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Joseph Mania
Joseph Mania

Posted on • Originally published at

What is the difference between a Coder and a Programmer?


A coder is an individual who can write codes, debug and come up with working software. There are no visible bugs or problems when we do white testing as the tester only considers the physical appearance & working of the software. Anyone who has undergone a 3-6months Bootcamp is a coder. It takes time to shift to a programmer.


When we talk about the programmer, we dive deep into coming up with software that is optimized. While I was in my first year of computer science, I knew coding was easier (although I struggled to learn). But as time went by, we started digesting a lot. The software development journey is not all about writing a code that performs the specified job. You must consider a lot of stuff.

Data structures and Algorithms

For better software, we must consider the time and the memory it occupies. Efficiency and optimization are the core values that differentiate coder and programmer. Have you ever seen a website that loads faster while another takes more than 10 seconds to load? A programmer is a person with much knowledge in data structure and algorithms. They understand clearly about writing clean and caring code which solves a problem quicker.

Where do BootCamp people belong

Many junior developers who are just from Bootcamp are considered coders. That is the reason why most of them write front-end code. Because when it comes to the backend, you have to know the best algorithms to fetch data. Must have knowledge on how to play around with data. Also after they have written their code, a senior engineer will go through the code to fight the best way to optimize the code.

Whom do tech companies need?

Most tech companies will test you on data structures and algorithms to determine your potential for solving the problem. Interviewers will give you a difficult problem only to measure the level of your flexibility in approaching such a tough problem. A coder can solve the problem but with a very enclosed mind. But a programmer will diversify his/her solutions, come out with a variety of ways and explain the effects of taking each path.

Coders have the skill set of translating the logic syntax into a machine language without getting into many details. A programmer on the other hand will put into mind the minor concepts and aspects of the programs to find the best solutions. Programmers can write competent programs when given a chance to.

Where does CS graduate fall

Tom Fordham once said, “Programming is creating the logic, coding is translating that logic into code. Many students come into class able to code, but almost none come in able to program–that is, create the logic,”. This is true. I have many friends with a CS degree who can write code to function as expected. But when you go through it, it’s easier to notice that this person is missing a kind of knowledge.

Just like in the kitchen, one cook can follow a recipe and prepare an amazing meal. This relates to the coder. But others will consider the number of people available, and the time taken to cook if there is any allergic person, before preparing the meal. This is a programmer.

Next episode…….

Despite being a good programmer, we also need a developer, a software engineer, and an architect to have working software. Can we differentiate between those roles? Stay tuned.

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