for programming
©Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Learning to Code? Program your Future

Before reading this article, I think you have been in a state wherein you are living in a black hole. But, now that you’ve read some of the benefits, is coding really something for you?

Remembered we talk about the software and hardware earlier? Try to consider your real-life experience and assess what path are you going to follow prior to your decisions. For example, in the case of software development coupled with embedded systems. You must learn C and C++ programming.

If you’re considering this as a career, the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and computer printers are a few products that hire this expertise. And once,  You’ve decided, you can start coding at your own pace and develop a solid foundation from scratch. There are cases that coders in these languages deal with legacy codes or an old version of codes, that is complicated yet comes with a promising salary.

In a Web application, if you are proficient in both front-and-back-end development then you are programming your future the correct way. Learn how to code by starting with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. HTML and CSS are mark-up languages used at the front-end.

Pure JavaScript is a front-end technology and Node.js framework a backend technology. JavaScript is the best starting point to learn as it is a language that can be used on both sides of the development.

There are so many programming languages to choose from, however choosing the right language to learn is a must. In the next section, we will move one step higher and discuss the nuts and bolts of computer coding.

 

Types of Coding Languages

Yes, programming or coding languages is akin to our languages in the truest sense. But, let’s establish a clarification that these coding languages do not have vocabulary or alphabets. Most of them are called high-level language because they are somewhat associated with our English language.

These languages primarily focus on keywords, special commands, abbreviations, etc. And the computer syntax is known as the spelling and grammar of coding languages. Keep in mind that all languages are written in a unique coding style with unique syntax, sometimes designed with a specific operating system, platform, and its intended use.

Let’s take a comparison between the computer coding style of C and MATLAB programming languages with our English language.

English C Style MATLAB
print printf fprintf

In English, the word print is a copy made by printing. Take a look at the modification of the syntax used in C and MATLAB. The word print is presented with additional letters as to indicate the uniqueness of each keyword. “printf” and “fprintf” both means to print or produce an output which has the same meaning with the word print in the English language.

To give you some background on some of the types of coding structure of known languages, let’s start with HTML.


<html>
<header><title>This is the title</title></header>
<body>
Hello, World!
</body>
</html>

To emphasize on being high-level language in most languages, here are some codes from common coding languages.

 

C Programming


#include <stdio.h>
int main ()
{
printf(“Hello, World!\n”);
return 0;
}

Notice the use of the English words include, main, return and the C keywords such as int and the header stdio stand for standard input/output. This illustrates the basic syntax of C programming.

C is not easy to learn, but its longevity proves that it is an extremely powerful programming language. It is readily built into nearly every operating system, making its superb compatibility a top-notch.

 

C++


#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main()
{
cout<<“Hello, World!”;
return 0;

}

C++ is a compiled language that offers object-oriented paradigm compared to the procedural method of C. It was created by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1979 and runs on multiple hardware platforms.

 

Java


public class HelloWorld {

public static void main(String[] args)  {
// prints “Hello, World!”
System.out.println(“Hello, World!”);
}
}

Java is a high-level compiled language that was introduced in 1995 and is designed to run on almost all known operating system.

 

Python


# Add two numbers
num1 = 2
num2 = 3
product = num1+num2
print product

We will not use the classic “Hello, World!” in Python. This is due to the simplicity of the language, and we would like to highlight it. Python is a server-side scripting language that is used to write scientific and numerical software. The language is associated with machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and data science.

 

Conclusion

Starting a career as a coder can be overwhelming, and there are numerous coding languages to learn yet with limited time. However, you don’t have to learn all of these languages to be the best coder. Most coders and programmers started with one language, and eventually move to another language once they see an opportunity.

The decision on which language to focus and specialize lies on you. The best time to start is now, and the best place to start learning to code is in the comfort of your home. Now that you’ve already had a good grip of the fundamentals of what coding is all about?

Start your coding adventure and be rewarded later.

Racheal

Racheal

Racheal is a content writer and editor that go where the wind blows. Strangely her passion for technology has landed her here on this site. Now she's actively curating quality content from latest tech news, programming guides, gadgets reviews to robotics projects. If you don't see her here, she's probably geeking around the internet for some spicy content.

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