Coding vs. Programming
A big issue in the teaching STEM is the synonymous use of the terms “Coding” and “Programming.” Aren’t they the same? Well, no. But before I jump to far ahead, I am guilty of this too. Sometimes, as an educator, you find yourself too busy to explain certain concepts and wind up interchanging both words to explain what your students are working on. However, we should distinguish the two words from one another. After all, it's important that students understand the differences between coding & programming. So let’s get started.
So, what is coding? Well, it means exactly that, to code. Coders are typically writing code for various different purposes. Lines of code are used to do multiple things. You can code the colors of a website or app. You can write code for an app. You can even use code to develop a video game. But the term starts to get convoluted as we near video game production or even software production. This is because these also need to be programmed. Coding involves writing lines of code in a particular coding language. The easiest way to explain this is by talking about HTML and CSS. HTML and CSS are (were?) commonly used to develop websites, web apps, and web games. A lot of the code one writes simply dictates what content a user will see and what the website will look like.
Now where does programming differ? Programming involves programming a machine or computer on how to run and, even, how to execute our code. Computers and machines are very smart, but they are smart because we program them to execute the desired functions. For example: A microwave is programmed to accept a user input of time and warm its contents until the said time is over.
Thanks for reading!
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EdTech Coach, Instructional Designer, Digital Creator, Media Literacy Advocate, and Gamification expert.