Every industry has its own unique terminology. The same goes for the tech industry. Here, there are many terms that are very similar and often used interchangeably, even though they mean different things. Such is the case with the terms: programming, coding, and development (specifically software development).
What is programming?
To put it simply, programming uses a person’s thought processes to solve technical or technologically-related problems. Programmers then apply those solutions. The area of programming doesn’t necessarily deal with coding. It focuses more on critical thinking and problem-solving more than anything else. Programming is also done using the English language.
What is coding?
Coding involves the use of programming languages, which are English-based tools that help coders tell systems to do commands. It also looks at the syntax of the language, the structure, and the organization of the code and runs tests according to the coder’s instructions. A person can be a programmer without being a coder, but the reverse isn’t true. Essentially, coding is the implementation of programming. Coders must stay current with technology, be able to debug and test for errors and execute code in a variety of ways.
What is development?
Development, particularly referring to software development, is the inclusion of all the aspects of creating software. This includes websites, mobile apps, and so on. Software development includes programming and coding as well as specific elements such as frameworks, design, maintenance, finalization, testing, and more. Development is a process just like programming and coding, but it’s a big process. A combination of development and operations teams, also known as DevOps, and general team management is also important with regard to development.
Additionally, developers can be programmers and coders, though development itself refers to the process of creation. Developers are generally at the beginning and end of the software development stage. However, they may be in or out of a few or many steps in the process when referring to what type of developer they are. There are many different types like front-end or back-end developers, full-stack developers, web developers, and so on.
Between the Three
When approaching programming, coding, and software development, learn to develop a programmer’s mentality first. Becoming a coder could come second—and both are recommended. Although, some people adopt a programming mindset by practicing coding. Ultimately, knowing the difference between programming, coding, and software development is crucial.
Programming could be considered the stepping stone to coding and software development. Coding would be the basic implementation of development. Development houses both and many more elements. In the tech industry, wearing different hats is common. Learning various skills is vital for success, but only as long as those skills are up-to-date with the continuously evolving technology. It isn’t helpful to pick up skills that won’t be used; however, most of the time, the current technology is based on the implementation of older versions. This is why programmers, coders, and developers must—more than anything—adapt a nonstop learning perspective.