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Programmers vs Coders - How To Tell The Difference?

A computer coder vs. programmer, can you tell which one is which? They both write computer code and produce technical output, so it can often be rather difficult. But is it right to think that everybody who writes computer code are the same? Actually, a lot of people do think they are. However, there is a big difference between programmers vs coders. JT1 will explain to you right now.

Why you need to know the difference between Programmers Vs Coders?

It is important that you need to be able to tell the difference between Programmers Vs Coders when you are trying to fill a position on a software development team. Not only do you need to fill the position with the right type of technical hire, you also need to understand your candidate to see if they have the right experience. What does it mean when you see Programmers vs Coders?

It’s difficult to say, especially because it’s not entirely clear whether these job titles are actually two different positions. Some analysts consider them to be different terms for the same position. While that might be true for some people, the others see a very clear difference between Programmers vs Coders which is significant for you to know.

In this post, we are answering the following questions:

  • Who is a coder?

  • Who is a computer programmer?

  • How is difference between seeing Programmers vs Coders on a CV?

  • What positions can do more than a programmer?

What is a coder?

Simply put, a coder is a person who writes code. Although it seems like a pretty all-encompassing definition, it’s important to remember that people who can do other things like planning and designing programs tend to identify themselves in different ways.

Think of it this way. Most of us have cooked food out of the cookbook. At first, you can probably follow the instructions to make a few basic items. The results may not be pretty, because you may not be able to go too far from the recipe without courting disaster. But if you are careful about following the instructions, you have something and at least you can eat. Like this, you’re so very similar to a coder.

As Mike Jackson puts it, a coder is:“Anyone who can write some code that compiles and runs, which will do something they want when it’s given the right inputs.”

Have you ever written a website? Done any raw HTML? Congratulations! You’re technically a coder because HTML is still technically computer code though it isn’t a programming language.

Whether having a classification in Coder

Obviously, the title doesn’t define what type of code the coder writes. This could be as simple as implementing a library or it could be more complex. Generally, someone has to have a basic understanding of the language they are writing in order to be a coder.

That’s usually where their independent knowledge ends. As Nirmala Reddy puts it, a coder will probably still need instructions about what to do or what’s intended to be accomplished, implemented, tested, and checked for quality assurance. Sometimes, the coder won’t even participate in writing programs. Instead, they simply write simple scripts to automate certain tasks.

If this job description seems like describing a person with pretty basic technical knowledge, it’s because it naturally is. If a coder learns how to do a little more, they will be considered to be a computer programmer.

What is a computer programmer?

If a coder is somebody blindly following a basic technique, a computer programmer is reasonably updating these techniques to a higher level of skills. Though they do sometimes read some recipes, they do not stick with only people’s instructions. Usually, before cooking they will sit back and set up a list about what they want to make, what ingredients they want to use, and how they want to mix them together to get the most delicious dish which they prefer.

Programming involves more than just coding. Jonah Bitautas puts this very succinctly saying: “Being a programmer means actively thinking about abstract solutions to a problem at the very beginning before you are even touching code or opening up your favorite code editor.”

Programmers write computer code, which is usually the last thing they do. Initially, they need to think about what they’re doing, what they want to create, and how they’re going to create it. Then they make a plan of the tools and resources that they’re going to use and only this time do they start coding.

Unlike a coder who is happy to just put some code into their computer to perform a function, a programmer refers to produce code which is robust and clean. If you think that these are the most basic set of skills, you are not wrong at all. Even if somebody starts their career as a coder, they are supposed to be a junior programmer.

What is the difference between seeing coders vs programmers on a CV?

This problem will make your head explode. You can’t actually make this comparison as coder doesn’t really exist anymore as a position. It used to be that coder would be someone who translates very detailed design to C, C++, or some other languages. In the old IBM days, it was someone who did the bidding of the chief programmer who ran the development team. But those days are long gone, and coder is no longer a paying technical position anymore.

If you do see coder, it is probably going to be a medical coder which symbolizes a completely separate position and set of skills. Alex Rogachevsky goes as far as to say that he doesn’t know anyone includes coder as their job title in their Tech CV.

When you see a programmer, you know that this person is capable of writing complete and reasonably competent programs in a certain tech stack. Undoubtedly, it is a good idea to give them a work sample test to see how advanced their skills are.

What positions can do more than programmers?

As we said, when you compare coders vs programmers, programmers are the competent chefs who don’t need to rely on recipes. But if you want any chef who can cook really amazing food or run a top restaurant, you will need someone who can do a lot more than those, which means you will need a software developer, engineer, or architect to create truly great software.


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